IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Dr. Nancy Doreo
“It is estimated that one in five adult Americans have symptoms of IBS...”ALTH
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an inflammatory intestinal condition and the most common digestive disorder seen by physicians. It is estimated that one in five adult Americans have symptoms of IBS, although fewer than half of them seek help for it. Twice as many women suffer from the condition than men. This disorder is also sometimes called intestinal neurosis, mucous colitis, spastic colitis, or spastic colon.
The normally rhythmic muscular contractions of the digestive tract become irregular and uncoordinated with IBS. This interferes with the normal movement of food and waste materials, and leads to malabsorption of nutrients and the accumulation of mucous and toxins in the intestine. This accumulated material sets up a partial obstruction of the digestive tract, trapping gas and stools, which in turn causes bloating, distention(abdomen protruding outward), and constipation. IBS may affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the colon.
Symptoms of IBS may include constipation and/or diarrhea (often alternating), abdominal pain, mucous in the stools, heartburn, nausea, flatulence, bloating, anorexia, and intolerances to certain foods which irritate the delicate lining of the intestinal tract. Pain is often triggered by eating, and may be relieved by a bowel movement. Often bowel movements will feel incomplete. Because of the pain, diarrhea, nausea, and sometimes severe headaches and even vomiting, a person with IBS may dread eating or have reduced appetite. Whether or not an individual with IBS eats normally, malnutrition and malabsorption may result. Because of this, people with IBS
require as much as 30 percent more protein than normal, as well as an increased intake of minerals and trace elements and fluids, which can quickly be depleted by diarrhea.
Various other symptoms may also occur, such as heartburn, back pain, weakness, faintness, agitation, tendency to tire easily, and heart palpitations. There are no physical signs of the disease in bowel tissue with this disorder, and its cause is not well understood. We might see water retention, dark puffy bags under the eyes and bad breath. Some scientists find virus or bacteria may play a role. Lifestyle factors such as stress and diet are likely common causes. The overuse of antibiotics, antacids, or laxatives, which disturb the vital balance of bacterial microflora of the bowel, may also be a factor. Many other diseases can be related to IBS, including candidiasis, colon cancer, diabetes mellitus, gallbladder disease, malabsorption disorders, pancreatic insufficiency, ulcers, and the parasitic infections amebiasis and giardiasis.
Over 100 different disorders may be linked to the systemic effects of IBS. One disorder that
is linked in 25 percent of adults with IBS is arthritis, usually peripheral arthritis, which affects the ankles, knees, and wrists. Less frequently, the spine is affected. IBS can also be related to skin disorders. Some people with IBS have abnormalities in the levels of liver enzymes in their blood. A combination of applied kinesiology and lab work can get to the bottom of this condition.
Lifestyle changes, diet, adjusting, soft tissue manipulation, nutritional supplements, herbs and dietary changes can go a long way to settling the irritable bowel situation. Get in and get help.