Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Treatment Questions and Answers
For the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, Come to Naturopathic Gastro, where we focus on the natural alleviation of chronic conditions like IBS. Call us for more information or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 2330 NW Flanders Suite #101, Portland, OR 97210.
The bowels comprise the lower digestive tract, including the small intestine (small bowel), and the large intestine (colon and rectum). This region of the body can be very sensitive to internal changes, as well as the foods we eat. One of the most common medical conditions affecting the bowels is irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS. IBS primarily affects the large intestine and can cause symptoms of abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation. Considered a chronic condition, IBS requires long-term management in order to control the condition.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder of the lower intestinal tract that is characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, cramping and diarrhea. IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort and distress; however, it does no permanent harm to either the small or large intestine, nor does it lead to a serious disease or other complications. Most people can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, and certain medications or natural supplements. In some cases, IBS can be disabling. It may affect someone so severely that they are unable to work, attend social events, or travel—even short distances. As many as 20 percent of the adult population in the United States have symptoms of IBS, which occurs more often in women than in men. In about half of people, it begins before the age of 35.
What is the main cause of irritable bowel syndrome?
There are several causes of IBS, including:
- Impeded muscular motility (movement) in the colon
- Problems with the epithelium (lining of the colon), can lead to:
- Contents inside the colon moving too quickly (resulting in diarrhea)
- Contents inside the colon moving too slowly (resulting in constipation)
- Certain foods
- Stress, especially in childhood
- Diminished receptor activity (abnormal levels of serotonin in the GI tract)
- Bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract, such as gastroenteritis (also known as post-infectious IBS)
- Celiac disease
- Abnormalities of the nervous system
- Changes in gut microbiome
What happens if IBS goes untreated?
IBS does not result in sequelae, which are more medical problems that result from a pre-existing condition. If left untreated, however, the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome will often persist, leading to pain, discomfort, cramping and diarrhea. In some cases of untreated IBS, the symptoms may worsen or increase in frequency.
How does a Naturopath help with IBS?
The goals of naturopathic irritable bowel syndrome treatment are to identify and address triggers of IBS, reduce discomfort and frequency of IBS episodes, eliminate recurrence of IBS symptoms, and manage associated health conditions and side effects of conventional treatments. Conventional treatments for IBS may have short- or long-term side effects, so it may be ideal to try natural treatments to avoid the potential side-effects of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to improve the condition more effectively.
Naturopathic treatment for IBS involves:
- Identifying specific treatment goals
- Developing a thorough understanding of all factors affecting patient health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
- Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
- Implementation and maintenance through periodic monitoring and adjustment
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, know that there are ways to improve your condition. Come to Naturopathic Gastro, where we focus on the natural alleviation of chronic conditions like IBS. Call us today or book an appointment online, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 2330 NW Flanders Suite #101, Portland, OR 97210. To better serve our patients, our office is open six days a week: Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Portland OR, Beaverton OR, Tigard OR, Oak Grove OR, Battin OR, and West Haven-Sylvan OR.