There is great help for irritable bowel syndrome.
Don’t go without it.
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a common condition that presents with a combination any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, hypersecretion of the colonic mucus, flatulence, nausea or anorexia, and varying degrees of anxiety or depression. Many other conditions may mimic the symptoms of IBS and should be ruled out by your doctor. The causes for IBS are not completely clear, but a physiological, psychological and dietary factors have all been linked to this condition.
Treatment Consideration of IBS:
1) Increase dietary fiber
2) Eliminate allergic/intolerant foods
3) Address psychological components
4) Include use of herbal/nutritional therapies
I. Dietary fiber:
A change in ones diet can be curative in IBS. Dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates (foods found in their whole form that have not been refined) are useful in normalizing bowel function. Patients with diarrhea may be aggravated with the initial introduction of dietary fiber. The best types of fiber to include are water-soluble fiber found in vegetables, fruits, oat bran, guar, legumes (beans and peas), and psyllium seed powder.
Wheat and other grains are an excellent form of fiber but very often implicated in malabsorptive and allergic conditions.
Research shows a high correlation between patients with IBS and food allergies and/or single or multiple intolerances. Roughly two thirds of patients have some type of food intolerance or allergy. Therefore, it is imperative that patients address these causes and eliminate the offending agents. There are a variety of tests that may be used to determine which foods are involved including IgE/IgG RAST, EAV evaluation, and blood serotyping. The gold standard of testing involves the use of a 6 week elimination diet, during which time a hypoallergenic diet is followed. After 6 weeks, foods are reintroduced one at a time every 3 days. If symptoms worsen or return, that food should not be eaten.
The presence of candida can complicate the picture for patients with IBS and may be associated with IBS. Candida is a type of yeast normally found in the GI tract, but may become out of balance and overgrow, especially after the use of antibiotics.
III. Psychological Components
Most patients with IBS complain of some mental/emotional problems such as depression, insomnia, fatigue, and anxiety. Increased contractions of the colon have been shown to occur in patients with IBS in response to stressful situations. Various methods of treatment that may be helpful include biofeedback, short-term individual counseling, or guided imagery. Appropriate physical exercise is also helpful.
IV. Herbal/Nutritional Supplements
Research has found a number of botanical and nutritional supplements helpful in the treatment of IBS. Peppermint oil has been used to inhibit GI contractions and relieve abdominal pain and gas. Enteric coated peppermint oil capsules deliver the herb to the stomach and bypass the small intestine. Carminatives, demulcents and antispasmodics are the categories of herbs that have been used to treat the symptoms of IBS. aid in decreasing gas, demulcents soothe the intestinal lining and decrease inflammation, and antispasmodics decrease the intestinal cramping and spasms. Examples of these include chamomile, valerian, rosemary, slippery elm, and lemon balm.
Nutritional supplements such as glutamine, beta-carotene, and zinc aid in the healing of the intestinal mucosa are also important to include in the treatment of IBS.
V. Dietary Recommendations
Foods to Include:
• Baked apples • Potatoes
• Steamed/baked vegetables all kinds • Brown rice
• Millet • Oatmeal
• Soy beans, split peas, lentil • Kidney beans
• Spelt flour products • Oat bran
Foods to Avoid
• Raw foods • Vinegar
• Spicy foods, peppers (red & black) • Coffee, black tea
• Alcohol • Mustard
• Cheese • Milk
• Beef • Pork
• Wheat flours (includes white flour) • Sugar and sugar desserts
Of course this is not the whole answer, but it is a place to start. The healthier you can be, the healthier you will feel.
Everyone is different. Each person has a way of displaying their gut pain and irritable bowel symptoms.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Brown is highly skilled at helping people take control of their stomach, small intestine and large intestine pain.
The relationship to your heath is in your hands so give us a call today.
If you would like additional information on holistic irritable bowel syndrome support, schedule an appointment today. Call the office at (970-889-3451). You do not have live local to get the help you need.