IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS - What Is It?
IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder which encompasses a group of symptoms. A functional disorder means there is a problem with the function of a part of the body, with no gross structural abnormalities. Diagnosis is made by your GP based on symptoms.
There are no blood tests to diagnose IBS, however blood tests can be important to rule out other conditions such as Coeliac Disease.
What Can Be Done?
There is no clear cut cause of IBS, however what we do know is that the cause is most likely multifactorial, and these vary from person to person.
Stress - stress is a known aggrevator of IBS as it leads to overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system which interferes with the way food is digested. Stress is again different for every person, and stressors must be identified and remedied.
Food Intolerances. Many people notice that ingestion of certain food precedes their symptoms. The relationship between food sensitivity and IBS seems to be a vicious cycle as consuming food one is intolerant too causes further inflammation and pain, damaging the gut wall and leading to further mucosal hyper-permeability (leaky gut).
Infection - IBS can develop after a gastrointestinal infection. This is due to the infectious agents causing a disruption in the gut flora and mucosal inflammation and damage.
Dysbiosis (altered gut flora) - Gut flora is commonly altered in irritable bowel syndrome. Antibiotics, stress, non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral contraceptive pill, and poor diet will all damage good gut bacteria. This alteration in gut flora may lead to overgrowth of the more harmful micro-organisms, and increased gut susceptibility.
What We Do
At Advanced Naturopathics our approach is to investigate the factors that are contributing to your symptoms. The treatment protocol will most often be multi-factorial. Clinical evaluations together with functional and standard pathology testing are often required to determine the contributing factors. We look to finding the causes, but also to obtaining relief of the symptoms in the short term. Your protocol may include: