Symptoms & Outcomes:
- Both diarrhea and constipation
- Weight loss
- Leaky gut (intestinal permeability)
- Burning/bloating stomach
- Chronic stomach ulcers
- Anemia from intestinal bleeding
Current Common Mainstream Treatments:
- Anti inflammatory drugs
- Antispasmodic medications
- Low dose antidepressants (for properties pertaining to stomach pain, as a “side effect”)
Current Alternative Treatments & Diagnostic Testing:
- Nutritional support for Leaky Gut (Intestinal permeability)
- Lifestyle changes
- Dietary changes and customized nutritional counseling
- Functional blood chemistry testing (to test for food allergies and sensitivities that may be contributing factors)
- Trigger identification
- Full GI Panel (to test for bacteria, viruses, parasites, yeast overgrowth and unbalanced gut flora)
It is estimated that between 25 and 45 million Americans suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Of those 2 out of 3 sufferers is female. Onset of IBS can occur any time between adolescence and adulthood with no known cause at this time. That said, scientists and medical professionals believe the condition to be a disturbance in the interaction between the gut, brain and nervous system that can change the regulation of bowel motor and sensory function. In addition to the host of symptoms most sufferers experience, some patients can have coexisting disorders that exacerbate their IBS symptoms and others can show signs of altered gut immune activation, intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and even undesirable changes in gut bacteria.
The physical symptoms of IBS tend to make those with the condition not only physically uncomfortable but emotionally and socially, as well. Much time is missed from work and school, and “bathroom mapping” becomes part of making plans anytime the sufferer leaves the house. In total, IBS can have a giant, negative impact on quality of life for those with the condition.
That’s why, at Alternative Family Medicine & Chiropractic, we take a different approach to treating IBS. We work with each patient individually to identify triggers that make symptoms worse. We can and often do order food sensitivity testing and full GI panels that help identify yeast, parasites, bacteria, viruses and leaky gut, which contribute to food allergies. In fact, we find that nearly all IBS sufferers have gluten sensitivities they may not have known about. We then offer nutritional counseling to our patients to help ease the transition into dietary changes, based directly off their blood work, thus creating a completely custom treatment program. We also consider specific lifestyle modifications to help in the process. Herbal supplementation is often recommended, in particular, compounds that are anti-inflammatory in nature, instead of steroids that are often prescribed (but that often have many unwanted side effect themselves). We take treating IBS very seriously, because when left untreated IBS can be the first step toward other, more complicated autoimmune/GI disorders, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. We often find that when patients manage their IBS early on through the methods mentioned above, they begin to start feeling relief in as little as 4 weeks. Don’t suffer any longer – schedule your appointment today!