High Demand for Integration of Clinical Nutrition and Gastroenterology

Published Date: January 17th, 2012

Dr. Kahana’s goal is to teach his patients how not only to cure disease but also to prevent future disease and promote healthy aging by reducing dependency on medication. He has applied the principles of interventional medical nutrition to patients with diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation, food allergies, liver cirrhosis and liver failure.

Although this integrative approach to patient care is not completely unheard of among medical professionals, Dr. Kahana hopes to bolster what he sees as an insufficient cannon of American literature on the topic with his own case studies and publications currently in-progress. He has lectured on the methodology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he used to be an Assistant Professor and at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Patient and Family Conference.

“To be honest, I am barely keeping up with the demand for such an approach,” said Kahana. “People have been very accepting and very embracing,” he said, mentioning the increasing number of referrals for adult patients he has received since opening his clinic.

Dr. Kahana is Board-certified to practice Pediatric Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a medical degree from Tel Aviv University. He also completed Residency work at the University of Minnesota and Fellowship work in the areas of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at UCLA. Dr. Kahana left his teaching position at UCLA to pursue a life-long passion for medical nutrition. In addition to taking time to understand his practice and build the Center for Digestive Health and Nutritional Excellence, or CDHNE (which he pronounces “Sydney”), into a thriving business and resource for patients, Dr. Kahana performs endoscopy procedures at the medical centers of Providence Little Company and Torrance Memorial.

 “Patients are now getting their information from the internet,” said Kahana. “We need more doctors who are interested in coaching patients about which supplements to take and which supplements not to take.”

Dr. Kahana has committed himself to extra classes and ample self-education in order to train himself for this task. He maintains a very close, long-term relationship with patients who need care over an extended period of time to get healthy. He said that in these technology-driven times, patients are also looking for an alternate form of health care. He also said that he believes there is room within the field of gastroenterology for combining old and new techniques.

“[GI doctors] have gone too far in our management of disease and not health maintenance and preventative disease,” said Kahana, who thinks shifting focus will help to prevent gastrointestinal cancer.

Within the next few months, Dr. Kahana wants to relocate his practice and gain more traction for an integrative approach to gastroenterological medicine.