My Secrets to Curing IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- cramping and pain in your abdomen;
- bloating and gassiness;
- changes in bowel habits;
- diarrhea or constipation, or both alternately;
- immediate need to move your bowels when you wake up in the morning or during or after meals;
- relief of pain after bowel movements; or
- mucus in your stool;
and all of your medical tests are “normal”, then you have irritable bowels, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. You are not alone. More than six million Canadians suffer with the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) every year. In fact, digestive problems account for one out of every three visits to a medical doctor.
The underlying causes of IBS are varied, including deficiencies of digestive enzymes, underlying infections such as parasites and yeast, hidden food allergies, spinal misalignments, stress and buried emotions.
First, let’s talk about the digestive tract. Fundamentally, we are what we eat or, even better, we are what we absorb. One key aspect of digestion is enzymes. Many people suffer from enzyme deficiencies. For example, deficiencies of the enzymes cellulase and lactase are associated with abdominal pain, cramping, gas, bloating and diarrhea. An easy way to remedy enzyme deficiency is to take a broad spectrum digestive enzyme supplement with every meal. There are many digestive enzyme formulas on the shelves of health food stores. The best formulas have at least 8 different ingredients listed on the label.
Further down the digestive tract lives our “good” bacteria, or probiotics. We should have over 400 different species of probiotics in our body which, in fact, adds up to about four pounds worth. These “good” guys help us in many ways: they make some of our vitamins; they help us detoxify chemicals; and they are a major portion of our defense system against foreign invaders, such as parasites, yeast and bad bacteria. The key then is to add a probiotic supplement daily. Again, like the enzymes, you want a formula that has many strains of “good” bacteria – at least five.
Hidden Food Allergies
The next thing to consider is hidden food allergies. These are often a compounding factor for people with IBS. The top hidden food allergies are: dairy, eggs, corn, soy, wheat/gluten, citrus and yeast. They are called “hidden” because they often do not cause an immediate reaction. In fact, the reaction can occur up to three days later. One way to test yourself for food allergies is simply to eliminate a particular food for an entire week, add it back into your diet and see what happens. Again, the reaction is often not an immediate one so pay careful attention for any changes up to 72 hours later. It can be a slow process but very rewarding in the end.
Spinal misalignments can also contribute to IBS. Your nervous system controls everything in your body. The nerves that control the colon come out of the spine in the lower back region. So it is within reason that a misalignment in the lower back can change the nerve communication to the bowels and thereby cause them to be overactive (diarrhea) or under active (constipation). The best practitioners to assess spinal function are chiropractors. Personally, I have had clients whose IBS responded very well with chiropractic alone.
Lastly, stress and buried emotions definitely contribute to IBS. Most people with IBS know that the more stress they are under, the more their bowels act up. Part of this is due to the direct effect stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, have on the bowels. The other part of this equation is emotions from the past that have been swallowed down and buried deep in the body. We can all agree that there is a connection between the mind and body, and a great way to address this is with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT is a simple yet powerful way to release stress and emotional “baggage”. EFT instructions can be downloaded off the internet for free and practiced at home by anyone.
The causes of IBS are vast which can make it complicated to remedy, however, once the causes are found and corrected it can lead to tremendous changes in a person’s quality of life. Imagine: no more hunting for bathrooms; no more staying home in fear of an attack; and no more bathroom accidents. As I have been taught – find the cause, fix the cause! (And finally, prevent the cause!)
Take the Next Step:
Call our office today and talk to Dr. Carri directly to see if you are a good candidate for our IBS program.