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Virtual Healing

Relief from Acid Reflux is Attainable, Here’s How

Are you in need of digestive relief but can’t seem to get results, or worse yet, you can’t even make it in to see a doctor? If you’re seeking medications make sure you read reviews such as spectrum awakening reviews first. And if you want a holistic solution for your digestive problems but can’t get access to holistic or naturopathic medicine, there is hope. Technology has been a game changer in health care, and online medical consulting can provide fast, personal, and effective relief, according to Dr. Sasha Rose, a board-certified naturopathic doctor, digestive health expert, and owner of Wildwood Medicine in Portland, Maine, where she has a digestive heath practice. You can also find her online at drsasharose.com.

I treat lots of people who have been living with digestive distress for years. The good news is that it’s often not difficult to make positive changes, the payoff can be immediate, and help is available online,” she says. “With some simple changes patients often feel better very quickly.”

How does online consulting work?

Online health consultations are becoming increasingly popular, especially if you live in a remote area or even in a city where you have trouble getting to a naturopathic doctor or a digestive health expert.

Online visits are particularly effective for busy people and for those in rural areas,” says Dr. Sasha, and it’s not complicated. “If someone has the internet and some kind of camera on their computer or their phone then we can make it work.” After 14 years of practicing holistic medicine from a brick and mortar office, Dr. Sasha’s virtual consultation business is quickly growing and she admits that for many of her patients, online healthcare has been as effective as in-person treatment.

A holistic approach to digestive disorders differs widely from the conventional approach and is based on the premise that given the right tools, the body can health itself. Much of the relief available from acid reflux and heartburn is not found by taking pills or supplements, says Dr. Sasha, it’s found by uncovering the root causes of digestive disturbance. “Pills and supplements are nice adjuncts,” says Dr. Sasha, but they are short-term fixes and they often do not deliver the long-term or even permanent relief that is achievable.

Getting started with online consultations

To get started with online health consultations, Dr. Sasha recommends visiting her website to learn more. The easy step-by-step process begins with scheduling three initial visits to get on the road to better digestive health. Before the first visit, patients are asked to share as much past medical history as possible.

By the time I hear from people, they typically have already been to their primary doctor or their gastroenterologist,” she says, “I encourage people to send records and lab work ahead of time so that I have as much background information as possible before we actually have our face-to-face virtual meeting.” Once that has been done, Dr. Sasha will schedule your first online consultation.

The first online visit

The first virtual consultation usually lasts one hour and is very similar to what you would expect from a doctor’s office visit. Dr. Sasha will ask a series of questions, review your past medical history, your symptoms, supplements or treatments, and other aspects of your lifestyle.

Then we talk about what I think might be going on and we come up with a treatment plan that both of us feel comfortable with,” she says. “I lay out the various tools and inform people of what has worked for patients in other situations.” The first visit concludes once an initial treatment plan has been agreed upon.

The next visits

Your second visit will be scheduled for about two or three weeks out, depending upon the circumstances. In the meantime, patients have access to Dr. Sasha via internet or phone with any questions or clarifications.

I like to give patients time to start out on their treatment plan and make some of the lifestyle modifications, and if we are doing any testing, we have time to get those results and for me to see them.” The second visit is a chance to assess what is working and to make any necessary modifications.

According to Dr. Sasha, there are several big and small modifications patients can make to improve their digestive health. Many of these relate to:

  • when you eat
  • what you eat
  • how quickly you eat
  • your sleep hygiene
  • your stress level
  • your exercise/movement routine

Dr. Sasha’s online practice is designed to support patients in an effective way that produces fast yet permanent results and gets patients on their way to living the life they want to live.

The third visit is often scheduled much farther out so that patients have time to implement changes and start to see and feel lasting positive change. It’s important for patients to recognize that they may not see traction after only one or two visits. It can take time and Dr. Sasha has found that a minimum of three visits is needed to secure long-term solutions. The beauty of virtual medical consulting is that Dr. Sasha is available to support your journey back to health and you don’t have to wait for an in-person visit to get advice, support, and treatment.


Your Baby’s Digestive Health

Before getting into the details about the digestive health of infants, I’ll start with a personal story since it’s a great entry point into discussing the fascinating world of wee’ babies and their wee’ gut microbiomes. It’s a birth story, so if you’re not a fan just move on to the links below for more information.

The Arrival of The Pooties: September 2012

My labor started with a splash (literally) and moved along faster and furiously than the average labor. I don’t mean to imply that it was any more difficult than any other’s labor, but because it progressed so quickly there was no adjusting to the various stages and within an hour I went from shopping for sweatpants at the Goodwill to losing language. Thankfully, my inner athlete took over and I labored with the kind of intense, unwavering focus of a tied soccer match between the daughers of the Capulets and Montagues, with only 10 minutes to go, and an 8 pound human squeezing its way through the birth canal. (My metaphors typically impress, thank you.)

An hour or so later, after careful watch of all the beeps and blips of various monitors, my midwife made the call for a c-section. She squatted down to look me in the eye, put a hand on my shoulder, and announced, “She’s not coming out the old-fashioned way.”

Because I trusted my midwife and knew she wouldn’t advocate for an unnecessary intervention, I offered her a long grunt that I hoped would translate as, “F*****k!!!…….But, okay.”

10 minutes later I was wheeled away for surgery.

A little while later, my daughter was born via c-section. She was a chalky gray-blue color and making feeble, soggy cries. The doc whisked her away and I stared into space, spinning in the center of a giant wave of resignation. This was not how I planned on welcoming my daughter into the world. Yet, somehow, even more potent than my disappointment in having an emergency c-section was the sudden embodied understanding that my life had changed forever. I was both thankful for my daughter’s arrival and terrified by this sudden evaporation of Child-Free Lauren. Some parents experience this change slowly, throughout the pregnancy and into infancy. Mine happened on the operating table.

But back to my waterlogged daughter.  She had swallowed a bunch of meconium (the first baby poo) on her journey and now had a lung infection. Within a couple of hours of birth, my daughter was nested in an incubator, IV antibiotics pumping through her veins to my horror and my relief. The markers that showed infection were high, but the antibiotics began to work within 24 hours. Her infection slowly but surely cleared up.

There were highlights to my birth experience that I’d be remiss to neglect. During the first 48 hours upon her arrival, she was fed colostrum through a syringe, was serenaded by her dad and his guitar, and held tightly the various, gloved pinky fingers of family who adored her. In the meantime, I did my best to calm the waves of anxiety that overtook me as I adjusted to the disappointment of missing out on the initial skin-to-skin contact that I had read so much about, as well as to the other uncomfortable realities of a c-section (like trying to poo, and worrying about how the drugs I was taking might affect my breast milk). The thing that got me really good, though, was recalling exactly what antibiotics can do to the gut. If I ruminated on the fact that antibiotics were now an integral part of her introduction into the world, I would begin to panic, and would have to yank on the gears of my brain until I could refocus on the fact that they may just be saving her life.

(If this story is creating anxiety, I should say now – keep reading. There’s a practical, helpful ending.)

Section 4A of Pootie’s legitimate fan club.

In just a few days, she weaned off of supplemental oxygen and we transitioned her from the warmth of her incubator to the warmth of my own skin, and upon our first legit snuggle, we immediately formed (what felt like) an indestructible crystalline bond. This mewly bundle of suckling need was my newborn daughter! Watch out world! Happily, she thought my boobs were great, and my boobs thought she was great, too. It was true love.

Anyway, here’s the point of this post. Though she recovered fully from her lung infection, my daughter did not thrive in infancy. From the age of 3 days to 6 months, she projectile vomited about 70 percent of everything that she ate, which was exclusively breast milk. She was a gaunt-faced, odd-complected, PootiePoots at 2 months, with eyes that would bulge almost out of her head before she’d toss back all the milk that I had just served up. She went through 5-10 onesies a day. She could only sleep upright, which meant that I propped myself with pillows for many, many slumbers and she slept on my chest. By 5 months, she had gained a little weight but still flung her milk if you moved her the wrong way.  Her dad and I did our best to remain at the periphery of Totally Strung Out. When we’d dabble in crossing over into Totally Strung Out and threaten to sit down and stare at our toes forever, some family member would take her from our arms and demand that we go take a nap.

Healing the Gut: Treating Reflux and Other Digestive Issues in Infants and Children

In retrospect, I better understand what was happening, and though I did my best as a parent (who was trying to be a practitioner, too, even though you’re not supposed to do that, but whatever), there were actually a couple of things that I would have done differently.

Upon birth, a newborn’s digestive system is in the midst of the process of blossoming (and will continue to blossom for the next couple of years). The antibiotics that my daughter needed –  though they did exactly what they were meant to do and for that I’m thankful – put out the “pilot light” of her digestion, according to the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Her reflux was truly insane. I’m talking, like, a four foot reach (considered a “reversal of Stomach qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine, combined with Spleen cold-dampness). We never used drugs to treat her reflux, just experimentation and patience. Thankfully, we had a D.O. who answered all of our questions with wisdom and compassion, and never urged us to try drugs.

In the end, I suspect it was a combination of probiotics, acupressure, and the passing of time that solved the issue. She stopped tossing her cookies a dozen times a day. Her digestive center worked out its kinks, and she began to thrive. (The two probiotics that I used were Baby’s Jarro-Dophilis+FOS Powder and Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Infant Formula. We carry both brands in our online store, if you’re interested.)

So, what would I have done differently?

These 3 articles wrap up the kind of knowledge I wish I’d had at the time, but didn’t.

The Human Microbiome: considerations for pregnancy, birth and early mothering

Scientists Swab C-Section Babies With Mother’s Microbes

How to Treat Acid Reflux in Baby’s Without Using Drugs

Also, check out this research.

Lastly, and this is a bit off the subject, but I wanted to share the book that I used the most in the first couple years of my daughter’s life, to treat everything from colds to ear infections to confusing-colored poo. It also makes a great gift for new parents and/or caretakers.