Leading Integrated Healthcare


Dr Damien Downing on Digestive disorders

posted on 6th September 2012 by Dr Damien Downing

*News flash* Look out for my new book, The Vitamin Cure for Digestive Problems, coming in about a year from Basic Health Publications USA.

(Dr Downing has been actively involved in this area for many years.)

Impaired digestion is at the root of many chronic complaints and can have many causes.

Our investigations into patients’ problems always start with a careful history and examination, backed up by a detailed patient questionnaire.

We then usually run our standard blood test, a BBB1 Haematology and Biochemistry panel. This is a more detailed panel than the routine one (it has 30 biochemistry parameters plus the 15 haematology ones). It is re-analysed in detail to derive complex and sensitive markers of your physiological state. A less technical version of the report is provided to you, which includes a 7-day diet and recommendations for supplements and lifestyle. A more technical report goes to your physician – in this case me.

One of the key pieces of information to come from this is about the state of health of your liver and biliary system. As the  main organ of detoxification in the body this comes under considerable stress at times, and problems there often do affect digestion.

We also use tests for gut permeability (Leaky Gut Syndrome) and dysbiosis (Candida, yeast infection, small bowel overgrowth), and where appropriate also test for and treat Helicobacter Pylori, Coeliac (celiac) disease, parasitic infestations of the bowel (Giardia, Blastocystis hominis, Dientamoeba fragilis etc), lactose intolerance and other carbohydrate intolerances.

 Dr Damien Downing on Digestive disorders

About Dr Damien Downing

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Dr Kaplan: Provocative Therapy

In December 2012, as result of a stress at work, I suffered from severe anxiety, fear, panic attacks, tachycardia and insomnia.These symptoms became increasingly severe and were associated with low self-esteem and loss of self-confidence. I consulted my GP who prescribed Citalopram and beta blockers for the tachycardia. The antidepressant did not suit me and I felt worse. I was then referred to Dr Brian Kaplan, to be treated with the ‘Provocative Therapy’. This treatment adapted by Dr Kaplan, is based on the principle that the therapist ask questions covering all aspects of the patient’s life, by exaggerating the meanings of it. During the 1 hour session, the patient experiences a strong reaction, triggered by the ‘Provocative’ input of the therapist. Initially, there is an increased fear with regression to the childhood, associated to strong emotions and sorrow, which may precipitate sobbing. Subsequently, this state is followed by a phase of self-analysis which is more constructive. The ‘provocation’ breaks the pattern of the patient’s own feelings of hopelessness and discomfort. In fact, there is an opening of the self-image and a critical strong desire for change, in response to the provocation, which can be at times, outrageous. I underwent 9 weekly sessions during which I progressively became free from fear. The anxiety and panic attacks reduced significantly and I started to know what I want from my life and became more positive and optimistic. At the end of the 9 weeks, I acquired my self-confidence and self – esteem together with a new approach in my life which initially appeared to me broken and rather useless. The 9 sessions – in my opinion – were sufficient to resolve the initial acute state with anxiety and I felt a person full of interest and happier.  It is more than one year since I started the ‘provocative therapy’ with Dr Kaplan and I have not had any relapse to the original symptoms and discomfort. I strongly recommend this this therapy as a novelty; this is medication- free and can produce resolution of the acute psychological/mental conditions, quicker than the conventional therapies. In order to be successful, it is crucial that the patient collaborates and has complete trust in the therapist. The scientific process of such a treatment is not yet known and /or clarified. However, a number of recent studies in Neurophysiology and Psychiatry have shown the importance of hexogen and endogen stimuli, which can triggers and induce changes in the brain in response to the external inputs, acting via the hypothalamic/endocrine axes. It can be suggested that some of these mechanisms may be involved in the therapeutic process of the Provocative Therapy, but a lot of work needs to be in hand.