Natural Solutions for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

If you are someone who regularly experiences digestive difficulties, please read on.  Even if this is not you, you may want to send this article to friends or family members with digestive issues.  Today I want to discuss an incredibly common health concern known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  I think IBS is so important to discuss for three main reasons:1) IBS is an extremely common syndrome; however, many people will “grin and bear” their symptoms, believing that there’s no solution for them.
2) There are very few, if any, very effective treatments that can be offered by your medical doctor or specialist (there’s no effective prescription medication for IBS).
3) As a Naturopathic Doctor, I help patients solve their digestive issues daily and I can confidently say that our natural approach is very effective in helping those with IBS.IBS is not to be taken lightly; persistent symptoms of IBS can become very bothersome and frustrating.  Many people are in a state of anxiety, fearing their symptoms will be triggered with each new day or each new meal.  Most people with IBS often have to restrict a long list of foods that they would love to eat, but can’t, for fear of triggering digestive symptoms.  Symptoms of IBS will vary, but can include:
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Excessive gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Inflammation
  • Bloating
  • Belching
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

If you are experiencing these IBS symptoms, you may benefit from one of the following:

Probiotics are “beneficial bacteria” that actually work together with your body to promote healthy intestinal function.  Probiotics will help you digest food better, reduce intestinal inflammation, compete with “bad bacteria”, and produce nutrients.  Probiotics are typically very helpful for IBS symptoms.  Not all probiotics are created equally, so we will help our patients select the correct strains of probiotic bacteria at the correct dosages to help with their specific symptoms.

Elimination Diet:
An elimination diet is more of a test than it is a diet.  An elimination diet involves the removal of several foods for a short period of time, to observe if symptoms are improved.  If symptoms are, in fact, improved then the next phase of the elimination diet involves re-introducing these foods back into your diet, one-at-a-time.  This will help you identify if any particular foods cause your symptoms to return.  This is an excellent tool to gain a better understanding of your digestion and how certain foods may trigger your symptoms.

If you are experiencing one or more of the IBS-related symptoms listed above, it is very likely that many medical tests (ultrasound, endoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scan, stool tests, etc.) will come back negative (i.e. no findings).  It’s great to have no abnormal findings on these tests; however, it’s also frustrating for the patient because they are still left without any answers about what is causing their symptoms.

At our naturopathic clinic, we have a series of cutting-edge functional testing options that will often provide us with a much clearer picture on what is causing your IBS symptoms.  These tests are very well-suited for IBS-related symptoms because they can detect:

  • Food sensitivities 
  • Intestinal inflammation 
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Intestinal immunity
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Malabsorption
  • Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Chronic infections
  • Parasite/bacteria/yeast
  • And more

Once we have gathered information about your health concerns, medical history, diet, and lab test results, we can then put together a comprehensive natural treatment plan to address the root causes of your IBS symptoms.  Many patients have seen significant improvements when we use this approach, so I encourage you to not “grin and bear” your symptoms anymore.  Contact our clinic today to get your digestive health back on track!

Yours in health,

Dr. Michael Morsillo, H.B.Sc., N.D.
Newmarket Naturopathic Doctor
16655 Yonge Street, Newmarket, ON