The condition in which your large intestine, or colon, fails to operate normally is referred to as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. It is a functional disorder, since there is no evidence of structural damage to the intestine. Some believe that IBS is a disorder of the enteric nervous system, where the brain in the gut alters normal pain perception and the bowel becomes overly sensitive to normal stimuli.
- alternating constipation and diarrhea
What causes it:
The cause is unknown but possible factors may include:
- irregularities in intestinal hormones and nerves responsible for bowel motility
- bacterial, fungal, or parasitic involvement
- dietary deficiencies
- allergies and sensitivities to foods
- undiagnosed lactose intolerance
- inadequate enzyme production
- gut dysbiosis
- reactions to medications that destroy intestinal flora
As an IBS sufferer, you have irregular and uncoordinated rhythmic muscular contractions – sometimes intestinal spasms – in your digestive tract. This interferes with normal movement of food and waste material and leads to an accumulation of mucus and toxins in your intestines. This accumulation traps gas and stools, which can cause bloating, abdominal distention, and constipation. Normally, when you eat a meal it causes contractions in your colon with an urge to defecate within an hour after eating. With IBS, this urge may come soon and be accompanied with cramps and diarrhea. This is especially true if your meal is large and/or contains a high amount of fat. Stress has this same effect.
The onset of your symptoms can come on during or soon after your recovery from a gastrointestinal infection (such as food poisoning, abdominal surgery or treatment with antibiotics). In some cases, you may have an undetected parasite infection, like giardiasis or amebiasis, which can be mistaken for IBS. You can also have an underlying candida overgrowth.
What can I do about it:
Focus for your IBS symptoms should be aimed at reducing the irritation to your digestive system. This include dietary changes, herbal supplements, and stress management. You will want to consider ruling out food sensitivities, parasites, candida, and H-pylori infections. Here are some diet and lifestyle options for you:
Steps to immediate relief are:
(1) Choose your team of healthcare practitioners wisely. Your health condition and experience of discomfort may be the result of many imbalances in your body, requiring proper testing and an accurate diagnosis. Choosing practitioners with additional training in the areas nutrition, hormone testing/balancing, heavy metal testing, and detoxification processes will help you take a multi-faceted approach.
With IBS, your symptoms are like emergency flashers trying to get your attention that there is an internal imbalance present. Have your healthcare practitioner do a thorough medical history and examination, along with the appropriate laboratory tests (blood tests, stool exam, and possible scope or biopsy) to help determine if you have a microbial issue, such as H-pylori, giardidias or amebiasis, or a more serious health diagnosis. IBS is usually a diagnosis of exclusion of more serious health issue that may present with similar symptoms.
Taking ownership of your health equation can be one of the most empowering steps you can take and you can do this by: becoming more informed, listening to your inner wisdom, focusing on your “ideal experience” of health, and partnering with your healthcare and wellness practitioners to effect the best possible outcome. Essential Wellness would be honored to be a part of your wellness team.
(2) Make water your beverage of choice. Water is one of nature’s natural cleansers. Drinking optimal levels of purified water benefits your overall health by supporting your ability to digest your food, supporting your liver in its ability to detoxify your body, and providing fluid for optimal elimination of toxins.
Commit to drinking 1/2 your weight in fluid ounces of water each day. Drinking sips of warmed water (not microwaved) can help support you with detoxifying the congestion in your intestinal tract and lymphatic system throughout your entire body.
Eliminating all other caffeinated, sugary, mucus-producing, carbonated beverages (such as coffee, tea, dairy, and soda pop) is essential as they support digestive dysfunction, parasitic and yeast overgrowth and they often trigger IBS symptoms.
(3) It’s very important that you digest, assimilate, detoxify and eliminate properly. Anytime a food is eaten and not completely digested, it will only feed inflammation, gut dysbiosis, and leaky gut. Low stomach acid interferes with the first step of digestion and can be a factor in your health equation.
The HCI Challenge Test can help you determine if you have low stomach acid. If your HCl Challenge Test causes you to experience immediate reflux symptoms, confer with your doctor to rule out a possible H. pylori infection, ulcer, or other stomach issues. Repairing your stomach lining is essential.
(4) Determine whether your symptoms are related to an overgrowth of Candida, Parasites, and Leaky Gut Syndrome, as they often show up with IBS symptoms. With this information, you will be better informed to ask questions of your team of practitioners. We can teach you how to improve your diet, eliminate candida and parasites, repair leaky gut, and improve bowel function by incorporating an elimination diet as your next step.
(5) Because Irritable Bowel Syndrome has to do with your digestive tract, eliminating the most common highly-reactive, inflammatory foods (dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, eggs, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and corn) can help you eliminate the food sources that are contributing to your irritable bowel syndrome, while you complete the required repair work. Upgrading your building materials will help you to unburden your digestive system, remove the foods that feed unfriendly microorganisms, stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings, and support your body’s detoxification and elimination processes.
Eliminate caffeine, citrus, chocolate, nicotine and alcohol because they are often irritants to those suffering from IBS. Nuts and seeds may also be irritants. Eliminating sugar is necessary because it decreases intestinal motility and feeds unfriendly microorganisms. You might also want to determine if the cabbage family of foods (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) are irritating you. Raw foods can be an issue so lightly steaming your vegetables will make them more digestible.
Replace inflammatory foods with satisfying balanced meals (healthy, lean and clean proteins; low-glycemic and high fiber carbohydrates; lots and lots of dark leafy greens; and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, oils). Reintroducing each reactive food group separately will allow you to determine what foods are still a problem for you. At Essential Wellness, we have a specific coaching program designed to help you formulate a diet that will work best for you and teach you how to optimize your digestion.
Increase your dietary fiber from sources like vegetables, low-sugar fruits like granny smith apples and berries, gluten-free oat bran, guar gum, and legumes (beans and peas). Avoid fruit with small seeds. Be sure to increase fiber consumption gradually so as not to cause irritation. Be careful not to use wheat bran as wheat is a grain that is often a trigger food due to its gluten content.
(6) The use of essential oils can be beneficial to you. For immediate pain relief of digestive discomfort, apply 1-3 drops of essential oil (such as DiGize, Peppermint, Ginger or Purification) to 1 tsp of carrier oil (V6 or olive oil) and apply through self massage of area(s) where your discomfort lies. You can also massage the neurolymphatic points and foot reflex points that correlate to areas of the body that are troubling you (such as your liver, stomach, pancreas, small and large intestines). Layering multiple oils can create a synergistic effect. For IBS, look at oils that will support your digestive, immune, and elimination systems.
Young Living Essential Oils are safe, effective, and known for their pureness and therapeutic-grade qualities. For more help with choosing the right oils and application of specific points or meridians on your body, schedule an appointment with us at Essential Wellness.
(7) Eliminating excessive stress levels is an important key to your well-being. A little stress can prompt you into action and that’s good thing. Too much stress can affect your digestive capabilities as well as the function of your adrenal glands. Using stress reduction techniques regularly will help you manage your stress more effectively.
Stress reduction techniques might include: exercise, relaxation therapy (such as meditation, visualization, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or tai chi), biofeedback, hypnosis, Eden Energy Medicine exercises, EFT, Mental-Emotional Stress Release, counseling or stress management training. We teach various techniques to help you diffuse your stress.
Steps to long-term, permanent relief:
If you are experiencing symptoms of IBS, your inner ecosystem has been out of balance for quite some time. It’s time to think about implementing these additional steps:
(8) Making your dietary improvements permanent might be exactly what you need to feel better. When you do not provide your body with key nutrients all aspects of digestion, absorption, detoxification and elimination become impaired. Your hormone system can only mirror the quality of the building materials you provide it through your diet.
The place where most people fail is falling back into old habits that slowly recreate their imbalances and symptoms. Eating healthy 95% of the time and indulging only 5% of the time supports your optimal well-being. If you are struggling with how to integrate these changes on your own, an Essential Wellness practitioner skilled in the areas of nutrition, digestion and detoxification can help you.
(9) ALCAT allergy testing can easily determine what allergens are triggering you. Your test results will tell you what foods, chemicals, and other environmental triggers (like pet dander, mold, fungi, grasses) are triggers for you. This testing determines the severity of your intolerance and gives you recommendations of how long to remove it from your environment while you repair your digestive system.
If it’s determined that you have food, chemical or environmental sensitivities, receiving NAET Desensitization Therapy might be part of your allergies answer. This desensitization therapy works in combination with cleaning up your diet, strengthening your ability to digest your food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating toxins. It helps reduce the over-triggering of your immune system.
(10) Since you are suffering from IBS, it would benefit you to complete repair work of your gut lining so that you experience complete digestion and assimilation of nutrients Herbal supplements like a Biocult probiotic, L-glutamine powder, NAC, Alpha Lipoic Acid, digestive enzymes, and Glutathione spray all have their place in supporting the rebuilding of your gut ecosystem, but they will not make up the difference if you eat a “crappy” diet.
You can also introduce organic, home-made probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, etc., to continue feeding and rebuilding your gut ecosystem. The healthier your gut ecosystem is, the more able your immune system is to chelate toxins from your body. There are many ayuredic herbs that benefit the repair of your digestive system. Young Living has many nutritional supplements that can help you balance your digestive terrain. We can help teach you about these supportive supplements and live foods at Essential Wellness.
(11) Detoxifying your body through dietary improvements, an herbal cleanse program, and/or detoxification therapies can be an effective way to improve your overall experience of well-being. Before beginning any detox protocol, check in with your healthcare practitioner, to determine if there is a reason you should not complete a cleanse at this time. (When your body is in an extreme state of stress and toxicity, it’s important to replenish your nutrient reserves before beginning any detoxification protocol.)
It is also very important for your elimination channels to be open before beginning and during any detoxification program, otherwise you may suffer from a Herxheimer Reaction. At Essential Wellness, we know the ins and outs of the cleansing and detoxification process and we can help you minimize your discomfort as you detoxify your body.
How can Essential Wellness help:
At Essential Wellness, we believe repair and recovery is based on many factors. Although we cannot diagnose, prescribe, treat or claim to cure any medical condition you may have, our focus is on helping you reduce the many levels of stress that are playing into your current health experience.
When you are experiencing IBS symptoms and the therapies you’ve tried are not giving you relief, Essential Wellness can help you. We do this by sharing our knowledge and experience, tools, techniques, and these therapies:
- Nutrition & Wellness Plan is one of our coaching programs that will help you get clear about what your wellness goals are (based on your individual needs), teach you how to decipher and make sense of all the dietary information available to you, and help you formulate your own wellness plan with accountability. The foundation of your wellness plan will be structured around habits that only you have the power to control and change.
- Based on our knowledge and experience, most health disorders including Irritable Bowel Syndrome are connected to some physiological dysfunction that causes accumulated toxicity in the body and vice versa. We offer the detoxification therapies of Colonics, Core Lymphatic, and IonCleanse Foot Detox to help reduce stress on your digestive, detoxification and elimination channels. Colonics in combination with herbal support will compliment your dietary foundation and can be especially helpful to you when you are not eliminating at least once per day or your pattern of elimination is chaotic (such as alternating constipation and diarrhea).
- We offer Core Synchronism, Eden Energy Medicine exercises, and Vibrational Raindrop Technique therapies to assist you in balancing your physical body by reducing your stress. When your body feels out of balance and you feel stress, it is usually due to blocked or congested energy that has settled in your physical body. These body balancing therapies help you relieve this kind of stress. We can add Essential Oils to compliment the therapy you receive.
- Toxic emotions can block the flow of your energy channels and become stuck in your physical body. The emotional component of IBS symptoms can be connected to: not accepting yourself, not believing you are good enough, not being able to digest or accept new ideas, and not being able to digest a painful experience. If any of these descriptions match what you are experiencing, Mental-Emotional Stress Release techniques can help you understand and integrate these experiences and diffuse the stress they cause you. Flower Remedies can compliment the therapy you receive.
- With Irritable Bowel Syndrome you are most likely experiencing multiple symptoms. We offer RAE Radionics Hair Analysis as another tool to help you understand any stress that is present in your energy system.