6 Natural Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome That Can Turn Your Life Around.
Dr Richard Hagmeyer Naperville IL NeuroMetabolic Solutions. Natural Treatment for IBS and Gastrointestinal Problems.
Although IBS is a complex issue requiring a comprehensive approach, I wanted to share some simple, basic, natural strategies that can be used by anyone looking for an alternative to the drugs that are usually prescribed for IBS. Today’s IBS sufferers are looking for so much more than simply treating symptoms. People are getting smarter and looking for answers. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that many people struggle with. Statistics show that one in ten Americans display the symptoms of IBS, accounting for more than 2 million prescriptions and 35,000 hospitalizations each year. It is also the second highest cause of work absenteeism after the common cold.
So How Do You Know If You Have IBS?
It’s important to realize that IBS is different from another condition that sounds very similar, namely inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis) is an autoimmune disease that can have very serious consequences. But Irritable Bowel Syndrome, even though it can cause debilitating pain, is a functional bowel disorder. In other words, there are no significant physical conditions that contribute to the problem; hence it’s a functional disease.
Common signs and symptoms include frequent:
- Abdominal discomfort and/or pain
- Spastic colon (spastic contractions of the colon)
Fortunately, there are some simple, basic strategies you can use as an alternative to the drugs that are typically prescribed, such as Metamucil, antispasmodics and antidepressants. These drugs may help control the symptoms but do nothing to address the underlying cause. In fact many times they can cause more problems.
#1 Avoid ALL sources of Gluten and Dairy —
Although this may be easier than said, Over the last 5 years, I have seen time and time again just how dangerous Gluten and Dairy can be for individuals who suffer with ANY kind of Gastrointestinal stress. I would bet that if you go gluten free and dairy free for one month you can expect to see a 20-50% improvement.
Most people understand this means avoiding all forms of wheat, but you also need to be aware that there are many other hidden sources of gluten in your diet. This is where we can help identify these hidden sources with highly specialized testing.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, but it’s also found in other grains such as:
#2 Get checked for Parasites and Gastrointestinal Dis-biosis —
Parasites you might be thinking, I thought that only happens in third world countries. I can’t begin to tell you how often we see all sorts of pinworms, Giardia, hookworms, flukes, and downright ugly stuff on specialized Functional Stool Tests we use in the office. If this is the case, you need to be treated as soon as possible.
#3 Tailor your diet to your personal biochemistry —
Here is where I recommend food sensitivity testing, testing for leaky gut, and gluten cross reactive foods. These kinds of tests an often take all the guesswork out of what foods you can and can’t eat. Naturally, you’ll want to pay close attention to your diet. Ideally, you’ll want to eat as close to how we ate 10,000 years ago before we consumed all these processed foods and manmade sugars. You have specific nutritional needs that are based on your personal biochemistry, metabolism, and genetic makeup. This is where working with a natural health care practitioner is a huge key. A Paleo diet, or following a FODMAP diet can help tremendously FODMAPS? I didn’t give it the name, just click on the link when you’re done reading THIS article)
It’s important to realize that if you don’t eat a diet that is suitable for you, you’re likely to suffer health challenges, and a spastic colon is one possibility.
#4 Increase Good bacteria in your gut —
It’s also important to make sure you have enough healthy bacteria in your gut. You can get healthy bacteria from a high quality probiotic supplement and making you own fermented foods. Stay away from yogurt- its sugar, its dairy it’s off the list. Go back and read #1!
Now, once you lower the amounts of sugar, processed foods in your diet, eliminated grains, taking probiotics and restored gut barriers you’re automatically creating the environment that will support the growth of good bacteria and diminish growth of bad bacteria. Be patient and consistent. Some cases of IBS can take 12 months or more of being consistently “clean”.
#5 The Importance of real fiber (not Metamucil) –
Taking additional fiber can also be very helpful to control IBS symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea. Fiber such as psyllium tends to be particularly helpful, and is my personal favorite. Think of it like a brush for your intestines.
Psyllium is adaptogenic fiber, meaning if you’re constipated it will soften your stool and help increase your bowel frequency, and if you have loose stools and frequent bowel movements, it will help with stool formation and decrease the frequency of bowel movements.
If you decide to use psyllium, make sure it is organic as nearly all the products out there are not, and the damage from the pesticide residue in most of the products far outweigh the benefit you would receive from the fiber itself. Metamucil is a classic non-organic psyllium.
Another good fiber is whole, organic flax seed. Flax is a good source of plant based ALA (omega 3’s) You can take a few table spoons of freshly ground flax seed per day. You might have to be careful here if you have SIBO.
#6 Chiropractic Care as an Alternative Treatment to IBS
There have not been any studies that prove chiropractic treatment helps IBS, but it is becoming an increasingly popular alternative treatment for the disorder. Many patients report that spinal adjustments has helped their IBS symptoms considerably. Chiropractic treatment is known to not only restore balance to the body, but also to reduce stress, and reduce the fight or flight response which is one of the many culprits of IBS symptoms. Most insurance companies now cover chiropractic treatment, as well.
Why Chiropractic Treatment Works
Spinal adjustments provide a balancing effect on the nerves associated with the intestinal tract. The spinal cord houses the nerves for the stomach and the entire digestive system. When nerve supply is altered, it must be restored in order for the body to function properly.
Best of all Chiropractic Care is also a form of treatment that does not come with side effects, like medications such as antispasmodics, antidepressants do.
Our office utilizes nutritional supplements, Dietary modifications, Nutritional Counseling, Advanced Testing, Hormone and endocrine support formula, and lifestyle guidance.
Our Personal IBS and Leaky Gut Recovery Program Is A Great place To Start
The Personal Program IBS Recovery Program is a Natural Treatment for IBS and other GI related problems. Our office utilizes nutritional supplements, Dietary modifications, Hormone and endocrine support formula, and lifestyle guidance.
- To Schedule a Free 15 minute Phone Consult to see if this program is right for you Fill out our online questionnaire.
- If you’re ready to get started and schedule an appointment take a moment and fill out our contact us form and in the comment box let us know what time of the day works best to contact you. One of our New Patient Coordinators will contact you with the next available new patient opening within 24-48 hours.
- Still have questions? Our Free 15 minute personalized Phone consult is a great place to start.
We’re here to listen and help you through this frustrating and confusing time.
Other article by Dr. Hagmeyer You Will be Interested In Reading
- A special message from Dr Hagmeyer about IBS, Leaky Gut and our Natural Approach
- FODMAPS What Are they and How the elimination of them Can Help Many IBS sufferers.
- Suspect a lactose intolerance? Learn more about where lactose is hiding in your everyday foods
- 7 Things About Acid Reflux, Gluten and IBS You Don’t Know.
- Standard Testing for Gluten Intolerance is Misleading. What you need to know about Gluten and proper testing.
- Natural IBS Symptom Relief 10 Keys To Better GI Health| Hormones and (IBS) Irritable Bowel Syndrome.