Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects one in six people, with symptoms ranging from bloating, gas, and abdominal pain to chronic constipation and/or diarrhea. While IBS is generally not life threatening, it’s impact on an individual’s lifestyle should not be underestimated. IBS sufferers are well aware of the pain and embarrassment that can accompany attacks. Those stricken with Irritable Bowel Syndrome often suffer in silence, feeling betrayed by their very own bodies. While symptoms can be relieved by a regimen of prescription drugs or over the counter medications, these drug reliant treatments have their disadvantages. They can only treat the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and cannot address it’s underlying causes. Drug heavy treatments are also accompanied by a host of unwanted side effects, which can be as difficult to manage as the original disorder.
Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The specific causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome remain largely undiscovered. What is known, however, is that heredity, allergies and physical and mental stress play a large part in instigating, and exacerbating, the symptoms of the disorder. With the instances of IBS increasing exponentially over the last 30 years, it can be inferred that changes in our environment, lifestyles and personal stresses play a key role in the manifestation of the disorder. The most common medical treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome continue to focus exclusively on the digestive tract. These treatments include regular doses of anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, anti-diarrheals, and laxatives. But as we have seen, these kinds of treatments only address the symptoms of IBS, and cannot attempt to affect a cure.
Relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Recent research into IBS, and other digestive disorders, has shown a direct correlation between the total health of the body, with all of it’s inter-related systems, and the health of the mind. By considering the body as a whole and by addressing these digestive disorders with an eye toward a healthy balance of all aspects of the human body, physicians can give their patients greater, and more long lasting, relief from the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The first step to successfully treating IBS is to treat the cause instead of the effect.
This is done be examining the autonomic nervous system first because the tenth cranial nerve called the vagus nerve supplies the complete digestive tract, enabling it to digest properly. If there is an imbalance in the vagus nerve because of either past head trauma, or past medication/drug use or because other chemicals or toxins had absorbed into the brain and brain-stem then the IBS will never heal until these blockages are removed. Next to examine is the hormonal system. The digestive tract is controlled by the stress hormone called cortisol. When cortisol is high or low in the body then the digestive tract starts to break down and one is predisposed to inflammatory conditions of the intestinal tract like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Also it is important to examine the patient’s complete medical history. It is important to consider more than just the recorded instances of illness, but to also look at the overall health of the individual, taking into account lifestyle, physical and emotional stresses, as well as any recent environmental changes. In this way, clinicians can locate the imbalances in the body and work towards returning the patient’s systems to a harmonious balance. This holistic approach to IBS treatment has brought relief to millions of patients around the world, returning them to happy and productive lives, unencumbered by the pain and embarrassment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Holistic Approach to IBS Treatment
The holistic approach to treating Irritable bowel Syndrome includes the use of a combination of probiotic supplements, digestive enzymes and whole body therapies to balance the nervous and hormonal systems, along with detoxifying the liver. Probiotics help to immediately alleviate the recurring effects of IBS and have been proven to reduce the symptoms of the disorder by as much as 42% in clinical studies. Coupled with this therapy is an exploration of the total mental and physical status of the patient. Stress, diet and environmental exposures are considered and compared to the instances of IBS flare ups to determine what factors may be contributing to the disorder. This method of balancing mind, body and environment helps clinicians and patients to make adjustments that can decrease, and sometimes eliminate, the recurrence of Irritable bowel Syndrome. The process can take some time, but the outcome of this total health approach is a life free from the trials and tribulations of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Patients suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome can find relief through a holistic approach to the mind and body interface that is so important to human health and well being. When ones entire body is in balance, and is working harmoniously, the instances of colitis, bowel inflammation and bowel irregularity can be greatly diminished, and in many cases eliminated entirely. Dietary adjustments, regular exercise to improve the overall health of the body and mind, as well as a systematic identification and elimination of stresses and toxins offers real relief for long time sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
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