IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is characterized by:

  • the contractions that move the stool through the large intestine can be stronger and last longer
  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • gas or flatulence
  • or the opposite, weak contractions that hard, dry stools
  • usually fluctuating between diarrhea and constipation
  • mucus in the stool
  • pain

Conventional Western medicine doesn’t know what causes IBS. They claim that there are a variety of contributing factors:

  • abnormal nerve signals from the vagus nerve
  • food allergies – alcohol, beans, broccoli, cabbage, carbonated drinks, cauliflower, fats, milk, spices, etc
  • hormones – twice as many females suffer from IBS than men, and particularly around their periods, so it is suggested that hormones may play a part
  • other diseases – various diseases can also cause IBS, but of primary concern might be prior gut infections
  • stress – stress definitely plays a part – but does stress cause IBS or does aggravate IBS

So in REAL medicine, we are looking at what causes the direct cause? For instance, if we are looking at the vagus nerve (cranial nerve #10), what causes it to go into dysfunction and how can we solve that problem. Now you may be interested to know that the Vagus nerve (s), we have two of them, regulate the internal organs (except the adrenal glands) and digestive system through the parasympathetic nervous system. Now it used to be thought that the brain was the primary control center and thus vagus nerve control went from the brain to the gut. WRONG!!

We now know that 90% of the vagus nerve fibers go from the gut to the brain!!! So we have to think things through differently.

In fact, we now know that the incredibly diverse eco system in our bodies may have more of an impact on us that we thought. The bacteria that lives both inside and outside of our bodies, apparently, has much more control and impact than med school and psychology school taught us. The microbiota in your gut, and that is where the majority live, can impact on our thought, learning, memory, emotions and behavior never mind physiological conditions like cholesterol, diabetes, etc. They also perform a lot more required functions than we used to think: protect us against the bad pathogenic guys; metabolize complex lipids/fats and polysaccrides/sugars; neutralize drugs (yeah, I like that); and carcinogens; work with the vagus nerve to regulate stool movement. Wow!! And that is just the start of it.

So now, let’s re-visit what conventional medicine says about IBS.  If IBS can be caused by an inflamed vagus nerve – is it possible that the microbiota in the gut is unhealthy and allowing |the bad guys” to effect the vagus nerve? Well of course it is.

Let’s look at psychological stress: that affects the adrenal glands and the adrenal glands can alter gut permeabiity and barrier function (that is called Leaky Guy Syndrome, another disorder that Western Medicine denied for decades). And of course, if we have Leaky Gut Syndrome, that is going to have a huge contribution to the IBS syndrome; and incidently make us even more susceptible to infections and allergies.

What about medications? Well we know that medications can do a real number on our gut microbiota – so with them depleted and/or out of balance, guess what? We are now susceptible to IBS.

But we can’t blame everything on Western Medicine, what about the food and fluids we consume? Yes, all those toxic ridden, nutrient deficient foods can also: deplete the microbiota; cause inflammation in the gut; destroy the natural immune system in the gut; deplete the gut of is required nutrients causing all kinds of issues including allergies, and whola – we are back to IBS again.

What about those hormones? Well did you know that the microbiota can also affect gut hormones like incretins? (they are hugely important to insulin secretions!)

So we do in fact, have a pretty clear understanding of a wide number of issues that can cause IBS – and in REAL medicine, we can identify and resolve those underlying issues.

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For more information, contact: Dr Holly at drholly@choicesunlimited.ca

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References:

  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2830587/
  • http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnint.2013.00070/full
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3791857/
  • http://fromdoctor.com/inflamed-vagus-nerve-symptoms-and-remedies.html