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Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Leaky Gut Syndrome - Integrative Medicine

Patrick Massey MD, PhD
ALT-MED Medical and Physical Therapy
Elk Grove Village Il and serving the Chicago area

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or spastic colon is the most common reason for seeing a gastroenterologist. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, constipation and diarrhea in the absence of any detectable organic cause. Irritable Bowel Syndrome may begin after an infection, stress, or onset of maturity without any other medical indicators. Irritable bowel syndrome may be closely related to Leaky Gut Syndrome (click here) since many of the symptoms are the same.

Traditional medicine believes that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is idiopathic…has no real cure because there is no real pathology. The most common theory is that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a miscommunication between the brain and bowels…but there is no medical research to confirm this hypothesis. Medical treatments focus on relieving symptoms, primarily with medications.

Several conditions may present like Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten Intolerance
  • Fructose malabsorption
  • Dysbiosis (increase in "bad" bacteria in bowel) – usually from antibiotic and acid-blocking medications
  • Parasites – travel
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome may be related to chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and may be a strong correlation with Leaky Gut Syndrome (click here). It is also regarded as a chronic illness and can dramatically affect the quality of life. Due to often unsatisfactory results from medical treatments for IBS up to fifty percent of people turn to alternative and complementary medicine or integrative medicine.


Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Probiotics

Good bacteria that have a mutually beneficial relationship with people. In the modern world, medications, food, water and even stress can negatively impact the growth of good bacteria and stimulate growth of pathogenic bacteria. There are many probiotic bacteria that may be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture (click here) may be very effective for irritable bowel syndrome. Outside of the brain, the highest concentration of nerve tissue in the body is in the bowels. Acupuncture seems to work well nerve related medical conditions. Acupuncture has had good success at ALT-MED with irritable bowel syndrome.

Dietary supplements

A number of dietary supplements are soothing to the bowel and may significantly relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Specific dietary supplements may actually promote the growth of good bacteria as well as relieve a localized inflammation. Some dietary supplements help to decrease cramping and reduce the incidence of diarrhea. Dietary supplements should be prescribed by an integrated medicine physician since there is a potential for interaction with drugs. Integrated medicine physicians are experts in both dietary supplements as well as medications.


Energy medicine

There are no well-controlled clinical trials for the use of energy medicine (click here) with your bowel syndrome. However, personal experience indicates that, for some, energy medicine can be beneficial in reducing the spasm and pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Qigong breathing techniques, a form of "self" energy healing can also be very successful with irritable bowel syndrome.
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Tuesday April 25, 2017