Digestive Health Specialist in Sunshine Coast

Functional Medicine for Digestive Health on the Sunshine Coast

Digestive Health Specialist in Sunshine Coast: Your Key to a Healthy Gut and Well-being

Our digestive system plays a crucial role in our immune system. In fact, 70% of our immune system is found in our gut. Healthy digestion means that our body is better equipped to ward off various infections, thus preventing illnesses. Furthermore, proper digestion has a direct impact on our mental health. Research has demonstrated a connection between our gut and brain, with some even calling the gut the “second brain.” A well-functioning digestive system contributes to balanced emotions, enhanced mood, memory, and cognitive function.

Did you know that most Aussies will go through some form of digestive disorder in their lifetime? For some, this might involve mild discomfort or occasional bloating. However, for others, digestive health issues can have a significant impact on their quality of life, causing ongoing pain or disruption to everyday activities.

To help manage this, you need a digestive health specialist like Shelley Cavezza, PhD. With her expertise in functional medicine, immunology and nutrition and a passion for improving others’ health, Shelley Cavezza recognises the vital importance of good digestion in maintaining strong immunity and mental wellness.

Common Digestive Health Issues

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder affecting approximately one in five Australians. It is characterised by recurring symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, excessive gas, and changes in bowel movements (either diarrhea or constipation). Although the exact cause of IBS remains unknown, factors such as dietary triggers, gut microbiome diversity, lack of physical activity, and stress can contribute to its development. Treatment options include managing lifestyle and diet, as well as medications to help relieve symptoms.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) represents a group of chronic conditions including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis that affect the lining of the digestive tract. These conditions can lead to severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fatigue, and weight loss. The exact cause of IBD is still not well understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. Conventional treatment for IBD typically includes medications to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms, as well as lifestyle changes, and in severe cases, surgery.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD, also known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (oesophagus), causing irritation and inflammation. Common symptoms include heartburn, regurgitation of food or sour liquid, difficulty swallowing, and chest pain. Conventional treatment options for GERD typically involve lifestyle changes, medications to reduce acid production, and in severe cases, surgery.

Food Sensitivities, Intolerances and Allergies

Food intolerances and allergies can cause digestive problems when the body has difficulty digesting or reacting to certain foods. Some common food sensitivities and intolerances include lactose, gluten, and fructose. Symptoms usually involve abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, or constipation. Treatment for food intolerances involves identifying the problematic food and eliminating or restricting it in the diet.

Constipation and Diarrhoea

Constipation is a common condition where bowel movements become less frequent and stools can become difficult to pass. Diarrhoea, on the other hand, is the opposite, with frequent and loose bowel movements. Both issues can be triggered by various factors including poor diet, dehydration, medications, and stress. Treatment generally involves dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as over-the-counter medications for temporary relief.


Diverticulitis is a condition where small pouches called diverticula that form in the walls of the large intestine become inflamed or infected. Symptoms may include lower abdominal pain, fever, and changes in bowel movements. Conventional treatment options for diverticulitis vary depending on the severity of the condition, ranging from antibiotics for mild cases to surgery for severe cases.

Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. These ulcers can be caused by long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, and excessive stomach acid. Symptoms include burning abdominal pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. Conventional treatment for peptic ulcers usually involves a combination of medications to reduce stomach acid, eradicate bacteria, and promote healing.

When to See a Functional Medicine Digestive Health Specialist: Warning Signs

The digestive system is a complex series of organs responsible for breaking down food and extracting the nutrients needed for our bodies to function correctly. When issues arise within this system, they can manifest in various ways like:

Persistent abdominal pain, bloating or digestive discomfort
Chronic constipation or diarrhoea
Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
Difficulty swallowing or a persistent sore throat
Blood in your stool or rectal bleeding
Regular episodes of heartburn or acid reflux
Persistent nausea or vomiting

While experiencing one or two of these symptoms occasionally might not mean there is a significant issue, it’s essential to pay attention to your body and seek professional advice when symptoms persist or worsen.

Shelley Cavezza, PhD - a Leading Expert in Functional Medicine Digestive Health Based on the Sunshine Coast

The extraordinary depth and breadth of education in nutrition and functional medicine and nutrition has equipped Shelley Cavezza, PhD – a Functional Medicine and Digestion Specialist on the Sunshine Coast, with exceptional skills to treat a wide range of digestive health issues. Shelley Cavezza, PhD specialises in several key areas of nutrition and digestive health.

Digestive Health Specialist Shelley Cavezza, PhD specialises in:

Gut Health

She has a strong focus on improving gut health through a variety of methods, understanding the vital role it plays in overall wellbeing.

Food Sensitivities

Having extensive knowledge in this area, Shelley Cavezza can guide clients in determining and managing potential food sensitivities, allergies and intolerance.

Nutrition Counselling

Through personalised consultations, she provides sound advice on how to achieve the right nutritional balance for one’s unique situation.

Microbiome Testing

Utilising state-of-the-art functional medicine testing, comprehensive microbiome analysis can effectively discern gut dysbiosis and assess the presence of ‘leaky gut.’ Through advanced diagnostic techniques, we can pinpoint imbalances in the gut microbial community and identify compromised intestinal barrier function.

Subsequently, a personalized diet and lifestyle plan can be meticulously crafted based on the specific findings, aiming to rectify dysbiosis and fortify the integrity of the intestinal barrier. This tailored approach seeks to optimize gut health, addressing underlying issues that may contribute to digestive issues and fostering a balanced and resilient microbiome for improved wellbeing.

With a commitment to personalised care and attention, Shelley Cavezza, PhD offers an array of services tailored to the specific needs of her clients. One of the key elements of Shelley Cavezza’s practice is her integrative approach to digestive health. She understands the importance of considering the whole person when formulating treatments, rather than focusing solely on symptoms. To achieve this, she draws from various related disciplines such as functional medicine, naturopathy and nutritional therapy.

By adopting this holistic mindset, Shelley Cavezza, PhD is able to provide her clients with well-rounded care and advice that considers the complexity and uniqueness of every individual’s health journey.

The Role of the Digestive Health Specialist in the Digestive Health Treatment and Support

Digestive health is an important aspect of overall health and wellbeing. Disorders related to digestion can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, affecting not only the physical body but also their mental and emotional state. Consulting a functional medicine digestive health specialist like Shelley Cavezza, PhD can provide a range of benefits in treatment and support.

Expertise in Treating Digestive Disorders

Functional Medicine Digestive health specialists have extensive knowledge and experience in treating a wide range of digestive disorders, from the common to the rare and complex. With this expertise, they are better equipped to identify the cause of your symptoms and recommend the most appropriate treatment options. In other words, by consulting a specialist, you are putting your digestive health in the hands of someone who has dedicated their professional career to understanding and addressing these issues.

Creating Personalized Treatment Plans

One of the key benefits of seeking help from a specialist like Shelley Cavezza, PhD, is the personalized approach to treatment. With a comprehensive understanding of your specific condition, including identifying its root cause, severity and your personal circumstances, a specialist can develop a tailor-made plan to address your specific symptoms and needs. This targeted and tailored treatment plan can prove more effective in addressing your particular digestive health concerns, resulting in better symptom management and a potential for quicker recovery.

Support with Dietary and Lifestyle Changes

To improve digestive health, it is often necessary to make adjustments to your diet and lifestyle. A functional medicine digestive health specialist can provide you with the support and guidance needed to make these changes, making it easier to stick to a new regimen and improve your overall well-being. This support can include advice on nutritional supplements, recommendations on healthier food choices, and guidance on stress management and exercise routines.

Access to Advanced Microbiome Testing and Treatment Options

By choosing to consult a functional medicine digestive health specialist, you gain access to a range of testing and treatment methods that may not be available through a general practitioner. Functional Medicine specialists stay informed about the latest advancements in their field, ensuring that they can provide you with the most up-to-date and effective treatments and advice. Furthermore, they often work closely with other medical professionals and specialists to provide a comprehensive approach to your care.

Better Management of Symptoms and Overall Quality of Life

Ultimately, the main benefit of consulting a functional medicine digestive health specialist like Shelley Cavezza, PhD, is the more efficient and effective management of your symptoms. With individualized treatment plans, and access to expert advice for lifestyle changes, your digestive health can be significantly improved. This not only makes day-to-day life more comfortable but also results in an overall better quality of life, both physically and emotionally.

Consulting a functional medicine digestive health specialist can provide numerous benefits for those seeking to resolve their gastrointestinal issues. With their extensive expertise, personalized treatment plans, support for dietary and lifestyle changes, and access to advanced testing and treatments, a specialist can offer a comprehensive and effective approach to managing digestive disorders and improving overall well-being. Take control of your gut health today by reaching out to Shelley Cavezza, PhD. Start your journey towards optimal digestive wellness. Remember, there is no need to suffer in silence.

Digestive Health Specialist on the Sunshine Coast

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