We Know How Irritable Bowel Syndrome Feels
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Practitioner Training with Jon Gamble
Obstacles to Cure 1
Obstacles to Cure 2
The ABC of IBS
ADVANCED DIGESTIVE DISEASES
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Through treating many patients with IBS, we understand the impact that IBS has on your life. IBS sufferers experience constant pain, irregular bowel movements, and persistent discomfort. For many, it produces anxiety or irritability, with some sufferers becoming ‘depressed’ because there is seemingly no end to their suffering
. Many sufferers are told, “it is all just stress.” While stress generally makes any symptom or illness worse, we recognise that IBS is far more than just stress.
This information is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. We do not sell products over the internet.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
When medically assessed, eliminating a range of possible diagnoses makes a diagnosis of IBS. This means that after a range of tests patients are told what they don’t have.
While it may be reassuring that you don’t have a serious or life-threatening condition, the end result is that your IBS diagnosis leaves you with few treatment options, and many patients are told that they will just have to live with it.
Our experience is that once the cause is identified and treated, there is an end to IBS.
Is IBS a 'Real' Condition?
After treating many patients with IBS, we now understand that IBS is not a single illness or condition. This realisation has helped us to understand IBS far better. Let’s face it ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ is a rather broad term, covering just about any bowel symptom a person can have. There are agreed diagnostic criteria called the ‘Ro
me 3 Criteria’, but in practice any bowel discomfort for which there seems to be no cause tends to be diagnosed by health care practitioners as IBS.
Rather than being a single condition, it is a collection of varying bowel symptoms caused by a variety of factors. This is why the questions we ask in our questionnaire are so vast –
we need to get a clear picture of why a person has the symptoms that they do. When we determine which category of IBS you have, treatment is then straight-forward. Unfortunately
there is widespread misunderstanding about what IBS is. Health professionals try to reduce it to one illness. We can tell you that we have identified 20 different causes of IBS. Once we know which of these is the cause or causes, the appropriate treatment is effective.
Is My IBS All In My Mind?
Stress does make IBS worse and so it is correct that stress can trigger IBS symptoms, or make them worse, but we find that there is usually an underlying physiological (NOT psychological) cause.
Many IBS sufferers are told that their IBS is caused by stress and are recommended to use some relaxation therapies. Reducing stress levels by using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or a similar therapy may reduce the symptoms, but does not address the underlying cause. In most people there is a definite physical cause of their IBS.
What Causes IBS?
Of all the causes of IBS which we have identified, here are some of the most common ones:
There has been a case of traveller’s diarrhoea or food poisoning years before followed by ongoing bowel problems. In other cases the patient ate some ‘dodgy’ seafood or drank suspect water. Sometimes there is no clear onset: the symptoms have appeared gradually over time only from drinking the town water supply. This patient will have underlying gut parasites. This may not always show clearly in a stool pathology test. The 3-day stool sample test using a special fixative to preserve the stool is a gold standard for investigating chronic parasitic infections: but even these will not always uncover a specific parasite. This type of IBS occurs equally in men and women (and children).
Many patients have sluggish gallbladders. Symptoms of this may be nausea, constipation or diarrhoea, with flatulence and an inability to digest oily or spicy foods. Patients with these symptoms who have had an abdominal ultrasound may have been told they do not have gall stones. However, ultrasounds do not detect these sluggish or malfunctioning gallbladder problems. Although this occurs in both men and women, it is most common in young women. It is uncommon in children. It is particularly common in women who are taking the Oral Contraceptive Pill. Our clinic research has demonstrated a clear link between use of the Pill and IBS (though your doctor will probably assure you there is no such link).
Many people with IBS take some form of probiotic, which often helps their symptoms. This means that the bacteria in the gut is out of balance, which is called ‘dysbiosis.’
There are a variety of causes of dysbiosis, which include taking antibiotics, the oral contraceptive pill, or a period of stress. A person with dysbiosis may have too much ‘candida’ in their bowel and this can cause sugar cravings, frequent hunger, dizziness and headaches, (low blood sugar-type symptoms) flatulence and fatigue. Sweet food and refined foods usually aggravate these symptoms. There are sub-varieties of dysbiosis and each of these respond better to different supplements.
Some long-standing cases of IBS have a mixture of all three of the above causes, and these cases require a longer treatment time.
Do Probiotics Help IBS?
These supplements are popularly used to treat IBS. While probiotics are a useful treatment, they only help IBS where there is a candida dysbiosis (overgrowth of candida yeast in the gut), which occurs in about 25% of patients OR if there is a deficiency of beneficial bacteria. Both these factors can occur together. For IBS sufferers without a candida overgrowth or deficiency of gut flora, probiotics are not the primary treatment for IBS and will offer only limited relief.
What Tests Do You Do?
Stool samples to test for gut parasites, other pathogens gut flora balance.
Blood tests – may reveal eosinophils.
Urinary Indicans Test – may reveal pathogenic bacteria overgrowth.
Hair Mineral Analysis – may reveal other toxicities.
How Do You Treat IBS?
Once we understand the causes behind the symptoms, treatment is generally straightforward. Because there is a range of causes of IBS, there are a variety of different medicines that we prescribe. There is no ‘one size fits all’ or single solution when treating IBS. Please note that we do not sell any products for the treatment of IBS. All treatment plans are made for each patient individually. We do not provide treatment without a consultation.
Treatment consists of:
- Homeopathic medicines
- Herbal medicines
- Dietary modification
- Mineral supplementation
- Chelation therapy
The treatment period varies, but usually takes between three and nine months.
If there is no improvement in your symptoms after six weeks, specialised pathology show more about the likely cause of your IBS. We will then modify your treatment plan. Your response to our treatment at the 2nd consultation is essential for us to evaluate your progress.
How Long Do I Need to Take Medicine For?
Once the cause of your IBS has been correctly treated, it is not necessary to keep taking any medicine. Our aim is that you will no longer require any medicine, including our own medicine.
How Successful Is This Treatment?
We expect the majority of patients to become symptom-free by the conclusion of treatment.
However, if you suffer from an additional health problem, like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, your treatment will be more involved, over a longer period of time, with greater variables.
Of course our preference is to meet you face-to-face, at least for your first consultation. However, we realise with distance this is not possible for many patients, especially those resident outside Australia. This is why we are able to offer our services via distance. The certainty of our treatment protocols permits us to reliably offer distance consultations.
Can I buy products for my IBS?
No, we do not sell any products over the internet. This will be obvious once you have understood that IBS has many different causes. Therefore there is no one medicine for everyone. Medicine is individually prescribed after your first consultation. If it is not possible for you to have a consultation, the other alternative is to use the self-help measures detailed in our e-book. Here we describe simple methods to improve IBS, once you have clearly identified which type of IBS you have. You can download the ebook here
Our clinical research on IBS can be found in our book: The Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (2006). Please note this is a book written for health care practitioners, and the methods described in it are also taught to practitioners in seminars.
If you are not a practitioner, we recommend the public version of this book for self management of IBS, called Treat Your IBS Yourself, available here
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Please note that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Patients who are seeking our guidance for IBD will usually be asked to do a special test called IgA Panel, which is a blood test. The test will look for the common inflammatory triggers.