Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel SyndromeIBS is the most common gastrointestinal disorder seen by physicians it is estimated one out of every five Americans have symptoms of IBS. IBS commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating gas, diarrhea and constipation. Despite inconvenience of the disorder, IBS doesn’t carry a huge medical risk. IBS is also known as intestinal neurosis, mucous colitis, spastic colitis, and spastic colon.

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract has normal rhythmic contractions called perstatlsis. With IBS the normal contractions become irregular and lack coordination.  Part of the fecal matter can become partially obstructed and produce gas, bloating, distention and constipation. Several lifestyle factors can impact IBS including stress and processing your emotions. Prayer, journaling, talking to the person who offended you or whatever method you find to help release the emotional upset will improve IBS symptoms. Other times it comes from an overuse of antibiotics that have disturbed the GI flora of the bowel. Other patients are allergic to certain foods that trigger the uncoordinated rhythm of the GI tract. Patients with IBS should consider food allergy testing to eliminate an allergic reaction being a trigger to IBS symptoms.

The GI is responsible for absorbing our nutrients from food so many people with IBS can have mal-absorption disorders which can lead to many different symptoms in the body. The diagnosis of IBS can be given after ruling out other GI disorders like Crohn's disease, fecal impaction, food poisoning, parasites, ulcerative colitis and lactose intolerance.  A physician may refer you to other medical specialist to have barium enema, colonoscopy, etc. to rule out  the other disorders.

Irritable bowel syndrome is painful and inconvenient but most people lead active, productive lives if they change their diet to replace needed nutrients and try to find the cause of the IBS to reverse it. In the meantime here are some items you can consider to improve the quality of your life. 

Eat high fiber diets including plenty of fruits and veggies and whole grains (especially brown rice) and legumes.

Avoid soda pops and caffeine.

Limit your consumption of gas producing foods like beans that haven’t been soaked in advance, broccoli and cabbage if they cause problems for you.

Chew your food well and eat in calm environments not while watching an emotionally charged television show. Our bodies digest food while we are in calm and relaxed state. 

If your IBS causes chronic diarrhea make sure to replace your electrolytes. Electrolytes can be replaced with items like Gatorade, Pedialyte etc..

If your IBS is impacting the quality of life considered being seen by a licensed physician.  Wishing you health and happiness!Dr. Matesa Pringle

Dr. Matesa PringleDr. Matesa Pringle is a naturopathic physician who practices in Mesa, Arizona. She practices alternative medicine as well as traditional medicine and serves the East Valley cities of Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Tempe, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, Phoenix, and even has some patients who travel from West Valley!


Disclaimer: The information on this site regarding medical conditions is presented for general informational purposes only. It should not be considered exhaustive and doesn’t contain all available treatments. The information here should not be used as a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician. Global Integrative Medicine, PLLC or Dr. M. Pringle assumes no liability for anyone using information on this site but is not under the care of a medical professional. By using this site you agree not to rely solely on any of the information contained herein for medical treatment. It is strongly encouraged you see a licensed physician, like Dr. M. Pringle or a physician of your choosing and adhere to that protocol first and foremost.