IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is the name given to describe a set of symptoms that affect the digestive tract, such as:
– Bloating and abdominal distension
– Abdominal discomfort
– Stomach pains and/or cramping
It is not a disease in itself, more a label for a set of unexplained symptoms. A HUGE percentage of my patients have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome at some point in their life. It is said to affect up to 20% of the population. Being diagnosed with IBS can be very frustrating, as the cause is unknown and there is no real treatment. IBS is often put down to stress or anxiety and while this is the case for some, there are many, many other causes that are often overlooked in the medical world.
I actually find the diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome quite amusing!
Off you go to the doctor to tell them about the irritated bowel symptoms that you are experiencing, like pains, cramping, diarrhoea, bloating or constipation and the doctor diagnoses you with just that- irritable bowel syndrome. Really, this is not a diagnosis for you at all- they are telling you what you already knew! Now you have a label for your symptoms, but often no help in dealing with the root cause of the digestive discomfort.
The truth is that there are many effective, natural treatments of IBS. The bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal pains can all be improved, but the trick is to identify the cause of the symptoms. This is where Naturopathic treatment is so effective. Once the triggers are identified you can gain good long term control of your symptoms. Possible causes of IBS include:
– Candida albicans (a type of yeast) infection
– Bacterial imbalance or ‘dysbiosis’
– Poor liver function
– Gall bladder dysfunction
– Low stomach acid and enzyme levels
– Food sensitivities or intolerances
– and very often missed, neural irritation from spinal misalignment