The Women's Journal

Functional Medicine Can Restore Gut Health

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Photo by Shannon Adelson © 2016 Adelson Media, Inc.

By Dr. Cynthia Crosser  

Recently the gut and its microbiome are being referred to as the second brain. The term probiotic has become commonplace in most households, and is almost thought to be a panacea for most digestive disturbances.

A basic understanding of digestion can be helpful. To digest means to change food in the mouth, stomach and intestines by the action of gastric and intestinal juices into a form that can be used by the body. Sounds simple; but it is not in reality. The organs involved are the mouth, esophagus, liver, gall bladder, stomach, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus — all playing specific roles. Enzymes are required to break down food and when this doesn’t happen or the acidity in the stomach isn’t adequate (such as in the use of proton pump inhibitors like Nexium or Prilosec), there is failure to absorb ingested minerals. When this happens toxins build up and burden the liver.

The brain and immune systems are completely dependent on the gut, which is largely controlled by your microbiome, your intestinal microbial organisms. This affects your mood, libido, how you use fats and carbs, immunity, inflammation, vitamin production, digestion, neurotransmitter production and even how you see the world. How we feel emotionally and physically hinges on the condition of our microbiome. No other system in the body is more sensitive to changes in the gut bacteria than the CNS. This relationship is bidirectional. Some of the gut’s nerve cells and microbes release neurotransmitters that speak to the brain.  In the Encyclopedia of Cancer it was mentioned that although electromagnetic fields may be considered safe for human cells, they seem to be deleterious to our microbiome counterpart. Even fluoride ingested by the fetus in the third trimester in utero will impact the microbiome of the fetus creating potential for a future diagnosis of autism.

The discussion between gut health and the brain can include conditions such a Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, psychological disorders, eczema, allergies, and arthritis, as well as autoimmune concerns, anxiety, and depression.

The functional approach would be to first gather information through a thorough case history and physical examination, neurological questionnaires, blood, urine, stool and breath testing, and possibly brain mapping. In some cases, blood work is used to test the integrity of the gut lining, gluten reactivity and cross reactivity, and food sensitivities.  Stool samples give us specifics about bacterial diversity, protein, fat and carb metabolism, and inflammatory biomarkers.  These biomarkers will give information about infection, inflammation, digestive insufficiency and metabolic imbalance.

This is some of the information used to devise an individualized treatment plan to address gut associated problems which are many conditions.  Hopefully, you may now understand why this specific testing lays the perfect foundation to find the cause so that we can appropriately treat and rebuild the gut so you have….better health!  HAPPY GUT=HAPPY LIFE! For more information call 302-239-5014.


“As a double cancer survivor myself, Dr. Crosser and I immediately connected. What an inspiration she is! I’ve never experienced a doctor in my 60+ years that is as compassionate, devoted, and GENUINELY concerned for their patients as Dr. Crosser! I’ve been seeing her since August of 2015 and through her patient specific, tailored program of nutrition, appropriate supplements, and workshops, I’ve managed to lose the extra pounds, get back to the gym, and have a litany of nagging and annoying physical ailments that other doctor’s mostly attributed to “old age”, or “in my head” disappear! I haven’t felt this good in 35 years! She’s absolutely changed my life! Thank you so much Dr. Crosser! “ – Steve H.

“Since working with Dr. Crosser my health and well-being has changed dramatically! As a woman in my mid 50’s I try to stay somewhat healthy or at least I thought so! Experiencing stubborn weight loss, bloating and poor gut health I was in a slow spiral to poor nutrition and health. Through Dr. Crosser’s guidance, high quality nutritional supplements and her unwavering dedication to her patients I have never felt better! Thank you Dr. Crosser!! Everyone should have just one hour with you to see how they can make improvements for a healthy lifestyle!” – June E.

“By a stroke of luck, I met Dr. Crosser and began working with her. Despite a relatively healthy diet and exercise, I was suffering from anxiety, fatigue, and generally not feeling well. Dr. Crosser conducted a very thorough analysis of my symptoms and health history before recommending a customized regiment of high quality, natural supplements. The results have been miraculous. I had forgotten what it felt like to be well. I have my life back! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr. Crosser.” – Judy T.

Wellness within reach!


5700 Kirkwood Hwy., Suite 101, Wilmington, DE 19808

Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Weight loss, Neurofeedback, Nutritional Counseling

Headshot by Shannon Adelson of Adelson Media, Inc.