Don't keep secrets from your doctor

You could have the best doctor in the world -- but he can't help you if you don't tell him what's wrong.

Yet every day, patients leave the clinic -- even my clinic -- without mentioning certain problems because they're just too embarrassed.

Often, it's a sex problem such as erectile dysfunction. But if there's anything people like to talk about even less than sex problems it's stomach issues such as constant diarrhea, gastrointestinal pain or chronic gas.

And if you're suffering from one of these problems in silence (or as close to silence as possible when it comes to gas and diarrhea) you're hardly alone.

New numbers show that 3 in 4 Americans have some kind of stomach issues, but less than half ever mention it to the doctor.

And that's a mistake -- a huge mistake, for two reasons.

First, these stomach issues can be the warning signs of a serious problem inside the stomach, including bacterial imbalances, undiagnosed food allergies and diseases such as celiac, Crohn's and IBD.

Belly problems could even be a warning sign of problems in other parts of the body, including the pancreas.

And these conditions aren't just inconvenient, uncomfortable and embarrassing.

They could mean your body isn't digesting food correctly, and that you're not absorbing all the nutrients you need for good health. And if that's the case, you could have the perfect diet and take high-quality supplements and still suffer from nutritional deficiencies because your vitamins are going in one end... and out the other.

These stomach issues won't go away on their own -- and unless you tell your doctor, you could get worse, and suffer from even more serious conditions down the road.

The second reason you should stop being shy around your doctor is simple: Even when these problems aren't a warning sign of something more serious, there's no reason to suffer with them at all.

A good doctor can diagnose the problem, and help correct it naturally.

Often, a quality probiotic supplement will help restore balance to the stomach, improve digestion and get you back on track.

Other problems are a little trickier. I recommend getting tested by an experienced holistic physician -- and if you're in the Southern California area, you won't find anyone with more experience in digestive issues than me.

Contact my office for more information or to make an appointment. If you're not in the area, I'm also available for telephone consultations. You can schedule your own by calling 855-DOC-MARK.