…Maybe IBS symptoms are a signal for other issues in your gut!
According to some sources, 1 in 10 people or more are affected with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is one of the most common disorders seen by doctors and the most common IBS symptoms are abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements and etc. What’s worse? There is no recognized single treatment or cure – most people who are diagnosed with IBS symptoms are encouraged to find various ways to “manage” it or “deal with” it – my wife was one of them in fact.
Now, as an integrative nutritionist who specializes in helping people with digestion issues, the term IBS is in itself too generic for the wide suite of symptoms it covers. Because IBS is commonly-known to manifest itself differently from person to person, it certainly does seem like it would be difficult for someone to figure out how to properly “manage” it. But as I say to my clients regarding this issue, why accept such a negative and bleak conclusion for the rest of your life?
My wife had been “diagnosed” as being lactose intolerant at 5 years old and an IBS symptoms sufferer at 11. She was given books to read about how there was no cure and that she’d just have to figure out how to cope. Her case was a bad one too unfortunately. Her episodes primarily consisted of extreme cramping (of the writhing on the floor variety) and excessive bloating – for hours at a time. Fast forward to her late 20s when we met – by this time, she was a vegetarian by force solely due to her having given up on food altogether because she felt like everything she ate caused IBS symptoms. Throughout her life, she had passed every lab, blood and stool test, X-ray and endoscopic procedure (e.g., colonoscopy) without turning up any concrete evidence of anything more serious (celiac, Crohn’s Disease, etc.)– she was always left with the Acronym of Gloom: IBS.
As a digestive specialist, I refused to accept what she had already believed to be true. As I always say, it is important to get to the root cause of a health issue, don’t just treat the symptoms. For her health, and for the health of many of my clients after her, there are other options to consider to help overcoming these symptoms.
There are 5 R’s to generally follow that target digestive issues such as IBS, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Ulcers, Gastroespohageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) and Diverticulitis.
- RESEARCH: There has to be a reason why you are feeling this way. A great way to uncover some truths about your digestion is to take an IgG food allergies test. In my practice, we use the Bloodspot IgG4 Food Antibody Profile that measures levels of IgG antibodies specific to 30 of the most commonly offending foods. This is a tremendously great tool to help you and your nutritionist to achieve positive outcomes sooner! The most common offending foods eaten frequently that are usually hard to avoid are milk, corn, wheat, eggs and foods processed with molds such as black tea, breads and fruit juices. My wife tested severely intolerant to dairy and moderate to eggs and almonds.
- REMOVE: This may seem obvious – but the next step is to remove those foods that upset the intestinal/digestive tract from your diet. Continuing to eat foods that your body is not a fan of will continue to cause painful symptoms, localized irritation or even trigger the release of damaging chemicals into your body which can affect other tissues and organs. This is a great opportunity to participate in a detox program to truly give your body a fresh start. My clients do our 7- or 14- day NM CLEANSE program and have seen great results with it! For my wife, she removed all of those offending foods as well as red meat. While she didn’t test moderate or severe with it, she did notice she was quite uncomfortable and experienced bloating and pain after eating it so she made the wise choice to delete it from her diet to avoid the IBS symptoms that usually followed.
- REPLACE: With age and years of wear and tear, digestive enzymes, stomach acid secretions and other functions begin to decline. It is vital for this area of your body to function efficiently as this is where your body utilize nutrients, breaks down foods and eliminates waste. The simplest solution is to give your body support with natural supplementation. I recommend our New Metabolism products RESTORE (glutamine) and ULTRA DIGEST (digestive enzymes).
- RESTORE: Reestablish a health-promoting balance of probiotics (such as our REPLENISH 15 product) to help nourish the lining of the digestive tract, support a healthy immune function and intestinal barrier function.
- REPAIR: It is vital to help your body naturally regenerate the GI mucosal cells in your digestive tract. This can be supported by a targeted nutrition plan and through the utilization of specific supplements.
So, if you’ve been through the rounds of medical testing and your “diagnosis” is IBS, I encourage you not to settle because there may be more to your body’s story. Start by going through the 5 R’s above and make sure you have a nutritionist (like me) in your corner that cares. It is important to note that at my practice, we work hand-in-hand with some of the most notable doctors in their respective fields. Through our program, we work closely with these doctors on all of your lab interpretations so that together, we create the best plan of action for you. My wife has been symptom free for 7 years now – and obviously couldn’t be happier about it. But she takes every precaution to remain that way through her diet choices and digestive support supplements. After all, happiness is a mere functioning stomach away!
If you’re looking for a caring nutrition practice, call my practice New Metabolism today. We help people across the country to reach and maintain their health and wellness goals through a proven and structured program that is tailored specifically to you. Call 310-828-2251 or visit our website at newmetabolism.com.