What you need to know about IBS – Nov 2015

IBS is just a name describing what is happening to the bowel rather than what is causing the issue.

A medical web definition of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is “a common condition characterized by abdominal pain and cramps, (diarrhea and/or constipation, or both), gas, bloating, nausea, and other symptoms’ that are particular to the person.

Most times people are told this is something they have to live with, but according to Naturopath Victoria West, advances in science are now able to help pinpoint possible causes.
The bowel is a very complex organ system whose functions include: absorption of nutrients to feed the body, Immune protection (60% of your immune system resides in the gut), detoxification of hormones we make and chemicals we eat, production of some vitamins, hormones and enzymes for digestion and blood sugar regulation and contains nerve fibres and neurotransmitters to communicate messages to the brain.

In fact Victoria says “there are more nerve fibres going from the gut to the brain than the other way”. This indicates your gut helps regulate the nervous system (moods, immune) by informing the brain (via food and stress hormones) about our environment and what is happening. “Therefore the importance of healthy gut bacteria is vital to help provide the right messages to the brain, if I can put it simply.”

What can you do for your IBS?

That depends on your symptoms Victoria says. I take a detailed case history to understand the symptoms and any underlying issues. IBS is so personal and everyone is different. I start with recommending dietary changes as this sometimes fixes the problem. If symptoms continue then herbal treatments are prescribed to support symptoms and treat underlying issues.

If you or someone you know needs help with IBS call Victoria now on 9792 4248