Signs and Symptoms of IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a functional GI disorder that changes how the gastrointestinal tract functions. Symptoms may include: loose watery stools, constipation, pain or cramping in the abdomen, gas and bloating, a feeling of fullness, bouts of diarrhea followed by constipation and vice versa. Most people will experience mild to moderate symptoms of IBS, however symptoms can gradually worsen over time and become severe for some patients.

There are many causes of IBS, and one or more may apply to you. Genetic tendencies can play a role in IBS, and if you are prone to it because of your genetics, then you are more likely to develop it. Infections, stress, poor diet, side effects from medications, heavy metals, toxins from the air, water, food and personal care products, poor signaling from your brain to your gut, are all common causes of digestive disorders. Some of these factors irritate or inflame your digestive system directly while others weaken your immune system. When your immune system is weak, it can then lead to an attack on your digestive system.

It’s important to get to the bottom of what’s causing your IBS. If you’re taking medication, you are likely just treating the symptoms. Unfortunately medications won’t alleviate the cause your GI problem. The first step is finding the right practitioner to work with so that you ensure you’re getting the best care that will help you meet your goals. A naturopathic doctor may just be the option that you’re looking for.

Functional medicine involves evaluating and managing the different systems of the body as they interact together. These systems do not work independently so managing them together yields optimal results. Naturopathic medicine also takes into account your diet, exercise, stress level, toxin overload and sleep. Optimizing all these factors to help you achieve greater overall health and wellbeing is what naturopathic medicine is all about.

Your brain, immune system, digestive system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, urinary system all work together. Your body does not function properly if one of your systems is out of balance. That unbalanced system can also negatively affect other systems. For example, if your brain is not signaling your digestive system properly, it won’t function at its peak. Your body can struggle for years to compensate for a poorly functioning system, or lack of nutrients, before it finally can’t continue and you develop a disease. 

Naturopathic doctors start all care with a complete physical and neurological evaluation, as well as comprehensive laboratory testing. By determining the root cause of your condition, they can recommend natural, safe and effective therapies and lifestyle changes that will not only improve your IBS, but also your overall health.