Naturopathic Approach to Functional Dyspepsia:
A Case Report
Published in Integrative Medicine: Clinician's Journal (IMCJ)
Note: full text only available with subscription to IMCJ
Functional dyspepsia is a common presenting concern that includes symptoms such as gastrointestinal reflux, post-prandial bloating, and abdominal pain. Aside from mainstay conventional therapies such as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) and antacid tablets that seek to manage symptoms, naturopathic therapies can similarly offer symptom relief and simultaneously address factors underlying functional digestive disturbances. In this case, a 25-year-old female and first-year graduate student presented with abdominal bloating, epigastric pain, flatulence, eructations, reflux, and straining with stool. Onset of symptoms occurred after her recent transition to graduate school, which resulted in a more stressful and rigorous workload, time-pressured eating habits, and a dearth of whole food consumption. Physical exam findings were unremarkable except for moderate epigastric pain, hyperactive bowel sounds, and a geographic tongue. While she met all of the Rome IV criteria for functional dyspepsia, clinical findings did not warrant referral for endoscopy to rule out structural/organic causes of disease. As a result, therapeutic interventions consisted of an elimination diet, the use of apple cider vinegar (ACV) and L-glutamine powder in addition to a compounded homeopathic formula containing UNDA #4 and Nux vomica. Within one week, the patient reported significant improvement in presenting concerns, and within one month had denied the presence of every presenting symptom except for straining with stool. This case demonstrates that a naturopathic approach to functional dyspepsia can offer significant symptom relief as soon as one week after treatment, and that an effective treatment plan can be offered to patients in one visit lasting no longer than 60 minutes. Furthermore, compliant patients can experience a significant improvement in overall gastrointestinal function as early as one month after treatment initiation.
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