Gut health

Digestive function and gut flora are key indicators of your physical, mental, and emotional health. That's why we assess the digestive health of all our patients.

If you do not see your health issue listed here, please call us to discuss what we can do for you.


Reflux, specifically gastroesophageal reflux (GER), refers to a common digestive disorder where stomach acid, along with sometimes undigested food and liquids, flows back into the esophagus. This backward flow occurs due to a weakened or relaxed  muscular ring that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic and more severe form of reflux, characterized by frequent and persistent symptoms.

Common symptoms of reflux and GERD include:
  • Heartburn: A burning sensation in the chest that can sometimes radiate to the throat. It often occurs after eating and can be worsened by lying down or bending over.

  • Regurgitation: The sensation of stomach contents, including acid, rising into the throat or mouth.

  • Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing or a feeling of food getting stuck in the throat.

  • Chronic Cough: A persistent cough, often worse at night, that may be triggered by the backflow of stomach contents.

  • Hoarseness or Sore Throat: Irritation and inflammation of the throat and vocal cords due to stomach acid.

  • Chest Pain: While not always present, reflux can sometimes cause chest discomfort that may mimic heart-related pain.

Reflux and GERD can be triggered by various factors, including:
  • Diet: Consuming fatty or spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.

  • Lifestyle: Being overweight, smoking, and lying down after meals can contribute to reflux.

  • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and increased pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy can lead to reflux.

  • Medical Conditions: Hiatal hernia (a condition where a portion of the stomach protrudes into the chest) and certain medical conditions can increase the risk of reflux.

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Constipation is a common digestive issue characterized by infrequent bowel movements or difficulty in passing stools. It can vary in severity and duration, causing discomfort and inconvenience. While occasional irregularity in bowel habits is normal, long term or severe constipation may warrant attention and intervention.

Symptoms of Constipation:
  • Infrequent Bowel Movements: Having fewer than three bowel movements per week is often considered a sign of constipation.

  • Difficulty Passing Stools: Straining, pain, or a feeling of incomplete evacuation when trying to have a bowel movement.

  • Hard, Dry Stools: Stools that are dry, lumpy, and difficult to pass.

  • Abdominal Discomfort: Bloating, cramping, or a sense of fullness in the abdomen.

  • Rectal Pressure: Feeling of pressure or discomfort in the rectum even after a bowel movement.

  • Changes in Stool Appearance: Stools that are small, pellet-like, or unusually shaped.

Causes of Constipation:

Several factors can contribute to the development of constipation:

  • Diet: Low fiber intake, inadequate fluid consumption, and a diet high in processed foods can lead to constipation.

  • Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity and ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement can contribute to constipation.

  • Mental health: A stressful or high pressure life can lead to constipation.

  • Medications: Certain medications, such as opioids, antacids containing aluminum or calcium, and some antidepressants, can slow down bowel movements.

  • Medical Conditions: Underlying medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), thyroid disorders, and neurological disorders can affect bowel function.

  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or menstrual cycles can contribute to constipation.

  • Dehydration: Insufficient fluid intake can lead to hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass.

Addressing constipation promptly can help prevent complications and improve overall well-being.

Enquire now for more information or to book an appointment (02) 5590 0232


Dysphagia is a medical term used to describe the difficulty or discomfort experienced when swallowing food, liquids, or even saliva. It is not a disease itself but rather a symptom of an underlying issue affecting the swallowing process. Swallowing is a complex and coordinated action involving multiple muscles and nerves, and any disruption in this process can lead to dysphagia.

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Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain refers to discomfort or pain that occurs in the area between the chest and the pelvis, commonly known as the abdomen. This pain can vary in intensity, duration, and location, and it may be caused by a wide range of underlying conditions or factors.

Common causes of abdominal pain include:
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Conditions such as gastritis, stomach flu, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can lead to abdominal pain.

  • Gallbladder and Liver Problems: Gallstones, cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), and liver infections or inflammation can cause discomfort in the upper right abdomen.

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Infections of the bladder or urinary tract can lead to abdominal discomfort.

  • Menstrual Cramps: Women may experience lower abdominal pain during menstruation.

  • Food Intolerance: Intolerance to certain foods, such as lactose or gluten, can result in abdominal pain and discomfort.

  • Stress and Anxiety: Emotional stress and anxiety can sometimes manifest as abdominal pain or discomfort.

The location, type of pain, and accompanying symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, fever, or changes in bowel habits) can provide valuable clues about the underlying cause of abdominal pain.

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