Digestive Health

misc image

Digestive Health services offered in Gaithersburg, MD

Each year, more than 62 million Americans are diagnosed with a digestive health problem. If you regularly experience gastrointestinal symptoms, like nausea, diarrhea, or acid reflux, it’s vital to seek professional help. At Five Elements Acupuncture & Wellness, acupuncturist and Chinese medicine specialist Min Lu, MD, uses holistic and integrative treatments to relieve common digestive health problems and improve your quality of life. To make an appointment, call the office in Gaithersburg, Maryland, or book online today.

What is digestive health?

Digestive health is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of problems affecting the gastrointestinal system, including the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Everyone experiences digestive issues occasionally. Usually, they improve with rest and at-home treatment, like drinking plenty of fluids and eating a bland diet.

If your symptoms persist, worsen, or interfere with your ability to work or do other activities, listen to your body. The sooner you identify the underlying cause, the sooner you can make changes to feel better.

What factors increase the risk of digestive health problems?

There are a variety of factors that may increase your risk of digestive health problems, including:

  • Eating a poor diet
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Consuming too much dairy
  • Stress
  • Overusing anti-diarrheal medications
  • Taking antacids
  • Taking certain prescription medicines, like antidepressants

You might also experience digestive issues, like heartburn or bloating, during pregnancy.

When should I see a doctor about my digestive health?

Make an appointment with Dr. Lu at Five Elements Acupuncture & Wellness if you experience gastrointestinal problems like severe heartburn, difficulty swallowing, chronic abdominal pain, or difficulty keeping your food down. That’s especially true if these symptoms occur alongside unexplained weight loss or episodes of persistent nausea.

How are digestive health problems diagnosed?

To diagnose digestive health problems, Dr. Lu reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including when they started, if eating certain foods makes them worse, and if stress triggers them. 

Next, Dr. Lu performs a physical exam. During the exam, she gently palpates your abdomen to assess the size and location of your internal organs. She also orders lab work, including blood tests, urinalysis, and a stool sample. If these tests don’t provide enough information, Dr. Lu might order a diagnostic imaging procedure, like an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy.

An upper endoscopy allows Dr. Lu to see the inside of your esophagus and stomach, while a colonoscopy provides real-time images of your large intestine.

How are digestive health problems treated?

At Five Elements Acupuncture & Wellness, Dr. Lu uses holistic and integrative treatments to manage digestive health problems. She might recommend:

  • Cupping therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Moxibustion
  • Pain management
  • Stress management
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

These treatments are minimally invasive, nonsurgical, and complement your body’s natural healing process.

To improve your digestive health, make an appointment at Five Elements Acupuncture & Wellness by calling the office or booking online today.