Of all common disorders seen by GPs and naturopaths alike, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or simply IBS) is no doubt one of the most unfortunate and difficult to treat. Affecting the gastrointestinal tract and particularly the intestines, IBS renders sufferers unable to digest many common food types, hinders natural digestive processes, and can have massive secondary effects on the sufferer’s nervous system and emotional state. We have been able to identify common risk factors and dietary concerns which cause severe attacks in IBS patients, but each case is different and so learning to live with the disorder is frequently a long, painful and tiring process of trial and error.
The common symptoms of IBS are bloating and pain in the abdomen after consuming a meal. IBS can also cause dyspepsia, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and other such disturbances – sufferers often self-diagnose before seeing a health professional due to these obvious and painful symptoms.
Addressing the dietary causes of IBS through naturopathy
While not enough evidence exists to say if a definitive cause exists for IBS, it is certain that diet is a huge predictor of its severity and impact on a patient’s life. When an IBS sufferer consumes foods their affected bowels cannot process, the overstimulation of local nerve clusters can cause intense pain, spasms, fatigue, anxiety, hostile feelings, depression, and insomnia. The catastrophic effect on quality of life forces most IBS suffers to avoid these foods, commonly adopting the FODMAP diet. Named for the chemical structures it avoids, it recommends patients avoid dairy, wheat, alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners, fried food, carbonated drinks, pastry, egg, caffeine and chocolate. Naturopathic specialists such as those at Total Health Clinic Central Coast often recommend patients adopt the FODMAP diet as part of their holistic approach to IBS treatment.
Herbal remedies to relieve the worst of IBS
There are also many herbal remedies which our staff can recommend to relieve the physical and emotional symptoms of IBS. Focusing on nutrients which enhance natural GABA levels, a common naturopathic treatment, can produce positive results – nutrients including glutamine, taurine, B6, theanine and zinc.
To book a consultation call Peter today on 02 4320 6666.