IBS: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, and Natural Remedies
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IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects approximately 25,000 to 45,000 million people in the United States. This is a common health condition that has an unknown cause, but doctors do know a lot more about this condition today and have more treatment options for patients suffering from the aggravating symptoms of IBS.
Dr. Tiffani Fries, from Genesis Chiropractic located in Salt Lake City, Utah, offers hope to patients struggling with the many symptoms that irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, causes on an ongoing and regular basis.
Her practice includes the utilization of functional medicine that seeks to treat the entire body and find root causes for symptoms to better manage and prevent occurrences of IBS flare-ups that can be exceptionally disruptive to a patient’s everyday life and well-being.
Defining What IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is
According to an online medical dictionary site, IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects both men and women.
IBS is characterized by abnormal bouts of gut contractions (motility) and increased gut sensations (visceral hypersensitivity) that can be characterized by abdominal discomfort/pain, excess gas, bloating, mucous in stools, and irregular bowel habits.
Patients with IBS will have abnormal and frequent bouts of constipation or diarrhea. Sometimes, there is an alternating pattern between diarrhea and constipation along with the other symptoms already mentioned.
Most Common IBS Symptoms Experienced by Women & Men
There are some initial and common IBS symptoms that may be experienced by both females and males.
These IBS symptoms include:
- Diarrhea or Loose Stool
- Abdominal Pain or Cramping
- Feeling an Urgency to Use the Bathroom
- Unwanted Weight Loss
It should be noted here that women often have many of these symptoms around the time of their usual menstrual cycle. This typically stops when the monthly bleeding stops.
In addition, there are a few other IBS symptoms that are not solely related to the gastrointestinal system. These symptoms include increased feelings of anxiety, extreme fatigue, joint pain, and/or eye area inflammation.
A Few Recommended Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There are several treatments used specifically for IBS. These include antispasmodics, like Bentyl (dicyclomine), used to relieve cramping and loperamide/eluxadoline may be prescribed for resolving diarrhea while lubiprostone/linaclotide is often used for constipation.
These only treat the symptoms, however, and there are some functional medicine treatments designed to treat the entire body in a holistic fashion.
The functional medicine treatments may include:
- Biofilm Disruptors – to target & weaken harmful bacteria in the gut by destroying outside adaptation outer bacteria shell that is often resistant to antibiotics
- Rifaximin – an antibiotic used for hydrogen-dominant IBS
- Rifaximin is often used for methane-dominant along with other drugs like anti-fungal drugs, other antibiotics & anti-parasitic antibiotics
- Fecal Transplant – transfer of healthy bacteria-rich fecal material transferred to the patient in efforts to replace good bacteria gut balance
- Prokinetics – used for resistant IBS to aid digestion processes
Natural Remedies for IBS Symptoms
Patients may be better helped with a natural remedy for IBS symptoms. These treatments help to restore gut health using a holistic and natural approach which is gentler on an already overworked digestive system.
Natural remedies for IBS symptoms include:
1. Probiotics for Better Gut Health
2. Make Healthier Lifestyle Changes
Stop smoking, avoid too much alcohol and take only prescribed medicines. Exercise more, get plenty of rest and eat balanced and nutritious meals.
3. Follow the IBS Diet Plan
Note: This low-FODMAP diet utilizes avoidance of fermentable carbs or FODMAPs. Always be under a doctor’s supervision as this diet is not meant to last more than a few weeks.
Foods to avoid include:
- Garlic or Onions
- Wheat or Rye
- Agave Nectar
- Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Snow Peas, Mushrooms
4. Consider CBD for IBS
CBD may decrease muscle cramping and calm the overactive gut.
Other Potential IBS Beneficial Supplements
- Vitamin D
- Chasteberry – regulates hormones
- Allicin – treats SIBO
- Digestive Enzymes – aid digestion
- Peppermint Oil – for relieving constipation
- Artemisia – parasite treatment
- Berberine – for yeast infections & more
Common Triggers Related to IBS Symptoms
- Chronic Stress
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Recent Antibiotic Therapy
- Candida – Yeast Overgrowth
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Thyroid Issues
- Too Much Alcohol
- Low Vagal Tone
- Eating IBS Triggering Foods
For more information about IBS in general, contact Genesis Chiropractic or book your appointment in Millcreek, Utah, Holladay, Utah, or Salt Lake City, Utah.
1. Mayo Clinic Patient & Health Information Page titled “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”
2. MedicineNet – Definition of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) reviewed on 3-29-2021 by Charles Patrick Davis, MD. PhD.