Many of my patients come to me with digestive issues such as gas, bloating, pain, constipation and diarrhea to name a few. They visited their primary care doctor who may or may not have referred them to a gastroenterologist. There they had scopes, x-rays, labs, etc., only to be told that nothing is wrong, but that they probably have IBS! Fortunately, natural and functional medicine are excellent for treating not only IBS but other gi issues that regular doctors don't have good treatments for.
Why is this?
Most GI issues are functional, meaning that the tissue looks normal on labs and tests but the gi system isn't functioning like it should. This is a big problem considering 2.5 to 3.5 million people a year go to their doctor with IBS symptoms and IBS has become the most common gi diagnosis.
So why isn't the digestive system functioning like it should?
There can be many reasons, some of them being food allergies/sensitivities, dysbiosis (an imbalance of gi bacteria, we have 3-5 lbs of bacteria in our guts), inflammation, hormones and stress just to name a few. Typically 2 or 3 factors come into play and cause the gi system to get out of balance.
Why is this so common?
The America culture and medical system is a perfect set up to cause gi issues like IBS. We overuse antibiotics, we eat a large amount of highly inflammatory foods, we are under a lot stress and the medications available don't really help. All of which cause a perfect storm for gi issues.
So how is it treated?
Once we take your case and get a detailed history, we then decide what functional labs are needed, either a food allergy/sensitivity test or a functional stool analysis that measures good and bad bacteria, yeast, parasites, inflammation, enzymes, etc., or both. Once the results of the testing comes back, we can come up with an IBS treatment protocol specifically designed for you and the specific root causes of your issues.
What are some of the treatments?
The treatments vary greatly based on each individual but generally consist of eliminating offending foods, killing any bad bacteria or yeast with herbs/nutrients (garlic, caprylic acid, berberines, oregano, pau'd arco, neem, etc.), adding in good bacteria (probiotics, fermented foods, etc.) and finally giving the gi the nutrients it needs to heal and function optimally (omega-3's. glutamine, DGL, n-a-glucosamine, msm, aloe, slippery elm, etc).
So if you are suffering from IBS and are looking for an IBS doctor or natural treatments for your IBS, give us a call or clickhere to schedule an appointment with Dr. Adam Graves.