Irritable Bowel Detectives
READ THE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BELOW OR GO TO: www.irritablebowelsyndrome.net.au
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Once pathology tests screen out the possibility of more serious illness a diagnosis of IBS is made. It may be reassuring that you don’t have a serious or life-threatening condition, but the end result is that your IBS diagnosis leaves you with few treatment options, and many patients are told that they will just have to live with it.
Our experience is that once the cause is identified and treated, there is an end to IBS.
Is IBS a ‘Real’ Condition?
Yes. IBS is not just stress. If you experience abdominal pain or diarrhoea, there is an underlying cause. Of course stress can make that worse, which is why relaxation techniques or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help.
Do Children get IBS?
Yes. Children can have all the same symptoms of IBS which adults have. Another important finding is that when a parent has IBS, their child is more likely to have allergies or learning and behavioural problems, if the IBS is not correctly treated prior to conception.
What Causes IBS?
Some of the most common causes of IBS that we have found are:
Many chronic cases of IBS date from an old episode of traveller’s diarrhoea. In these cases, intestinal parasites are the cause of the IBS.
• Poor Gallbladder Function
Many patients have sluggish gallbladders. Symptoms of this may be nausea, constipation or diarrhoea, with flatulence and an inability to digest oily or spicy foods. Patients with these symptoms may have had an abdominal ultrasound, but will not necessarily have this recognised. Our understanding is that ultrasounds do not detect these gallbladder problems.
• Candida / Dysbiosis
Many people with IBS take some form of probiotic, which often helps their symptoms. This means that the bacteria in the gut is out of balance, which is called ‘dysbiosis.’ There are a variety of causes of dysbiosis, which include taking antibiotics, the oral contraceptive pill, or a period of stress.
A person with dysbiosis may have too much ‘candida’ in their bowel and this can cause sugar cravings, frequent hunger, dizziness and headaches, (low blood sugar-type symptoms) flatulence and fatigue. Sweet food and refined foods usually aggravate these symptoms.
• Heavy Metal Toxicity
In some chronic cases of IBS, we find a high level of a toxic heavy metal, often mercury. Once these heavy metals are removed from the body IBS symptoms can completely resolve. In our next newsletter we will tell you more about Heavy Metal toxicity and how it is an invisible source of chronic ill health.
Our IBS website has loads more information on it : www.irritablebowelsyndrome.net.au