Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist Moscow ID
Coeur D Alene, ID
Idaho Falls, ID
Twin Falls, ID
Twin Falls, ID
IBS is challenging and painful condition that can last for years and cause a reduced quality of life. The good news is that relief is possible. Primarily by taking an integrated approach to treatment—focusing on the whole person, not just the symptoms of the disease—individuals can make effective lifestyle, diet, and supplement changes that can have profound effects toward alleviating IBS. What is IBS?
The most challenging aspect of IBS is that it can’t be definitively diagnosed using a biological or chemical test. Rather, it is a collection of varying symptoms. The primary symptoms are abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction, including gas, diarrhea or constipation, discomfort, bloating, and nausea. Most doctors diagnose IBS by ruling out other diseases and confirming symptoms. Diet, infection, and psychological stressors seem to underlie these symptoms for most patients with IBS.
What causes IBS?
Equally mysterious are the origins of IBS. Some research suggests that with IBS, the contractions of the colon that move food and waste through the intestines are abnormal, ranging from spasmodic to completely stopped. In the simplest sense, these abnormal contractions cause diarrhea and/or constipation, as well as poor digestion and malnutrition. Further, they can indirectly lead to bacterial imbalance, compromised immunity, poor metabolism, and changes in mood and hormonal activity.
Physical and mental stresses also are contributing factors, affecting contractions in the colon as well as the absorption of liquids and nutrients. People who have been exposed to psychological, physical, and/or sexual trauma in childhood appear to be at higher risk of developing IBS. Approximately 20 percent of individuals may get IBS as the result of a parasite, infection, or other inflammation of the intestine.
For those affected, the medical solutions can be disheartening. Few prescription drugs exist, and what is available can have serious side effects. For example, alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex), a prescription medication that has been prescribed to women with IBS, can cause severe constipation and reduced blood flow to the colon. These effects have been associated with ischemic colitis, a critical condition of inflammation, irritation, and swelling of the large intestine.
Commonly used over-the-counter treatments have drawbacks as well. For example, one big mistake people with IBS make is taking too many antacids. Pain in the stomach and intestines doesn’t necessarily equate to too much acid. In fact, the opposite is often true.
A condition called hypochlorhydria, marked by insufficient levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, can cause maldigestion and symptoms of IBS. Additionally, many patients with heartburn take antacids and other medicines, which further decrease acid production and compromise the immune system. In a recent study, users of acid-suppressing medicines doubled their risk of pneumonia.
With acid suppression and chronic antibioti...
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