Friday, 8 June 2007

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) cure

Excellent 'alternative health' doctor Dr John Briffa has reminded me that the conventional medical establishment still has its head in the sand about irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short. A recent study apparently recommends treating IBS with antidepressants, behavioural therapies and hypnotherapy. In other words, 'we can't find a physical cause, so it must be psychological'.

I don't deny that stress may be a contributor to IBS. But it is a great shame that the conventional medical establishment, and the national health service in particular, seems unable to accept the evidence that there are physical causes.

My husband had IBS for many years, until it worsened to the point where he was forced to 'do something'. His GP diagnosed IBS and referred him to a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist did various tests to check for other problems, then confirmed the diagnosis as IBS. Apart from giving him a diet sheet to follow focusing on high fibre foods including plenty of wheat and other grains, and suggesting he try to avoid stress, he had no solutions to offer.

Knowing a little about the varied effects problems such as nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities and intestinal yeast overgrowth can have, I suggested my husband visit a specialist in nutritional and environmental medicine. Sure enough, he tested positive for all these problems. After treatment with anti-fungal medicine, nutritional supplementation and a Stone-Age style allergy elimination diet, his IBS improved rapidly. He now considers himself cured. His personal prescription for preventing the symptoms coming back comprises avoiding wheat, sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods.

Oh, and by the way, the severe hay fever he suffered for years has now disappeared, as well. This is apparently a common result of eliminating allergens from the diet, due to the 'overflowing barrel' principle. (Your immune system can cope with a certain level of stressors, but add just one more and the barrel overflows, causing a variety of allergy-related reactions. Conversely, reduce just some of the stressors, and the barrel stops overflowing).

Alternative health practitioners like Dr Briffa have many examples of IBS patients being cured by these methods, but they are sadly largely ignored by the conventional medical establishment. So my message to all those out there who suffer from IBS - don't just accept there is no cure, and don't rely on the conventional medical establishment to inform you about 'alternative' methods of treatment which actually work, either.

Dr Briffa's article on IBS


Nichole said...

from various forums and blogs, I did find Imodium as the recommended drug for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

Raye said...

I realize this is an old post but am writing in hopes of helping someone else. I went through 7 years of IBS hell. Dr after Dr. had no help for me. Diet changes did nothing. I went to the ENT Dr. with a sore throat that would not go away. A test showed my throat had a yeast infection. Two weeks of Diflucan and my IBS was gone. When I tried to talk to my ENT about this she would not discuss it, said she did not deal with bowels problems. I guess it took seven years for the yeast to make it's way through my intestinal tract to my throat. I blame this on many years of anti bioitics due to severe sinus problems. That was at least 8 years ago and I still have no IBS, thank God. I do take acidophulus on occasion when symptoms start to return. I wish the medical community would stop denying the connection and end needless suffering.

Anonymous said...

Diflucan has worked for my IBS too! And the Dr's look at me like I have two heads when I tell them that! I have had a couple recurrences and have taken the diflucan again and it goes away for months and years at a time, so I know it is not coincidence.