Areas Of Specialty / Digestive Health

The Functional Osteopath

Digestive Health

Abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and or diarrhoea, burping after meals, the feeling of fullness despite eating small amounts of food and increased gas are just a few of the more common digestive complaints that I commonly treat. These can be coupled with extra gastro intestinal issues such as brain fog, mood disorders, headaches, and learning difficulties among others.

How can we have gut issues and simultaneously have issues elsewhere in the body or even in the brain? If we view our mental and physical health as two spheres, the line that connects them is our gut. All of our body systems have a connection to our gut, thus its health is vital to our total health. It is also intimately connected to our brain through our Vagus nerve and this is why what happens in the gut is also reflected in the brain and visa versa. Symptoms felt in the gut such as abdominal pain and bloating are mirrored in the brain as mood disorders, brain fog, headaches or learning difficulties.

Treating the gut can make the greatest impact on overall health with sometimes the most minor of changes.

Outside of transporting, digesting and absorbing the nutrients we need to survive, our gut also has several other very important jobs.

• Immunity- 70% of our immune system is in our gut which is also called our mucosal immune system or mucosal associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) and is located on all mucosal surfaces. We are constantly sampling the external environment that comes into contact with our gut through a component of the mucosal system called the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) with the food and other things that can enter our mouths. This is our first line of defence and it is usually able to defend against the microbes, food antigens and toxins that may enter.

• Defence- Our gut is a one cell thick, delicate barrier to the outside world and maintains its integrity through certain nutrients and species of organisms that live in it. It can be damaged easily however, by toxins (environmental and organic), heavy metals, chronic stress, food antigens such as gluten and lactose, surgery, bottle feeding before a certain age and antibiotic use which leads to increases in the gap junctions that normally hold the wall together. This is colloquially known as “leaky gut” where things that normally shouldn’t pass through the gut wall can enter the bloodstream and cause systemic inflammation that results in painful joints, skin disorders and even cross the blood brain barrier leading to cognitive issues and other symptoms of neuroinflammation.

• Immune Regulation- The key players in regulating our immune responses in the GALT are the numerous microorganisms who live in our gut, collectively termed our gut flora or our microbiota. This is a dynamic environment of many different species that are constantly talking to each other in order to keep things in check. There are so many intricate relationships between all of these flora and we are only at the surface of understanding the depth of these interactions yet, however there are some that broadly can be more beneficial than others.


Some Key Benefits of A Healthy Microbiome

– Weight regulation
– Production of nutrients like short chain fatty acids and vitamins.
– Defence against the overgrowth of “bad” microorganisms such as fungus and yeast.
– Limited cravings
– Better sleep
– Better digestion
– Clearer skin


Some Signs of an Unhealthy Microbiome

– Weight gain
– Mood changes
– Food cravings
– Skin issues like acne, eczema and psoriasis
– Fatigue
– Abdominal pain, bloating
– Constipation and or diarrhoea


“Since working with Deirdre I have experienced huge transformations in my health. When I arrived at her desk I was experiencing insomnia, digestive issues, fatigue, brain fog and low mood. Through some testing we established there was candida overgrowth and hormonal imbalances and over a few months with Deirdre’s personalised protocol I got my health and vitality back. Deirdre has a very relaxed and friendly manner and was always available day or night to answer questions and provide support at every step of the way. I am grateful to her for where I am now and for her encouragement to address the root cause of the issues and take a lifelong outlook to health and happiness.

– Jordan Plant

“I strongly recommend that individuals suffering from digestive ailments consult with Deidre Nazareth. She is an outstanding osteopath in promoting natural healing techniques to bring harmony and balance to the gut. She has contributed her scholarly works and clinical mastery for my textbook Integrative Gastroenterology 2nd Edition Oxford University Press 2019.

– Gerard E. Mullin MD Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Author—The Gut Balance Revolution. Rodale Press 2015.

“I just wanted to thank you for being so selflessly supportive. As a teacher, my greatest joy is in watching someone under my tutelage grow, learn, feel valued and come into their latent character. It makes the mountains of marking worth it! I value my practice more now that I have become a recipient of such duty of care. There was no imperative for you to stay on the phone – we weren’t on a consultation – but you did it anyway. If our healthcare system can procure more professionals like you – with your skills, knowledge and, above all, qualities – I feel pretty darn hopeful for the future!

– Anay Bathia, Teacher