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IBS Digestive Distress? Find Out How Naturopathy May Help

gut-health-drawing-overlay-sq (1)Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly referred to as IBS, is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Having IBS can be a frustrating experience for most people. IBS is a complex condition, and the root cause is often unclear.

This makes it very difficult for conventional medicine to provide a helpful solution and provide symptom relief. IBS is characterized by various symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. To diagnose patients with IBS, practitioners use what is called the ROME IV criteria.

ROME IV Criteria

Recurrent Abdominal Pain for at least one day per week in the last three months. Plus at least two of the following:

  • Pain is related to defecation (pain improves after a bowel movement)
  • Pain associated with a change in stool frequency (diarrhea or constipation)
  • Symptoms started at least six months prior to the diagnosis.
  • Diagnosis of Exclusion – all other gastrointestinal disorders must be ruled out before a diagnosis of IBS can be made.
While the causes of IBS are unclear, there are multiple factors that can be involved in its presentation. Some of these factors may include:

1. Gut-brain axis dysregulation: the gut and brain are closely connected through a network of nerves, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Stress, anxiety and emotional disturbances can disrupt this communication, and lead to gut dysfunction.
2. Intestinal motility issues: the muscles in the intestines may contract either too strongly or too weakly, affecting the movement of food and waste through the digestive tract. This can cause diarrhea and/or constipation.
3. Microbiome imbalance: the gut hosts trillions of bacteria that play an essential role in digestion and overall health. An imbalance in the gut microbiome, caused by diet, antibiotics, stress, etc., can trigger IBS symptoms.
4. Food sensitivities: certain foods and additives can trigger inflammation or irritation in the gut lining, and lead to discomfort in some individuals.

The Role of Naturopathic Medicine

The good news is that naturopathy can offer some promising treatment options for managing IBS. Naturopathic medicine at Elevate Chiropractic takes a holistic approach to healthcare and addresses the root causes of conditions.

“The goals of naturopathic medicine with respect to IBS include restoring balance to the digestive system, and decreasing pain, diarrhea, and constipation. This can be accomplished through a variety of modalities, including dietary modifications (identifying offending foods) and ensuring adequate nutrition intake,” said Dr. Tina Canto, ND.

Stress management techniques, botanical medicine and the use of herbs to soothe the gut, and reduce inflammation are also common. This is followed by the use of supplementation to heal the gut lining and the use of probiotic rich foods or probiotic supplements to reinoculate the gut with beneficial bacteria and restore a healthy balance to the gut microbiome.

Schedule a Free Discovery Call

If you are interested in learning more or working with a naturopathic doctor, we invite you to book a free 15-minute discovery call with Dr. Tina!


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