Mental Wellness 10 tips
IBS is a condition that I see a lot in patients. For years it was dismissed by GP’s, as you can see below it has no definitive known cause.
In my experience it appears to dominate in women. I take it very seriously as it oftens highlights underlying traumatic events that have not been dealt with.
I have presented the Conventional medicine method so you know what to expect from that approach.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
By Stephanie M. Moleski , MD, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Last full review/revision Sep 2020| Content last modified Sep 2020
“Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by recurrent abdominal discomfort or pain with at least two of the following characteristics: relation to defecation, association with a change in frequency of stool, or association with a change in consistency of stool. The cause is unknown, and the pathophysiology is incompletely understood. Diagnosis is clinical. Treatment is symptomatic, consisting of dietary management and drugs, including anticholinergics and agents active at serotonin receptors.
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unknown. No anatomic cause can be found on laboratory tests, x-rays, and biopsies. Emotional factors, diet, drugs, or hormones may precipitate or aggravate gastrointestinal symptoms. Historically, the disorder was often considered as purely psychosomatic. Although psychosocial factors are involved, IBS is better understood as a combination of physiologic and psychosocial factors.
A variety of physiologic factors seem to be involved in IBS symptoms. These factors include
Altered intestinal motility
Increased intestinal sensitivity (visceral hyperalgesia)
Various genetic and environmental factors
Visceral hyperalgesia refers to hypersensitivity to normal amounts of intraluminal distention and heightened perception of pain in the presence of normal quantities of intestinal gas; it may result from remodeling of neural pathways in the brain-gut axis. Some patients (perhaps 1 in 7) have reported their IBS symptoms began after an episode of acute gastroenteritis (termed post infectious IBS). A subset of patients with IBS has autonomic dysfunctions. However, many patients have no demonstrable physiologic abnormalities, and, even in those who do, the abnormalities may not correlate with symptoms.
Constipation may be explained by slower colonic transit, and diarrhea may be explained by faster colonic transit. Some patients with constipation have fewer colonic high amplitude-propagated contractions, which propel colonic contents over several segments. Conversely, excess sigmoid motor activity may retard transit in functional constipation.
Postprandial abdominal discomfort may be attributed to an exaggerated gastro-colonic reflex (the colonic contractile response to a meal), the presence of colonic high amplitude-propagated contractions, visceral hyperalgesia, or a combination of these factors. Fat ingestion may increase intestinal permeability and exaggerate hypersensitivity. Ingestion of food high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (collectively called FODMAPs) are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and may increase colonic motility and secretion.
Hormonal fluctuations affect bowel functions in women. Rectal sensitivity is increased during menses but not during other phases of the menstrual cycle. The effects of sex steroids on gastrointestinal transit are subtle. The role of small-bowel bacterial overgrowth in IBS is controversial.
Psychologic distress is common among patients with IBS, especially in those who seek medical care. Some patients have anxiety disorders, depression, or a somatization disorder. Sleep disturbances also coexist. However, stress and emotional conflict do not always coincide with symptom onset and recurrence. Some patients with IBS seem to have a learned aberrant illness behavior (ie, they express emotional conflict as a gastrointestinal complaint, usually abdominal pain). The physician evaluating patients with IBS, particularly those with refractory symptoms, should investigate unresolved psychological issues, including the possibility of sexual or physical abuse. Psychosocial factors also affect the outcome in IBS.”
In my practice if you came to me with IBS, I would of course take a full history, past medical and cover all body systems but I would spend to understand your emotional wellbeing and health. It's very likely that I would prescribe some to help alleviate your anxiety. I would encourage you to include weekly sessions of exercise, very gentle exercise and meditation.
I would introduce you to the FODMAP diet to help relieve your digestive symptoms and also include digestive support.
Chamomile tea comes into its own in IBS relief; it's a carmative and anti-inflammatory herb so calms the spasms in the gut and helps reduce inflammation. As always seek out the best quality Chamomile tea from a Herbalist of your local health food store. Marigold is another simple but effective herb
IBS while on the surface seems to be such a minor condition actually is the key for herbalists to uncover a range of challenges that are holding back the patient in all areas of their life.
My three month life edit is the perfect coaching tool for someone troubled with IBS to work with me through to get to unravel the causes from the past to close that door and shape a bright new future that includes having IBS under control
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