Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not a Diagnosis

Emily Dickerson, ND

Irritable bowel syndrome affects nearly 50 million Americans, meaning that approximately 1 in 6 individuals deal with this condition every day. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include bloating or gas, distention, constipation, diarrhea, cramping, and urgency.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a description of symptoms, not a complete diagnosis.  The label is used in conventional medicine when no other diagnoses can be found.  But the uncomfortable digestive symptoms are not something to just live with.

A naturopathic physician can help you uncover the cause of  the symptoms.

IBS is usually caused one or more of the following:

  • Allergens or food sensitivities including lactose and or gluten intolerance
  • Imbalance of gut flora or bacterial overgrowth (dysbiosis) including helicobacter pylori infection and parasites
  • Toxins from the environment
  • Poor diet especially inflammatory foods
  • Stress
  • Deficient stomach acid or pancreatic enzymes
  • Celiac disease
  • Gallbladder disease

The Role of Diet

First and foremost, we must look at the diet. There are many food offenders that can cause and exacerbate symptoms of IBS. Most commonly, these foods include gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and eggs. Food reactions can occur up to 2 days following the intake of a food, making it difficult to identify which foods are creating symptoms within your body.

Identifying which foods are causing or contributing to your symptoms can be done in three ways at Boise Natural Health:

  1. A formal Elimination-Rechallenge Diet
  2. A blood test Food Sensitivity Panel which measures your IgG immune response to different foods.
  3. As part of the NAET allergy desensitization process

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The Microbiome

Healthy gut flora (normal bacteria in your digestive tract) is essential for maintaining a healthy innate immune system and normal digestion. The innate immune system of our gut resides in the lining of our gut, which is comprised of gut flora and undigested food particles. Our gut flora can get out of balance and this lining can diminish due to antibiotic use, chronic NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc), steroids, poor diet, stress, intestinal infections, and alcohol.  Such dysbiosis and inflammation may result in conditions such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), leaky gut, allergies, arthritis, and autoimmune conditions.

Call 208-338-0405 for a free consult to see if our lab testing and treatment options would be a good option for addressing your digestive concerns.