What is IBS?

By Philip Wheeler

What is IBS?

**See tips at the bottom of this post to manage IBS symptoms at home.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
* Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the digestive system.
* It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. These tend to come and go over time, and can last for days, weeks or months at a time.
* It can be very frustrating to live with and can have a big impact on your everyday life.
* Western Medicine states the exact cause is unknown and suggest It’s usually a lifelong problem which has no cure, but diet changes and medicines can often help control the symptoms.
This all sounds horrendous to live with and a diagnosis I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
HOWEVER……………There is some good news!
Eastern Medicine views IBS totally differently. So much so, it doesn’t come with a label it only has a cause.
If we go back to our previous post on Epigenetics, we will know disease (dis-ease) has 7 contributing factors each having many sub-categories.
* Nutrition
* Sleep
* Stress
* Exercise
* Trauma
* Infections
* Toxins
What are the most common causes of IBS (and many other digestive issues) we come across?
* Trauma – emotional and physical, and often dating back many years, but can be new and sudden. Trauma also affects multiple organs including kidneys, liver, spleen, stomach, lungs, and the heart. *This will lead to sleep and possibly nutrition issues.
* Stress – everyday worries relating to money, work, home life, physical appearance, and much more. Stress also affects multiple organs and most commonly the kidneys and spleen. *This will lead to sleep and possibly nutrition issues.
* Nutrition – This section is huge so we will keep it brief. We have deficiencies in macro-, micro-, and photo-nutrients which can all lead to a disharmony or ‘dis-ease’ within the body. We than have processed vs non-processed, hi and low GI, and hundreds more factors. The truth is, when it comes to nutrition there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Incorrect nutrition will have an affect on the entire body and every organ. *This will lead to sleep and possibly stress, exercise, infections, and toxins issues.
What can you do yourself at home if you have IBS?
1. Keep a food and drinks log and timestamp each meal. Follow this up with how you feel 30-minutes and 60-minutes later. Aim for a fresh and varied diet consisting of as many different colours as possible. Focus more on whole natural foods rather than processed.
2. Keep a stress log. Who, or what stresses you out? What can you do about it? Would planning your day or finances help? Would saying ‘No’ a bit more help? In some cases ‘training’ someone such as you children, partner, or work colleagues so then can take some of the pressure of you for the smaller jobs which all add up.
3. Trauma. Talking to a councillor, emotional therapist, or just a really good listener is always suggested. Identifying the ‘triggers’ and being honest with yourself is great start. I often say to patients who tell me they have dealt with XYZ ‘Would you be willing to go across to that busy pub/shop and tell everyone’. Often the answer is a ’No way!’ or ‘something along those lines, and this is a clear indication it’s still an issue. We all have trauma in our lives, but it’s how we deal with it, and use it to make us stronger than really counts.
Using professionals to oversee, whilst combining with treatments will make the journey smoother and quicker, especially if the organs have been affected long term.
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