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Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can feel like a ball and chain that you just can’t shake off. But IBS doesn’t define who you are. It can be cured permanently.

If you’re ready to cure your IBS permanently, contact us today. We’ve cured thousands of patients, and we’re here to help you get back to living your life.

For many of our patients, regular exercise helps them stay healthy. Exercise creates endorphins and reduces stress levels, keeping the whole body healthier and more mentally relaxed.

Daily wellness inspiration can help you stay focused on reaching your health goals too. Whether you’re permanently cured or are just beginning to take steps toward greater wellness, you can gain inspiration and encouragement from these empowering folks.

Follow these incredible Instagram health and wellness personalities for healthy recipes, uplifting quotes and positive can-do attitudes:

yoga_girl
Daily stressors at work or in your relationships can trigger or worsen your IBS symptoms. Yoga is one of the best ways to reduce stress and heal the mind-body connection. Follow Swedish yoga guru Rachel Brathen to learn new yoga exercises that will increase your inner harmony and core strength.

baby_fitgym
Parents, when was the last time you worked out? It’s easy to let your workouts slide when you’re taking care of little ones. Check out Kristy’s channel – she’ll show how you can incorporate your little ones into your workout and make fitness fun and fit into your schedule!

heidikristoffer
As the founder of CrossFlowX, a training program that flawlessly blends elements of yoga and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), Heidi is one of the most innovative fitness gurus on Instagram today. Follow Heidi for uplifting quotes and yoga poses for beginners and advanced folks alike.

mandymartini
If you’re looking to mix up your daily yoga routine with some amazing new moves, follow the amazing Mandy Martini. She combines the power of fitness with positive thinking in her posts.

Clap your toesies when you are really happy, clap clap! 😋📷: @activefocus

A photo posted by Mandy M. Vazquez | LA • SWEDEN (@mandymartini) on

fitnessontoast
For all you fashion lovers out there, London-based trainer Faya Nilsson will be your new favorite. Faya combines her flawless sense of fashion with fun workouts and delicious, low-calorie snack recipes.

thebodycoach
Get powered up and inspired by fitness star Joe Wicks. He posts awesome dishes and inspiring before-and-afters from people following his advice.

basebodybabes
These Australian sisters show how living fit and healthy can be joyful. Their friendly, outgoing faces (and trendy athleisure gear) will inspire you to get moving and reach your goals!

Contact Us Today

The IBS Treatment Center has unmatched success in curing IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). With clinics in Seattle and Los Angeles, we help patients around the world get the answers they’ve been looking for. Call the IBS Treatment Center today at 888.546.6283 or request an appointment online to find out how you can cure your IBS symptoms for good!

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Popular IBS Diets

ibs dietsIf you’re suffering from IBS symptoms, you’ve probably received unhelpful diet advice from everyone.

“Have you tried cutting out gluten?”
“Have you tried eating low-fat?”
“My sister went vegan and she’s so much happier now!”

Unfortunately, many people with IBS have tried seemingly every diet under the sun—and still suffer symptoms.

Are there diets that can actually help? This is a complicated question. The diet that helps one person can actually make another sicker. And for some patients, diet is not the issue at all! But one thing is clear—there is no single right diet for IBS.

At the IBS Treatment Center, we work individually with patients to identify their unique dietary needs. And we’ve cured more than 80% of our patients with this individualized care.

That being said, here are 4 current trendy IBS diets to be aware of

Gluten-Free Dietibs diets gluten free

This diet is exceptionally popular right now. And there is good scientific evidence that some people have real, measurable reactions to a specific protein in gluten grains. (Others have reactions to other components of gluten grains, but not specifically gluten.)

Unfortunately, due to its current popularity, there is a misconception that the gluten-free diet is inherently healthy and a good idea for everyone. That’s just not true. A gluten-free diet can be a healthy diet, but just cutting out gluten, without attention to ensuring proper nutrition, can cause problems.

Some IBS sufferers do find that eliminating gluten helps soothe or even prevent symptoms. But we have seen “false positives,” where patients seem to react to gluten, but actually need to address a different medical issue entirely. Once that issue is addressed, the formerly “gluten-intolerant” patient can eat gluten again without problems.

This complexity is best addressed by working with an expert doctor who has the tools and experience to help you decide if this diet is the right choice for your health.

If your doctor does recommend a gluten-free diet, here is what you can expect:

Most breads, cakes, pastas, and other starchy, bready foods will be off-limits. They’re normally made with wheat flour, which contains a protein called “gluten.” However, gluten-free shoppers have a multitude of specialty alternatives today—replacing wheat flour with other flours made from rice, corn, quinoa, flax, or even nuts and beans.

Low-Fat Diet

ibs diets low fatSince high-fat foods can cause diarrhea, some people with IBS find that eating a low-fat diet helps with their symptoms.

However, while a low-fat diet is helpful for some people, it doesn’t help everyone. In fact, for some people, it can actually be unhelpful.

This complexity is best addressed by working with an expert IBS doctor with the tools and experience to help you determine the best choice for your health.

If your doctor does recommend a low-fat diet, here’s what you can expect:

Less frying and more baking, steaming, and broiling. You’d trim more fat from meats before cooking, and choose leaner cuts in general (loin versus roast, breast versus thigh, etc.). You’d also look for low-fat or fat-free dairy products and bakery items.

Paleo Diet

ibs diets paleoOn the opposite end of the continuum from the low-fat diet is the paleo diet, which has gained enormous popularity in recent years.

Unfortunately, despite its celebrity status among foodies, this diet is not likely to be the best solution for people with IBS. The diet is based on what cavemen ate, back before the invention of agriculture. Paleo foods are therefore less refined and can be more challenging to digest—which in some cases can make things worse.

If you are advised by an expert IBS doctor to try the paleo diet, here’s what you can expect: primarily unprocessed meats, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Paleo eaters generally avoid processed foods, sweeteners, dairy, and grains.

Again, we don’t recommend trying the paleo diet before working with a doctor who has the tools and experience to help you decide if this diet is the right choice for your health.

Low-Glycemic Index Diet

ibs diets low glycemicThe Low-Glycemic Index Diet (or Slow-Carb Diet) is designed to reduce fluctuations in blood sugar and thereby reduce food cravings. This diet prioritizes foods that are high-fiber or high-fat, both of which slow down digestion.

Unfortunately, while this diet does help some people, it’s generally unhelpful (and may even worsen symptoms) for people with IBS. The higher fiber and fat content of this diet can put additional strain on the digestive system.

If you’re curious about the low-glycemic index diet, we recommend speaking with a doctor who has the tools and experience to help you decide if this diet is the right choice for your health.

If, under consultation with that doctor, you decide to go forward with this diet, here’s what to expect:

You’d follow the Glycemic Index and avoid foods with high glycemic scores (more than 70) and instead choose those with lower measures (less than 55). You’d also limit your portion sizes overall, since large meals lead to large increases in blood glucose.

Of course, none of these diets alone is likely to directly address the underlying cause of your IBS. Furthermore, what works for one person can be problematic for another. But at the IBS Treatment Center, we’ve found that specific, customized paths to wellness work and have helped thousands cure their IBS for good.

Contact Us Today

The IBS Treatment Center has the highest success rate for curing IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) of any medical facility in the United States. With clinics in Seattle and Los Angeles, we help patients around the world get the answers they’ve been looking for. Call the IBS Treatment Center today at 888.546.6243
or request an appointment online to find out how you can cure your IBS symptoms for good!

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Is Exercise Safe When You Have IBS?

exercise good for ibs

Living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can make you feel like your whole life is restricted. But in reality, that’s far from the case.

In fact, many people with IBS find light physical activity is excellent for improving their symptoms. It helps you feel better, both physically and mentally.

Why Is Exercise Good for IBS?

Of course, healthy lifestyle choices are important for everyone. A healthy diet and regular physical exercise help keep your body strong and vigorous for your whole life.

Of course, for those of us with IBS, self-care is even more important. Exercise is not only good for mind and body—it can even help with symptoms.

Exercise is beneficial for two main reasons:

1. It reduces stress. Stress can trigger IBS, and so soothing your stress levels is a key part of IBS management. The rush of endorphins released from exercising helps ease your muscles and soothe your mind.

2. It improves fitness and stamina. A recent study uncovered that people who were physically fit and ate a healthy diet had fewer gastrointestinal problems. Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help you combat symptoms and reduce flare-ups.

You don’t need to run a marathon to feel the benefits, either. Gentle exertion—just enough to get your heart rate elevated and your blood pumping—should be plenty. Take it slow at first and see what works for your body.

What Kind of Exercises Are Best for IBS?

Of course, you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Everybody is different, and you may have unique needs your doctor can advise you about.

That being said, many people with IBS enjoy these low-impact exercises:

Yoga is a wonderful, non-jarring activity. Its soothing nature and emphasis on deep breathing and slow movement is perfect for those of us with IBS. Yoga is also a known stress reliever, helping to relax muscles and minds too.

Walking is also great for gentle exercise. A casual stroll is a great way to get a little exercise without committing too much. But this simple activity can still help hugely: you’ll stretch out tight muscles and get your blood pumping. Slow walks in parks, hiking trails, or around your neighborhood can provide all of the benefits of light exercise.

And don’t let bad weather get in your way! Walk around a local shopping mall or a museum. Walks can be enjoyable as well as healthy.

Tips for Exercising with IBS

It’s important to keep in mind that each of our bodies have individual needs. You’ll get to know yours better through exercise.

Respect your body’s needs. If an activity doesn’t feel right or isn’t helping, try something else. It might take some experimentation to find the correct exercise and pace. That’s completely okay and normal. Be patient with yourself in this new chapter of life!

Living with a chronic health problem can make life more challenging, it’s true. But nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. Light exercise is a great way to lower your stress levels, soothe your symptoms, and improve your quality of life.

We help patients around the world get the answers they are looking for. Contact the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle or Santa Monica today – we’ll help you take back control of your life.

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You Can Be Free of IBS for Life!

home-image-3Dr Wangen has been free of his IBS for 20 years and that’s his goal for every patient that comes into the IBS Treatment Center. Read Dr. Wangen’s IBS story. Most of our patients have sought treatment from other doctors with poor outcomes. Don’t give up. We have had success with patients who went to top clinics such as Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, and the Cleveland Clinic but didn’t find help there. Some patients need just a few appointments to completely resolve their IBS issues.

We work with patients from all across the US and around the world, so don’t let your busy schedule or frequent travel discourage you from getting the answers – and results – you deserve. The IBS specialists at our clinic will determine the cause of your IBS and focus treatment on the underlying issue so you can be IBS-free for life.

Contact the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle or Santa Monica today – we’ll help you take back control of your life.

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ibs misconceptions#1 – What is IBS?

The biggest of the IBS misconceptions defines a specific medical condition. IBS is, by definition, just a group of symptoms affecting the digestive tract that haven’t been explained. Unlike cancer, a stroke, or the flu, IBS is more of a starting point than a diagnosis, because it doesn’t provide any new information.

Once a person has the symptoms it is necessary to do additional testing to identify the cause of those symptoms – what you might call an actual diagnosis. Once you have an actual diagnosis, then you can treat whatever it is that causes the symptoms and usually stop them.

#2 – The Causes of IBS?

A second common misconception is that IBS is only caused by one thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. The digestive tract is very complicated, but can only display a limited range of symptoms. There are many things that can cause constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, etc. Any individual might have one or more of the causes at any one time.

There is a wide range of causes of IBS and many patients have more than one cause, sometimes several causes, at the same time. For example, many patients have an allergy to a food, which causes them to have IBS symptoms. But not all IBS patients have food allergies. Many patients have bacterial or microbial issues, for example, not enough of the needed digestive bacteria are living in their digestive tract. But not all IBS patients have bacterial issues either. Some patients have food allergies, bacterial/microbial issues, and other factors. To correctly diagnose the cause of IBS symptoms it is necessary to test for a range of potential causes. If you don’t treat all of the conditions you have, your IBS probably won’t be resolved.

#3 – How to Treat IBS

The third misconception is that there is a single treatment for IBS. This misunderstanding goes along with the previous misconception- that there is only one cause. The reason that there isn’t a single treatment for IBS is that there isn’t a single cause.

If all IBS were caused by dairy allergies, treatment would be simple – don’t eat dairy products. But because there are many, sometimes overlapping causes, there will never be a single simple treatment for IBS symptoms.

#4 – Stress & IBS

Lastly, but perhaps the most common misconception is that IBS is caused by stress. If this were true the world would be full of IBS patients. We see patients all the time that have been told by their doctor that stress is the problem, but once we identify the cause and treat it, the symptoms are resolved. What is even more interesting is that many patients report that while they had IBS symptoms they also had a heightened sense of anxiety, but that it went away when they treated their condition.

That is not to say that stress can’t make IBS worse. Stress can affect the immune system and that can impact IBS symptoms. But stress is usually not the underlying cause of the symptoms.

The IBS specialists at our clinic will determine the cause of your IBS and focus treatment on the underlying issue so you can be IBS-free for life. Contact the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle or Santa Monica today – we’ll help you take back control of your life.

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IBS Symptoms Vary From Person to Person

The biggest misconception is that IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) defines a specific medical condition. IBS is, by definition, just a group of symptoms affecting the digestive tract that haven’t been explained. Unlike cancer, a stroke, or the flu, IBS is more of a starting point than a diagnosis, because it doesn’t provide any new information.

Once a person has the symptoms it is necessary to do additional testing to identify the cause of those symptoms – what you might call an actual diagnosis. Once you have an actual diagnosis, then you can treat whatever it is that causes the symptoms and usually stop them.

symptoms of ibs

CAUSES OF IBS

A second common misconception is that IBS is only caused by one thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The digestive tract is very complicated, but can only display a limited range of symptoms. There are many things that can cause constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, etc. Any individual might have one or more of the causes at any one time.

There is a wide range of causes of IBS and many patients have more than one cause, sometimes several causes, at the same time. For example, many patients have an allergy to a food, which causes them to have IBS symptoms. But not all IBS patients have food allergies. Many patients have bacterial or microbial issues, for example, not enough of the needed digestive bacteria are living in their digestive tract. But not all IBS patients have bacterial issues either.

Some patients have food allergies, bacterial/microbial issues, and other factors. To correctly diagnose the cause of IBS symptoms it is necessary to test for a range of potential causes. If you don’t treat all of the conditions you have, your IBS probably won’t be resolved.

The IBS specialists at our clinic will determine the cause of your IBS and focus treatment on the underlying issue so you can be IBS-free for life. Contact the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle or Santa Monica today – we’ll help you take back control of your life.

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staff2Bruce loves the holidays. And he dreads them, too.

Every year, Bruce gets anxious about the trip to visit his family for the holidays. Will he get there without an embarrassing incident? Will the drive be miserable because of his constant worry of finding a bathroom when he urgently needs one?

And then there is the problem of what to eat while he’s away from home. Family dinners and fancy restaurants are supposed to be fun, but Bruce can never be sure if they will end well. While catching up, reminiscing, and joking with loved ones, the thoughts in the back of his mind are about whether he’ll have a sudden need to rush to the bathroom and if it will be available when he is desperate.

Bruce doesn’t want to be rude by being picky about what goes on his plate, but it’s hard to tell which dishes will trigger an episode. Plus, dining at restaurants always seems to bring out the worst in Bruce’s digestion issues. He can’t figure out why restaurant food should be worse on his digestive tract than a home-cooked meal, but it often causes him problems. The unpredictability of dining out is stressful for Bruce.

For years, Bruce’s doctors told him that being anxious makes his irritable bowel condition worse. For many people, it’s actually the other way around.

It would be easier for Bruce if he just stayed home alone. But no one should have to forsake the holidays because of digestive problems. Your friends and family are an important part of your life and it is especially nice to be with them at this time of the year.

Fortunately, Bruce has developed some tactics that make the holidays less nerve-wracking and more enjoyable.

Here are 7 tips to help you not only survive, but actually enjoy the holiday season.

1. Shop For Gifts Online

You can get just about anything online these days. And what better way to relieve the anxiety of venturing out than by getting all your shopping done from home? This is an easy one that can make a big difference.

2. Get a Bathroom App

Your smart phone is smarter than you think. It can locate the nearest bathroom just about anywhere you are, and you can read reviews about its cleanliness and comfort ahead of time. This is great for planning your travel route and will help you feel more confident on the road. And while you’re sitting there, why not add your own review? It’s better than scratching your favorite prose on the stall wall! Some of the most popular apps for both Androids and iPhones are Toilet Finder, SitOrSquat (by Charmin®), and Flushd.

3. Be a Giver

This works if you already have some idea about how to manage your diet to minimize your episodes of bowel distress by managing your diet. When it comes to dinner parties, bring or prepare a dish or two that you know won’t
cause you problems. And make it tasty so everyone will enjoy it. You don’t need to tell them your dish is special or different. Just tell them it’s something you wanted to share.

4. Eat Before You Go

This is a simple and effective idea that can make the difference between feeling good and rushing out of the
party. If you know what is safe for you to eat, then eating ahead of time will help with two problems. First, you’ll be more confident about venturing out of the house. Second, you will already be full so you won’t be as tempted to consume other things that could cause you trouble.

5. Research the Restaurant

Once you know where you’ll be dining, call ahead to find out what your options will be. Can they accommodate a
special request if you ask for a modification of a menu item? Or can they make you something that would suit you better? Even looking at the menu online before you go can help you plan. Doing a bit of research means you won’t have to ask your server as many questions to learn about your options, and you won’t have to work as hard to communicate your needs.

6. Be the Host

Hosting the party allows you to control all the variables. You decide what food is available. Your own, comfortable bathroom is nearby. You don’t have to travel anywhere. And it’s fun! Invite your friends and relatives over and enjoy the
holidays by relaxing at home.

7. Decorate Your Bathroom

Yes, you read that right. If you’re going to be spending some extended time there, why not make it more
festive? Put something fun in the loo to commemorate the season.

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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist IBSSince 2005 the IBS Treatment Center has successfully treated thousands of patients of all ages, from infants to seniors. We understand the discomfort, frustration and embarrassment you have experienced. A part of this treatment process includes offering nutritional support following your appointment at our clinic.

Becky Rajcich is a state and nationally certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and graduated with honors with a degree in Science of Nutrition from Bastyr University. She provides services as a nutritionist (dietitian). Becky’s food philosophy is that everyone has the right to eat food that supports their bodies and tastes good, and her expertise is in helping patients with food allergies and intolerances.

Becky specializes in taking challenging nutritional needs that can be overwhelming and breaking them down into simple, practical plans that can be incorporated into everyday life. She also is skilled at working with other dietary needs such as diabetes, weight loss, weight gain, disordered eating, low bone density, anemia, and other issues, integrating them with any food allergy or intolerance restrictions.

As an endurance runner, Becky discovered her own digestive issues and the importance of identifying ways to work with food that promote quality of life. She brings compassion and commitment to her work with patients and finds joy in helping with them to get through nutrition challenges.

In her spare time Becky enjoys running, reading, cooking, and recipe hunting; and she loves spending quality time with her husband, young son, dog, cat, and chickens.

Becky is located in our Seattle office but can work with any of our patients via phone. To schedule an appointment with her please contact our office at 206-264-1111 or schedule an appointment online.

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staff2A wonderful letter from a recent patient of the IBS Treatment Center.

I can’t praise the IBS Treatment Center enough!  Just having someone who actually believes that you are having significant problems is healing in itself!  

I saw many doctors in the year that it took to figure out what was wrong with me.  Most were dismissive and some were downright rude.  Many wanted to assign a mental health disorder to me because their tests showed that everything was “normal.”  

I knew there was something wrong with me! I cried with relief after my first phone call [with the IBS Treatment Center].  

At the first visit, unlike all [the other doctors] I saw, they encouraged me to tell my “story” and to discuss all of my symptoms.  Unlike other doctor’s I saw, [they] believed me! Wow!  

….[I] have been totally normal since 10 days in….. and I’m continuing to feel more energy and more wholeness every day!

Thank you to the IBS Center for actually believing their patients!

Mary Lou Shean
Yakima, WA

For more information on curing your own IBS, please, call us today at (206) 264-1111 for our Seattle location or (310) 319-1500 for our Santa Monica location.

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The History of the IBS Treatment Center

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(Dr. Wangen at center)

Dr. Stephen Wangen, co-founder of the IBS Treatment Center, has been successfully helping people resolve irritable bowel syndrome and chronic digestive problems since 1999.

This success culminated in the 2005 opening of the IBS Treatment Center, the first clinic in the nation to focus solely on addressing this debilitating condition. In conjunction with the new clinic, Dr. Wangen also released his first book, The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution.

Over the years the IBS Treatment Center has cared for a wide variety of patients.  Some patients have had IBS symptoms so severe that they spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital. Others are simply frustrated with the impact that it is having on their lives.  The thread that tied them all together was that they had never seen an IBS expert, nor gotten the right kinds of testing and treatment to identify and resolve the issues causing their IBS.  The IBS Treatment Center is proud to have cured thousands of these patients.

Although the clinics are located in Seattle, Washington and Santa Monica, California, patients come to us from around the country and the world. Over 50 million people in the United States suffer from IBS and many people will travel to have this condition properly addressed.  Patients have come from every state in the US other than South Dakota, and from every occupied continent on earth!

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IBS treatment patient story

An IBS Treatment Center patient story:

I am a 43 year old female and I have been having stomach/digestive trouble since I was a baby. My mother used to say I had a “nervous stomach.”


Well, things reached a peak when I was 39. I got to the point where I couldn’t eat or drink anything (even water) after 2:00 in the afternoon or I would be very nauseous and throw up. I spent a year going to the doctors. First my primary care doctor, then a gastroenterologist. They ran repeated tests and only determined that I had GERD.


After a year of throwing up 4 or 5 days out of every week (I lost 65 pounds), the gastroenterologist finally said, “I can’t do anything more for you. This is just what you have to live with.” Well, no way was I going to put up with that answer!!!


I made an appointment with the IBS Treatment Center. Within 2 weeks I stopped being nauseous!!! I was poisoning my body every day without realizing it!


It has been 3 years and I am so much better! No more Tums! No more Pepsid! No more drugs!!!!


I really feel that the IBS Treatment Center has saved my life; I no longer have to cancel vacations or invitations from friends because I am not feeling up to it. (You should have seen me on my honeymoon; I know every bathroom at Disneyland!)


I would (and do!) recommend them to anyone who is tired of having their MD just prescribe drugs to fix a symptom instead of trying to find out what is behind the symptom and treating the cause.


Sincerely,


Terri Coon

—-

If you have been diagnosed with IBS, it is likely that you have been advised to reduce your stress level.

You may have been told to get regular exercise and adequate sleep, and to practice stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, deep breathing, journal writing, relaxation therapy, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, or psychotherapy.

All of these practices can indeed improve physical, mental, and emotional health. They provide a host of benefits, from improved personal relationships to enhanced productivity to increased energy and mental clarity, and they just might help with your IBS symptoms. But chances are they won’t cure your IBS.

It is true that stress can make the symptoms of IBS worse, and that your digestive system depends on relaxation to function properly. Occasionally stress is the sole cause of IBS. But far more often it is due to something else. If you still have symptoms when you know that there isn’t much stress, then there is more to the problem than stress!

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Dr. Stephen WangenIf you have been diagnosed with IBS, it is likely that you have been advised to reduce your stress level.

You may have been told to get regular exercise and adequate sleep, and to practice stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, deep breathing, journal writing, relaxation therapy, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, or psychotherapy.

All of these practices can indeed improve physical, mental, and emotional health. They provide a host of benefits, from improved personal relationships to enhanced productivity to increased energy and mental clarity, and they just might help with your IBS symptoms.

But chances are they won’t cure your IBS.

Most physicians are trained to think of IBS as stress induced or as a type of psychosomatic disorder. Because there has not been an easy medication cure for IBS, it has been framed in a way that suggests that it is more your problem than the physicians. Although some cases of IBS are no doubt related to mental or emotional issues, and stress and anxiety can aggravate IBS (as well as most other medical conditions), they are not the predominant causes of IBS. More often, IBS causes you stress rather than the other way around.

Medicine has a long history of blaming medical conditions with no straightforward, obvious organic cause on some form of psychological disturbance, such as stress – only to discover later the organic cause of the problem. One excellent recent example of this is stomach ulcers. While stomach ulcers were once thought to be a stress-induced disorder, it is now well accepted that the bacteria Helicobacter pylori cause them, and that they are treatable.  Interestingly H. pylori can also cause IBS symptoms, and now that we can test for it and treat it, there is one more reason to believe that stress is too often blamed.

It is true that stress can make the symptoms of IBS worse, and that your digestive system depends on relaxation to function properly. Occasionally stress is the sole cause of IBS. But far more often it is due to something else. If you still have symptoms when you know that there isn’t much stress, then there is more to the problem than stress!

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staff2I always had a nervous stomach my whole life, but it was nothing serious until part-way through college when I started having some major digestive problems.

I was beginning to feel like I was falling apart, and my anxiety worsened as my symptoms worsened. But most of the time I thought the anxiety was causing the symptoms and I was just trying to live with it. I always had an escape route to the nearest bathroom scouted out.

I saw several conventional doctors [who couldn’t help me], so I decided to see a gastroenterologist. He told me that there’s not much that can be done about it. He told me to reduce my stress, and gave me a list of foods to eat that are rich in fiber. I tried these things, but it hardly made any difference. So I turned to alternative medicine and tried homeopathy, supplements, acupuncture, and an elimination diet…but none of those worked either.

I did some more research and found the IBS Treatment Center online. I decided to take the chance, and I am so glad I did. I’ve been telling people that it was the best money I’ve ever spent! I was so impressed with the whole operation.

Amanda McLean

Stress Reduction

It’s a common belief that you carry your stress in your abdomen. If you have been diagnosed with IBS, it is likely that you have been advised to reduce your stress level. You may have been told to get regular exercise and adequate sleep, and to practice stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, deep breathing, journal writing, relaxation therapy, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, or psychotherapy.

All of these practices can indeed improve physical, mental, and emotional health. They provide a host of benefits, from improved personal relationships to enhanced productivity to increased energy and mental clarity, and they just might help with your IBS symptoms.
But chances are they won’t cure your IBS.

Most physicians are trained to think of IBS as stress induced or as a type of psychosomatic disorder. Because there has not been an easy medication cure for IBS, it has been framed in a way that suggests that it is more your problem than the physicians. Although some cases of IBS are no doubt related to mental or emotional issues, and stress and anxiety can aggravate IBS (as well as most other medical conditions), they are not the predominant causes of IBS. More often, IBS causes you stress rather than the other way around.

Medicine has a long history of blaming medical conditions with no straightforward, obvious organic cause on some form of psychological disturbance, such as stress – only to discover later the organic cause of the problem.

It is true that stress can make the symptoms of IBS worse, and that your digestive system depends on relaxation to function properly. Occasionally stress is the sole cause of IBS. But far more often it is due to something else. If you still have symptoms when you know that there isn’t much stress, then there is more to the problem than stress!

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IBS Treatment Center Seattle - Meet the Staff

staff2Dr. Stephen Wangen (third from left), co-founder of the IBS Treatment Center, has been successfully helping people resolve irritable bowel syndrome and chronic digestive problems since 1999.

This success culminated in the 2005 opening of the IBS Treatment Center, the first clinic in the nation to focus solely on addressing this debilitating condition. In conjunction with the new clinic, Dr. Wangen also released his first book, The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution.

Over the years the IBS Treatment Center has cared for a wide variety of patients.  Some patients have had IBS symptoms so severe that they spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital. Others are simply frustrated with the impact that it is having on their lives.  The thread that tied them all together was that they had never seen an IBS expert, nor gotten the right kinds of testing and treatment to identify and resolve the issues causing their IBS.  The IBS Treatment Center is proud to have cured thousands of these patients.

Although the clinics are located in Seattle, Washington and Santa Monica, California, patients come to us from around the country and the world (locations listed below). Over 50 million people in the United States suffer from IBS, and the map below gives you an idea about how far people will travel to have this condition properly addressed.  They have come from every state in the US other than South Dakota, and from every occupied continent on earth!

Come see us and get your life back!

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Backpacker Finds Hope with IBS Cure

hSusan loves to hike and backpack in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, her IBS has been preventing her from enjoying the great outdoors.

When she first came to us at the IBS Treatment Center, she told us that her goal was to hike the Wonderland Trail.  This is a very strenuous and involved trip, and there are no bathrooms for days on end.

Susan felt that there really wasn’t much hope for doing that because she had been having digestive problems for so long and had seen so many other doctors, but we felt differently. We were excited that Susan had a goal, and wholeheartedly supported her in her mission to conquer one of the famous backpacking trips in our state.

We let Susan know that there was an excellent chance that she would be able to reach her goal.  And now we are thrilled to report that Susan is planning the trip of a lifetime!  She is going to hike the entire Wonderland trail this summer with her husband to celebrate her feeling better.  The Wonderland trail is a 93 mile (150 km), 11 day trip that circumnavigates majestic Mt. Rainier, one of the tallest peaks in the United States.  We wish we were going with her.  Have a great time Susan!  And please send us pictures!

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