IBS and all that poo!

IBS and all that poo!

Diarrhoea Constipation Pain Cramps Piles Lethargy Nausea Wind Flatulence

I have suffered with Irritable Bowel Syndrome most of my adult life.  Like many of you out there I`ve attempted numerous times to ascertain the triggers with little insight and no joy.  As more information is discovered about this insidious disorder – the pieces are slowly falling into place.

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS forms part of a group of  illnesses called functional diseases of the gut. This means that there is nothing wrong with the structure of the gut, however how it works is questionable. Why is this relevant ? mainly because there are no laboratory or readily available diagnostic tests at the GP s disposal to diagnose it. A plain X ray will be normal as will most blood / stool samples – however a bout of IBS will leave you in agony and probably not willing to leave the house for fear of an embarrassingly explosive episode whilst desperately seeking the nearest toilet.

WHY?

There are numerous theories as to why some people develop functional bowel disorders.  They range from “leaky gut” to stress to allergies to spanx! Its probable that all these factors may play a part in causing all or some of your symptoms. But I would like to touch on a couple:

“Leaky gut” was always considered  nonsense by conventional science – something that alternative practitioners made up to explain away various diverse vague symptoms. However I was pleased to see whilst doing a Google Scholar search that some of these same conventional practitioners have now decided it may be a real problem after all. By changing the name to “intestinal permeability” this has meant further research is being done in this field and some interesting results are emerging.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856434/

The next thing I wanted to mention is bacteria – both good and bad! Part of the digestive process relies on bacteria to breakdown and digest food – these bacteria are unique to you and evolve throughout your life. Many things including diet , alcohol & medication, can disrupt the delicate balance between the good and bad bacteria.  This is an interesting new area of research which is now starting to show that this bacterial soup can have wide ranging affects. From the immune system to mood and of course those pesky digestive symptoms. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112904/

WHAT?

So what can you do about it – as so many things can play a part in this disease – it will always be a complicated treatment plan. When consulting a herbalist –

  • It s important that you get a full medical examination.
  • This should include a detailed diet history, and any medication which you have taken in the past.
  • The illnesses and vaccinations you had as a child are also pertinent.
  • You should also look into your stress and anxiety levels.

Once we have a complete picture of the causes, I will plan with you how to progress. This will possibly include:

  • dietary modifications
  • stress/anxiety advice
  • supplements
  • blood tests
  • and of course herbal medicine.

If you would like to discuss your bowel problems and for more answers – email me here or just go ahead and make a booking!