Recently a woman came into my clinic seeking treatment for IBS. You wouldn’t believe what she discovered.
She suffered with severe digestive pain, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and fatigue. She also experienced headaches and brain fog.
After doing a comprehensive naturopathic health analysis including a food intolerance test I advised her that she was highly intolerant to eggs. This came as quite a shock as she ate eggs most days and LOVED them. I recommended that she eliminate eggs from her diet and that we use some nutritional supplements and probiotics to reduce the inflammation in her digestive system.
2 weeks later, after adhering to my recommendations, she came back and her irritable bowel syndrome symptoms were gone.
These types of results are fairly common if a full naturopathic health assessment is performed and the underlying drivers to a person’s inflammatory bowel disease are identified.
In the clinic I see a lot of people with digestive issues ranging from bloating, pain, increased flatulence, reflux, constipation and diarrhoea or medically diagnosed conditions such as Crohns, Colitis and Diverticulitis. However the most common medically diagnosed condition I see is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
IBS is a common chronic disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. Being a syndrome IBS is not a disease but a collection of symptoms that when presenting together form a syndrome or label which your GP can attach to your condition. The condition often involves recurrent symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and / or constipation.
IBS does not discriminate against age, sex, race or nationality. Contrary to belief, it can be experienced by almost anyone; including young children. IBS is not associated with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and does not increase the risk of colorectal cancer. This can make the condition difficult to treat, leaving the patient doubtful and without permanent remedy.
Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Conventional Treatment for IBS
Westernised treatment plans are broad and often designed to just ‘relieve’ symptoms. There is an array of medications that can be used to treat the symptoms of IBS; Fibre supplements, laxatives, anti-diarrheal medications, anti-spasmodic medications, antidepressant medications, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications can all provide some help for IBS sufferers.
These may all be prescribed in the hope of counteracting the main symptoms a patient is experiencing. While these treatments may work they often have significant side effects. Additionally they are often masking the problem and are not addressing the underlying cause of the problem.
My Natural Approach for the Treatment of IBS
My treatment approach for IBS is holistic and tailored to each patient. I believe that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a series of imbalances in the body and that once we address these imbalances we can eliminate IBS and provide IBS relief.
I find the number one cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms is caused by eating foods that you are intolerant. I will use an in-house test designed to tell us the foods that you are intolerant to and the foods to avoid with IBS.
The 5 most common foods that should be avoided by people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are:
The elimination of the foods that you are intolerant too can help to reduce inflammation, pain, bloating and often corrects bowel issues. No more diarrhoea or constipation. Often you will experience an increase in energy levels, reduction of brain fog, headaches and muscle pain.
When you have been eating foods that you are intolerant to and also experienced other IBS symptoms your digestive tract will be irritated and inflamed making it hyper sensitive. I often use a supplement designed to reduce gut inflammation and soothe the membrane of the digestive tract. This brings further relief aiding in the repair and desensitisation of your digestive system.
The restoration of healthy gut bacteria is important to the body for optimal digestion. I will restore the good bacteria within your gut with a practitioner strength probiotic. There are many strains of friendly bacteria all of which perform different functions. I will select the right one for you depending on your symptoms and the function that I need the healthy good bacteria to perform.
Lastly I look at your levels of stress and anxiety. IBS is often driven by stress and anxiety … literally making our guts churn with worry. Supporting your stress levels can not only help reduce your IBS symptoms but can also increase your energy and vitality, reduce irritability and improve your body’s ability to cope with the stresses of every day life.
Addressing the main drivers of your IBS symptoms will eliminate the symptoms you are currently experiencing and will correct the imbalances to keep your IBS symptoms away permanently without the need for long term medication.