IBS – A Very Real Condition

IBS is a very real problem for many Americans. It’s estimated that 60 million Americans have IBS. Yet Western medicine does not have many answers.

Many doctors call IBS a “psychosomatic” disease. It is not psychosomatic. I’m sure the millions of Americans experiencing severe symptoms of IBS would agree. Typically, people experience bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and pain.

Doctors recommend fiber, anti-spasm drugs, or antidepressants when nothing helps. You know that these treatments don’t work, because they don’t treat the cause of why your digestion isn’t working.

Your digestion may be imbalanced due to a number of factors. Antibiotics, anti-infammatory drugs like aspirin or Advil, steroids, intestinal infections, a low fiber and high sugar diet, alcohol, gluten and more can cause an actual breakdown of your gut lining. This compromise leads to an immune response, and before you know it, you have developed food allergies, your intestinal ecosystem is out of whack, and your enteric nervous system is amped up.

What Can You Do?

  1. Get tested for food allergies. Ask your naturopathic doctor for an IgG food allergy test and eliminate the foods that test positive for at least 6 weeks.
  2. If you’d rather not do the lab test, just do the test on yourself. Eliminate all of the most common food allergens: gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts, sugar and yeast. Reintroduce the foods one at a time after at least 6 weeks of abstinence.
  3. Populate your gut with good bacteria. Eat cultured foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kim chi and/or take a high quality probiotic (found only in the refrigerated section of your health food store).
  4. Try digestive enzymes with meals to help you break down your food more easily.
  5. Ask your naturopathic doctor which supplements can help heal the lining of your gut, such as glutamine, fish oil, zinc, vitamin A.

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