gastrointestinal disorders gi issues seattle nutritionistGastrointestinal (GI) Disorders

Nutritional Counseling & Functional Medicine Approach

According to the NIH, digestive disorders are estimated to affect 60 to 70 million Americans. Digestive complaints are some of the most common in the country, and at some point or another, everyone has suffered a digestive issue.

But what does it actually mean to have a gastrointestinal disorder?

Your digestive tract is the open tube running from your mouth to your anus, and is involved with all parts of digestion, absorption, assimilation and elimination of food and nutrients.

Digestion starts in your mouth where the act of chewing combines food with salivary amylase and starts the digestion of carbohydrates. From there the food travels to your stomach, where parietal cells release hydrochloric acid, lowering the pH of the food and starting to unwind proteins for breakdown. The food then travels to the small intestine, triggering the release of enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the gallbladder. From there, the majority of the food is chopped up by enzymes, and nutrients are absorbed all along the small intestinal tract. Anything that’s left then travels to the large intestine or colon, where our bacteria or microbiome go to work, finishing digestion, and residual byproducts are released in the form of stool.

At any point along this path, physiological processes can go wrong, resulting in persistent uncomfortable symptoms or a full-blown diagnosed disorder.

Symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Belching
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain

Commonly diagnosed digestive diseases:

  • Heartburn
  • Irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s or Colitis)
  • Diverticulitis
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Gallstones
  • Candida
  • Food allergies/sensitivities

Our Approach

Whether you’re walking in the door with generalized digestive upset or a diagnosed condition, the nutritionists at Starkel Nutrition can help. As practitioners of functional medicine, we specialize in getting to the root cause of digestive disorders because no one should have to suffer uncomfortable, and often embarrassing, symptoms. We use a variety of modalities including diet and symptom diaries, food eliminations, supplements and laboratory testing to identify and often eradicate your issues.

Gastrointestinal disorders are some of the most complicated conditions to analyze and treat, and our nutritionists walk with you every step of the way, providing personalized nutrition support and education. If one approach doesn’t work, we will try again and again until we figure it out. Whether you’re suffering from persistent diarrhea of an unknown cause or have been diagnosed with SIBO and need a diet to support your treatment plan, we are ready to work with you to assist you through your diet and lifestyle changes.


Call us today at 206.853.0534 and schedule an appointment with one of our gastrointestinal disease nutrition specialists.

Awesome team of providers!!! I have been trusting them with my nutritional goals for the past year and have learned so much. Their knowledge and patience are beyond measure. They are an incredible resource!

Tracey M.