(IBS) is a common and often debilitating illness that affects many people, especially women. The syndrome affects the large intestine (colon) and commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas and either diarrhea or constipation or a combination of both. IBS does not cause permanent damage to the colon but, nonetheless, can be difficult to treat.
Western drug treatments are directed toward treating either the constipation or the diarrhea. The most common side affect of these drugs (about 16% of cases) is in producing the opposite symptom. These medications do not address the cause of the problem. Below is a summary of an excellent article about treating IBS naturally.
The writer of the article, Fleur Hupston, describes the symptoms of IBS, which vary somewhat between individuals. She provides excellent suggestions on how to treat and manage the symptoms, including reducing stress, reducing fat in the diet, eating more slowly, refraining from overeating and ruling out gluten sensitivity.
Ruling out gluten sensitivity is really important, as the symptoms are typically identical to IBS. Unfortunately, unless you do a small intestine biopsy the antibody tests for gluten sensitivity can be unreliable. If the standard antibody test is positive, you indeed have it, but if it’s negative you may still be gluten sensitive. Only by strictly eliminating all gluten containing foods for 4 to 6 weeks can you determine whether you are sensitive to gluten or not.
If you are not gluten sensitive, one suggestion Ms. Hupston makes is that, through the process of elimination, you should find foods to which you are sensitive and remove them from your diet. She points out that for some people eating more raw fruits and vegetables helps, for others eating cooked vegetables helps. For some people, eating yogurt is beneficial because of the probiotics it contains, for others avoiding dairy is key.
In practice, identifying foods to eliminate can be very difficult because people are often sensitive to more than one thing. I had a patient who had eliminated everything in her diet except three foods but was still suffering with debilitating IBS symptoms. I did a Qi Balance Constitution Analysis for her and found that all three foods were not right for her body constitution. When she switched to foods that were right for her constitution, not only could she eat many more foods than she imagined, but her symptoms disappeared and she has had no IBS issues whatsoever for over 2 years.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for personal, professional, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.