Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional illness of the gastrointestinal tract, that is, an illness in which the intestine (bowel) fails to function normally. To some extent it is a catch all designation as its causes and symptomatic picture cover a wide spectrum. The most common symptoms of IBS are constipation, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. Less commonly they include abnormal passage of stool, abnormal form of stool, flatulence, and a feeling of abdominal distension (bloating).
In our experience we find the most common causes of IBS to be undiagnosed food intolerances, intestinal dysbiosis, and chronic or severe acute stress. To treat IBS we first identify the underlying causes using muscle testing.By this process of eliminating the causes of IBS we have had good success with IBS.
Crohn’s disease or regional enteritis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. It can impact anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract but most commonly impacts the small and large intestine. Common symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and in sever cases vomiting.
Outside the gastrointestinal tract symptoms may impact on the skin, eyes, and joints and generate a generalised malaise. Its causes are unclear. A genetic predisposition has been identified, as have immune, environmental and microbial causes.
While it looks and behaves a lot like an autoimmune disorder, particularly at the non gastrointestinal sites of impact, there is some dispute as to whether it is autoimmune or an immune deficiency disorder. From our perspective this is to a large extent academic as both are a problem with immune targeting. We address them similarly as they share the same constellation of underlying causes.
When trying to identify underlying causes it is essential to look at all aspects of the patient’s lifestyle. The practice’s medical herbalist Samantha McSorley has had very good results with lifestyle changes particularly dietary changes. For those who want to consider an alternative to medication or surgery the Alpha Omega Clinic offers a real and safe alternative. We aim at changing the factors underlying your symptomatic picture so that you can discuss with your medical practitioner coming off medication.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease. Unlike Crohn’s disease it is usually confined in the GI tract to the large bowel. It is treated medically as an autoimmune disorder using corticosteroids or immunosuppressant drugs. In extreme cases surgery is indicated, but we would hope that the patient has come to us long before things deteriorate to this stage. Biological agents are also occasionally used but these can have significant risk depending on the agent used.
As with other inflammatory bowel disorders, the common symptoms are diarrhoea which often consists of mucus mixed with blood, pain which varies from mild discomfort to significant pain associated with bowel movements. The loss of blood may be associated with anaemia. Outside the GI tract other parts of the body can be impacted including mouth ulcers, inflammation the eye, arthritic pain, skin eruptions, and even deep vein thrombosis.
There is good clinical evidence supporting the use of herbs, diet and probiotics. Some trials have produced results comparable to medications without the risks and side effects. Sam has successfully treated many cases of ulcerative colitis, allowing patients to come off medications and take control of their lives again. As with all illnesses that have in their spectrum of triggers, environmental factors, it is often by dealing with the underlying causes that the cycle of remission and exacerbation that characterises ulcerative colitis is broken.