Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is one of the most common conditions seen in primary care practice settings. IBS is multi-factoral and can be incredibly difficult to manage and treat. Typical treatment protocols for IBS include ruling out other gastrointestinal disorders and then managing symptoms while often times failing to address the underlying problem. While all conditions have a myriad of possible causes, identifying possible culprits to disease development can help to “put out the fire” instead of just “fanning away the smoke.”
IBS is a group of symptoms, including abdominal pain and changes in bowel movement patterns that is classified as a “functional gastrointestinal disorder.” If you’ve found yourself scoping out the nearest bathroom while you’re away from home or find that your bowel habits are impairing your life, you may have IBS. IBS is typically diagnosed by exclusion, meaning that lab tests and assessment for other diseases have been ruled out and you do not fit the criteria for diagnosis.
Having symptoms is your body’s way of screaming that something is awry in your gut, so management should be aimed to remedy that situation.
There is no one cause of IBS as it is rather a complex collection of symptoms with multiple causes. It is not classified as an autoimmune disorder, but does share the same risk factors including:
- Leaky Gut
- Dietary Factors
- Food Sensitivities
- Infections(SIBO, Yeast Overgrowth, Parasites)
Your Nutritional Therapy Counseling Session Includes Nicole’s “4-R Approach” to Healing the Gut:
Healthy gastrointestinal (GI) function is essential for good health. For many individuals, suboptimal GI function may be the result of processed foods, environmental toxins, excess sugar and alcohol, inadequate intake of water, fiber, and other probiotic and prebiotic nutrients, stress, and a variety of other factors. However, these factors can be addressed and healthy GI function supported with a FOUR phase program
The FOUR Phases of This Approach Are:
- Remove: Triggers that affect GI function which include food sensitivities, overgrowth of unfriendly organism, and other potential GI stressors.
- Replace: Digestive enzymes and supporting chemicals that are needed for optimum digestion.
- Repopulate: Targeted probiotic supplementation to help support the health of the GI Tract and maintain proper microbial balance.
- Repair: The lining of the GI tract is essential for the recovery and maintenance of our health as it acts as a barrier against undigested foods, toxins, and other organisms. It is also necessary proper nutrient absorption
Nutritional Therapy Discussions include:
- The importance of the gastrointestinal tract on the management of IBS
- Ways to optimize your bacterial ratios in the GI tract
- Foods to help “heal and seal” the gut
- The role of stress on the body
- Therapeutic foods to incorporate
- Foods to avoid for symptoms relief
- Targeted nutritional supplementation
What are the suggested lab tests?
“I’m on day 7 of the first 14 days [of the LEAP diet]. Feeling clean. I didn’t know eating could be so comfortable. My gut doesn’t hurt at all post-meals and I don’t get sleepy from eating. Lost a few pounds. My bowel movements are very healthy and frequent, which always makes me feel good.” – Zuzanna K.