Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
IBS, as the name implies, is NOT a disease. It is a syndrome. Why do they call it a syndrome?
When there are tens of millions of people suffering with a group of symptoms and those symptoms are not easily confirmed with a specific lab test or by taking a specific medication, or even by following a specific protocol, that’s a syndrome, not a disease.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Popular IBS symptoms include:
- Bowel movement issues
- Loose stool
- Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
- Food sensitivities and food allergies
Symptoms indirectly associated with IBS include:
- Brain fog
- Memory issues
- Neck and back pain
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Anxiety or depression
Most people don’t realize the connection between their gut, their IBS symptoms and the “indirect” symptoms that are commonly experienced by IBS sufferers. After over two decades of clinical experience, I have come to understand that most of the above symptoms people come to me for are actually gut problems that are causing inflammation in the joints, muscles or even the brain. Virtually every chronic symptom that you suffer from can be tied back to the gut. The symptoms that you experience is your body doing its best to adapt to the irritated bowel.
What Causes IBS?
Here’s where some people get frustrated: There is no single cause of IBS, therefore there is no single solution that works for everyone. There are common causes though and your particular cause could be any or all of these:
- Stomach bug or infection (parasite, yeast, candida, virus, bacteria)
- Poor diet
- Food sensitivities or food allergies including those to gluten, dairy, and sugar
- Emotional stress, acute or chronic
- Genetic predispositions
- Medication side effects
Natural Solutions For IBS
- What do people try to get better?
- Diets: Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, vegan, ketogenic, juicing
- Supplements: Probiotics, digestive enzymes, herbs, digestive cleanses
- Stress relief: psychotherapy, meditation, exercise
All of these treatments can help but what I find most commonly is that people experiment with various diets, supplements and protocols but still don’t get the results they are looking for. Why is that? The main reason is that they have not sat down and set up a comprehensive plan that keeps in mind all of the causes of IBS and come up with a step-by-step approach to address them. There is simply more to it than telling you to “try this probiotic,” or “just stop eating gluten.”
This what I’ve been doing with patients for years:
- Analyze your gut through lab testing
- Get a comprehensive history of all of your issues and lifestyle habits
- Evaluate your stress levels and your ability to handle stress
- Evaluate your physical stresses and your level of physical fitness
- Discuss a plan that addresses all of the causes of your IBS
- Keep you compliant to a treatment plan with proper support
- Re-evaluate and adapt the plan as needed
Are you ready to treat your Irritable Bowel Syndrome holistically? Contact my office so we can get you better.