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Digestive Health

David Chang, ND, LAc

Naturopathic Physician & Acupuncturist located in Portland, OR

Good digestive health is crucial to your overall health and well-being. David Chang, ND, LAC, knows that digestive problems are often the first sign of another health concern. At his office in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Chang can test and treat a number of conditions related to digestive health, from food sensitivity to a leaky gut. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Chang, call the office or book an appointment online.

Digestive Health Q&A

Why is digestive health important?

Your digestive system breaks down nutrients that your body can absorb and use for energy, cell repair, and growth. When your digestive health is out of alignment, this process stops functioning properly, making it difficult for your body to absorb and use carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.


Because digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea often fluctuate, many patients don’t realize they’re experiencing digestive health problems until their condition has advanced.

What are the symptoms of digestive health problems?

Some of the most common digestive symptoms to watch out for include:


  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach cramps
  • Feeling full or heavy
  • Bloody stool
  • Acid reflux
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Difficulty swallowing


Depending on your condition, general fatigue, depression, or even acne can accompany digestive problems.

What are some common digestive health conditions?

Dr. Chang diagnoses and treats a number of digestive health conditions at his office, such as:

Leaky gut

Also called increased intestinal permeability, leaky gut is a digestive condition in which bacteria and other toxins begin penetrating the intestinal wall, which can allow them to enter the bloodstream.

Food allergies 

Food allergies are the body’s immune response to a certain food. For example, if you have a peanut allergy, you may suffer from severe reactions like anaphylaxis or hives when in contact with food that contains peanuts. Those with severe food allergies typically know about their reactions and carry an EpiPen® as a preventive measure.

Food sensitivity

Food sensitivity is more difficult to recognize and diagnose than an allergy. If you have a food sensitivity problem, such as gluten sensitivity or fructose sensitivity, your symptoms can be delayed for days after consumption. You may feel lethargic, bloated, gassy, or struggle to concentrate. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, Dr. Chang can run a food sensitivity test and create a treatment plan that works for you.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

The presence of an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine characterizes SIBO. It can cause severe diarrhea, weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, and malabsorption. 

H. pylori

  1. pylori is a type of bacteria that can invade your digestive tract and cause ulcers and sores in your stomach lining or upper area of your small intestine.

Candida overgrowth

Candida overgrowth occurs when you have too much yeast in your digestive system. This often leads to bloating, diarrhea, and chronic fatigue.

Enzyme deficiencies

There is often a link between food allergies and sensitivities to enzyme deficiencies. This means your body doesn’t produce enough of a certain enzyme to properly break down and absorb nutrients. 


It is also possible for a parasite to cause digestive health issues.


Dr. Chang analyzes your medical history, performs a physical exam, and discusses your symptoms before ordering the appropriate testing and recommending the right treatments for your digestive health.


To talk to David Chang, ND, LAC, about your digestive health, call the office or book an appointment online.