Naturopathic Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS symptoms such as gas, bloating, reflux, cramps, abdominal pain, stool issues (i.e. constipation and diarrhoea) and food allergies/intolerances can severely affect your quality of life. This is because food plays such a huge role in our lives both physically and emotionally. There is nothing worse than sitting down to a meal in fear of how your body will react afterwards, especially if the symptoms could be inconvenient, painful or embarrassing.
Most of the underlying causes of IBS can be linked back to the composition of our gut microbiome. Within the gut there is both “bad” and “good” bacteria. The good keep the bad in check. When the bad overrun the good, they release inflammatory molecules that cause inflammation in the gut and therefore disrupt normal digestive processes (i.e. breakdown and absorption of food/nutrients). This leads to digestive symptoms because poorly digested and absorbed food gets excessively fermented in the gut and the by-product of fermentation is excessive gas. Excessive gas production leads to an increase in intra-abdominal pressure resulting in symptoms like gas, bloating, reflux, abdominal pain and cramps. Also, poor digestion and absorption of food due to imbalances in the gut microbiome is a driver behind food intolerances.
Furthermore, the bacteria that inhabit our guts also play a large role in regulating our immune function as 80% of immune cells are located in our gut. An unhealthy microbiome will cause disruptions to the immune system, which can lead to food allergies, where the body ultimately mounts immune responses on harmless proteins that are located in our food. However, they are perceived as harmful by the body due to disruptions in the immune system.