IBS Treatment Center

Seattle, WA

Get out of the bathroom and get back to your life!

Patient Finally Finds Cure for Heartburn

Posted on by IBSTC

(photo: creativecommons)

(photo: creativecommons)

From a recent patient of the IBS Treatment Center.

I wanted to send you an update. I have not once had heartburn or indigestion, both of which I’ve had since high school. I want to thank the whole team at the IBS Treatment Center for all they have done. I continually tell people about my experience with you all and encourage others to make an appointment. You all do such amazing work and I hope that you continue to do so for many year. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for sparing me years of pain, boxes of Prilosec and surgery!! I will never forget the amazing work you do!

Best,
Mallory Saffold

Whatever the name, if you are like millions of others, you are experiencing this gastrointestinal malady.

You may take your acid reflux problem for granted and buy your antacids at Costco, but you should be aware of the negative effects this has on your entire body. You also should know that heartburn is a sign of other problems, and can almost always be treated without acid blockers.

The Prevalence of Acid Reflux Disease


Acid rising from the stomach and irritating the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, results in the feeling of what is commonly called heartburn.

Some 35 to 45 percent of the population experiences heartburn, often called GERD or “gastroesophageal reflux disease”. That’s a whopping 116 million people! It’s also the most profitably treated symptom in America. Last year, Prilosec was the top selling prescription drug in the world, earning Astra Zeneca, the drug’s maker, 6 billion dollars.

This sad state of affairs means that it is almost considered normal to have GERD and to take drugs for it. However, heartburn is far less than normal, and those experiencing it are definitely nowhere near optimal health.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux 


Acid reflux is generally felt as a burning pain in the middle of the chest. It may also feel like a pressure in the chest. In some people it can be so bad that it is difficult to keep food down and may even result in dental erosion.

Over time reflux can result in damage to the LES, called Barrett’s Esophagitis, and even cancer. 

If you have chronic heartburn or reflux then be sure to have a thorough examination by a gastroenterologist to rule out this serious conditions.

Sometimes this chest pain is confused with heart pain. If you are unsure about the cause of any pain in your chest, be sure to have a thorough exam by your doctor.

So Why Is Acid Refluxing?

There are several causes of acid reflux, but the common thread is the relaxation of the LES. Once the LES relaxes, acid is afforded the opportunity to rise from the stomach and damage the esophagus, resulting in a burning feeling.

Once the esophagus has been damaged it is very slow to heal. Antacids, histamine blockers and proton pump inhibitors only shut down acid production, they don’t promote healing of the LES, nor do they cure the cause of the heartburn.

The Myth About Heartburn

It’s commonly believed that heartburn is the result of overeating. And although 116 million Americans may overeat, the size of the meal has no scientific correlation with the frequency of heartburn. 
“Then we must be producing too much stomach acid,” you say. Having too much acid production is very rare. In fact, the opposite is the case. In most people, stomach acid decreases with age.

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Get to Know the Doctors at the IBS Treatment Center: Dr. Stephen Wangen

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Dr. Stephen WangenI was diagnosed with IBS in 1994. Unfortunately, that didn’t make any real difference in my health. So while in medical school I began to research my problem and discovered that I had celiac disease, a reaction to wheat and other common grains.

When I began practicing medicine I found that because of my personal experience with digestive problems I could not only relate to my IBS patients but really help them get to the root of their problem. Not everyone has the same trigger that I do. In fact, getting to the root cause of the problem takes some detective work.

I find that it takes quite a bit of personal attention and a good understanding of each patient to be able to properly treat most digestive issues. The standard practice of scheduling several patients at the same time and hopping from room to room after only 5-10 minutes or isn’t adequate for helping my patients.

I now schedule at least a half hour with each patient for their first visit. This allows me time to listen to the entire story about your problem, which is critical to understanding what might be causing it. It also allows me plenty of time to answer your questions, ask all of the questions I need to ask, and to convey all of the information that I want you to know so that you can successfully resolve your problem. This has made everyone happier and resulted in a very high success rate in our clinic.

If you have IBS or another chronic health problem, I appreciate your frustration with the lack of answers and the impact that it is having on your life. Please know that you are not alone, and that we are here to help you.

Sincerely,

Stephen Wangen, ND

Dr. Stephen Wangen is a state licensed and board certified physician. After graduating with honors in pre-med from Pacific Lutheran University he received his doctoral degree in naturopathic medicine from the internationally renowned Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. Dr. Wangen continues his association with Bastyr as an Affiliate Clinical Faculty member of The School of Naturopathic Medicine. In his practice Dr. Wangen specializes in digestive disorders and food allergies and has first-hand experience with these, having himself been diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 1996, as well as a dairy allergy.

Due to a long history of success in treating common digestive disorders, and the tremendous need for a clinic focused on the treatment of these and IBS symptoms, Dr. Wangen founded the IBS Treatment Center in 2005, where he serves as Medical Director. In 2013 Dr. Wangen opened a second clinic in Santa Monica, CA.

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91 Year Old IBS Patient Aims to Get Back to the Casino

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(photo: commons.wikimedia)

(photo: commons.wikimedia)

From the IBS Treatment Center’s Dr. Stephen Wangen.

Today I saw a 91 year old patient who is the mother of another patient of mine. She said that she wanted to feel better. I told her that I wanted her to feel better too, and that I thought that it was possible.

I asked her what she wanted to do when she felt better, and I laughed when she told me, “I can no longer go to the casino, and I want to be able to go the casino again.”   I said, “That is a fantastic goal. Let’s get you in shape again so that you can go to the casino!”

I don’t normally advocate going to casinos, but when you’re 91, going to the casino is a good thing!

By the way, she told me that she never loses.

Get out of the bathroom and get YOUR life back!

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Patient, “I Can’t Even Go to the Bus Stop with My Kids!”

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Dr. Stephen WangenFrom Dr. Stephen Wangen, of the IBS Treatment Center…

This week a woman came in to see me the first time.
Her words, “I can’t even go outside the house to the bus stop with my kids without worrying about my IBS.”

Remarkably, that is not the first time that I’ve heard those same words. In fact, just recently a father told me the very same thing.

People often take for granted the simple things in life, like walking their children to the bus stop.  But millions of people with IBS can’t do even those simple tasks.

I have seen parents waving to their children from the window of the house and I wonder, is it because they are afraid to go outside for fear of having an accident?

As sad as this is, ironically when patients tell me this it is an exciting moment.  I know from experience that there is tremendous hope for them! Soon they’ll be able to walk their kids to the bus stop with confidence. And that will be just the beginning.

I want every parent who can’t do that to know that they aren’t alone, and to believe that they can solve their IBS, because I’ve seen it happen so many times before.

It’s the little things like this that truly define the impact that IBS can have on ones life. These quickly ad up and rob people of the richness of life that is found from being able to do these simple tasks. And there is nothing more rewarding than seeing these people get better so that they can walk their kids to the bus stop.

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“I Can’t Even Go Outside of the House.”

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Dr. Stephen WangenFrom a recent patient at the IBS Treatment Center with Dr. Stephen Wangen.

This week a woman came in to see me for the first time.

She said, “I can’t even go outside of the house to the bus stop with my kids without worrying about my IBS.” That is so sad!

Remarkably, that is not the first time that I’ve heard those same words. In fact, recently a father told me the very same thing.

People often take for granted the simple things in life, like walking their children to the bus stop.  But millions of people with IBS can’t do even those simple tasks.

I have seen parents waving to their children from the window of the house and I wonder, is it because they are afraid to go outside for fear of having an accident?

As sad as this is, ironically when patients tell me this, it is an exciting moment.  I know from experience that there is tremendous hope for them! Soon they’ll be able to walk their kids to the bus stop with confidence. And that will be just the beginning.

I want every parent who can’t do that to know that they aren’t alone, and to believe that they can solve their IBS, because I’ve seen it happen so many times before.

It’s the little things like this that truly define the impact that IBS can have on ones life. These quickly ad up and rob people of the richness of life that is found from being able to do these simple tasks. And there is nothing more rewarding than seeing these people get better so that they can walk their kids to the bus stop.

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Patient Finally Finds Relief From Heartburn

Posted on by IBSTC

DigestiveSystemI wanted to send you an update. I have not once had heartburn or indigestion, both of which I’ve had since high school. I want to thank the whole team at the IBS Treatment Center for all they have done. I continually tell people about my experience with you all and encourage others to make an appointment. You all do such amazing work and I hope that you continue to do so for many year. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for sparing me years of pain, boxes of Prilosec and surgery!! I will never forget the amazing work you do!

Best,
Mallory Saffold

Acid rising from the stomach and irritating the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, results in the feeling of what is commonly called heartburn.

Some 35 to 45 percent of the population experiences heartburn, often called GERD or “gastroesophageal reflux disease”. That’s a whopping 116 million people! It’s also the most profitably treated symptom in America. Last year, Prilosec was the top selling prescription drug in the world, earning Astra Zeneca, the drug’s maker, 6 billion dollars.

This sad state of affairs means that it is almost considered normal to have GERD and to take drugs for it. However, heartburn is far less than normal, and those experiencing it are definitely nowhere near optimal health.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux 


Acid reflux is generally felt as a burning pain in the middle of the chest. It may also feel like a pressure in the chest. In some people it can be so bad that it is difficult to keep food down and may even result in dental erosion.

Over time reflux can result in damage to the LES, called Barrett’s Esophagitis, and even cancer. 

If you have chronic heartburn or reflux then be sure to have a thorough examination by a gastroenterologist to rule out this serious conditions.

Sometimes this chest pain is confused with heart pain. If you are unsure about the cause of any pain in your chest, be sure to have a thorough exam by your doctor.

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Using Drugs to Treat IBS

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(photo: commons.wikimedia)

(photo: commons.wikimedia)

I came to the IBS Treatment Center after no one else could figure out what was wrong. I had severe abdominal pain and was on strong pain meds. Since then my pain is gone. I can’t thank them enough.Along with the resolution of my pain was the enlightenment of how food affects so many things in my general health. They enthusiasm for maintaining overall health made me much more aware of caring for myself.

- Kim N.

“Nearly all medications may cause diarrhea as a side effect.” This is a direct quote from the National Institute of Health’s MedlinePlus website.

Doctors tend to believe that side-effects from medications are rare. Therefore they assume that your symptoms are not related to our medications. Many times my patients have said, “I asked my doctor if my symptoms could be caused by my medication and he said no.” They asked us for a second opinion. We simply show them the known list of side-effects for the drug they are taking. More often than not, their symptoms are right there in black and white.

Some medications are more likely to cause diarrhea than others. Some particularly problematic medications include:

• Most cholesterol lowering statin drugs, such as simvastatin, lovastatin, and Lipitor®
• Most heartburn medications including: omeprazole (Prilosec®), Nexium®, Prevacid®, pantoprazole (Protonix®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), ranitidine (Zantac®).
• Bone density medications like Fosamax®.
• Antibiotics and even NSAIDS such as ibuprofen (Advil®) and naproxen (Aleve®).
• Anything that dries you up like Allegra® or Claritin®
• Antidepressants: especially tricyclic antidepressants such as amitryptiline (Elavil®) and imipramine
• Calcium channel blockers such as such as Cardizem®, Zyrtec®, and Procardia®
• Antispasmodics: Dicyclomine® and hyoscine (Hyoscyamine®)

If you address the cause of your symptoms you will be able to discontinue the medications. Hardly any of the medications mentioned in this article cure anything. They only treat symptoms caused by a deeper problem. Solve that problem and you will feel healthy and whole again.

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Patient, “My Gastroenterologist Apologized Because He Hadn’t Taken Me Seriously.”

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Dr. Stephen WangenNow I am finally feeling like I thought I should. Even more than the treatment, I was glad that I went to the IBS Treatment Center simply because they were the first people to really listen to me and treat me like I was telling the truth. My gastroenterologist actually apologized to me because he hadn’t taken me seriously.

The IBS Treatment Center, on the other hand, was very supportive and seemed to really care if I got better. When I had an appointment, they were not trying to rush me in and out, and were willing to listen to my symptoms and look for a cause rather than handing me a prescription to get me out.

I have been so impressed that I have recommended them to several of my friends, who have all had good things to say. One of my friends called me after leaving their office and she was crying because someone actually believed her. Before seeing them, she had been told by her doctor that her symptoms were “all in her head” and had actually been referred to a psychiatrist! Now her symptoms have improved tremendously.

I would recommend them to anyone who feels sick and doesn’t know why. They will really work to find the problem!

Thanks,
Sarah

IBS Specialist and Gastroenterologist

IBS specialists are experts in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A gastroenterologist may diagnose IBS, but that will only tell you what you already know, that your bowel irritates you.

IBS specialists do not do what gastroenterologist do, and gastroenterologists do not do what IBS specialists do. These are completely different specialties. There is only a very tiny amount of overlap with regard to stool testing. But even this is extremely minor as the IBS specialist utilizes much more advanced stool analyses.

To the IBS specialist the label of IBS only serves as a starting point for further investigation, nothing more. The IBS specialist focuses on assessing and diagnosing the cause of your digestive problems, not on the gross structural integrity of the digestive tract. Rather than focusing on the patients symptoms, or simply treating the symptoms, the IBS specialist is devoted to identifying the condition or conditions in the patient that are causing the symptoms.

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Symptoms of Food Allergies

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(commons.wikimedia

(commons.wikimedia

Food allergies can cause a lot more problems than you or your doctor probably realize. After having worked with thousands of patients with food allergies, we know this to be true. Although there is plenty of published research on the symptoms of food allergies, there is also a lot of misunderstanding due to conflicting definitions of allergies; some testing methods that are scientifically invalid; and the length of time between exposure to a food and the reaction.

The following are a few of the more common conditions that we regularly see cured by avoiding a food allergen.

Headaches, including Migraines

Headaches are about inflammation. And food allergies are also about inflammation. It is not at all unusual for our patients to report that their headaches have disappeared once they know how to stop triggering them with their diet.

Ear Infections

If your child suffers from more than just the very infrequent ear infection, then they probably have a food allergy.

Kids should not get ear infections. Proper testing can reveal whether a child has a food allergy that is contributing to their susceptibility to ear infections.

Sinusitis

As with kids and ear infections, adults often get chronic sinus infections. Don’t think that it must be caused by bacteria or an environmental allergy. We regularly see chronic sinus problems that are caused by food allergies come to an end when the patient is properly diagnosed and treated.

Eczema and Hives

Whether in infants, kids, or adults, eczema and hives are often triggered by food allergies. Even if an allergist has told you that you don’t have a food allergy, you could still have one. Standard tests, including skin prick testing and RAST testing cannot measure allergies mediated by certain types of antibodies.

Acne

Yes, acne really does have a lot do with your diet. If you suffer from acne then you need to consider food allergies as a cause.

Heartburn

Heartburn isn’t just about spicy food. And it isn’t about overproducing stomach acid. Heartburn is about inflammation. Many of our patients tell us that their heartburn has resolved after having worked with us. You could be the next.

Reflux in infants

Infants reflux and throw up food because their little bodies are rejecting something, and they are rejecting it for a good reason. We can help you understand that reason and find the diet appropriate for your infant that will help your little one thrive.

Colic

Babies cry incessantly and fail to sleep because they are uncomfortable. And of course, they are uncomfortable for a reason. Let us help you figure out why. The results will speak volumes, and you’ll both sleep much better.

Joint Pain

Joint pain, whether or not it is arthritis, is often caused by food allergies. Over and over patients have told us how much better their joints are once they start avoiding their allergenic foods.

Fatigue

If your immune system is spending a lot of time fighting your food, then that is a big drain on your energy. It is not at all surprising when our patients tell us they have much more energy after learning of a food allergy and then avoiding that food. Fatigue can even be the primary symptom of a food allergy.

Anxiety/Depression

Food allergies can really drag you down, and they can make you feel less grounded. We often have patients tell us that their (or their kids) mood is better after food allergy treatment and that they don’t feel as anxious.

Muscle aches/Fibromyalgia

Muscle aches and pains are all about inflammation. There must be a cause, so why not look for it? Food allergies are often that cause.

Autoimmune diseases

Many autoimmune diseases are strongly correlated with food allergies, and often significantly improve once the foods are removed from the diet. Celiac disease is only one example.

IBS/Gas/Bloating/Constipation/Diarrhea

We spend a lot of time treating people with digestive problems. If you have one, then there is an excellent chance that a food allergy is the cause.

Frequent colds or flus

Do you seem to pick up every infection that comes along? Are you sicker than most other people around you? This is a frequent complaint of people with food allergies. If your immune system is attacking your food, then it’s not as strong at attacking infections.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, or something that seems unrelated to food, consider the possibility that food allergies are part of the problem. Food allergies cause inflammation, and are distracting your immune system from doing what it should be doing. Don’t take our word for it, read the testimonials on our website, and come see us and find out for yourself.

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Drugs to Treat IBS

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wangenAt least 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with IBS. The drug companies are beginning to tap into this hefty target market by offering medicines aimed at relieving the symptoms of IBS. These drugs alter the physiology and ultimately the action of the digestive tract, but they do not address the underlying causes of IBS, or even claim to cure IBS. These drugs also come with an alarming variety of warnings and side effects.

Six types of drugs are used to treat the different symptoms of IBS. They include the following:

1. IBS-specific drugs to control the speed with which the bowels move (Zelnorm, Lotronex, and Calmactin),
2. Laxatives to treat constipation (such as Milk of Magnesia, Ex-Lax, Perdiem, and MiraLax),
3. Antidiarrheal agents to treat diarrhea (such as Imodium and Lomotil),
4. Antispasmodics to relive the pain from abdominal cramps (such as Donnatal, Levsin, Levbid, NuLev, Bentyl, and Pro-Banthine),
5. Antidepressants to relieve pain (such as Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, and Elavil), and
6. Narcotic analgesics to relieve pain (such as Vicodin, Demerol, and Xanax).

Note that these drugs are categorized by the type of symptom that they treat. None of them cure IBS. These drugs change how you experience IBS by forcing changes in the biochemistry of your body. None is capable of curing IBS, because IBS is not caused by a drug deficiency. Treatment with these drugs does not address the cause of your IBS, and once you stop using the drugs the symptoms will return. The use of these drugs often results in serious side effects and/or negative long-term consequences. More information about these medications can be found in the book, The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution.

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Patient Finally Finds Relief From Heartburn

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Dr. Stephen Wangen“I wanted to send you an update. I have not once had heartburn or indigestion, both of which I’ve had since high school. I want to thank the whole team at the IBS Treatment Center for all they have done. I continually tell people about my experience with you all and encourage others to make an appointment. You all do such amazing work and I hope that you continue to do so for many year. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for sparing me years of pain, boxes of Prilosec and surgery!! I will never forget the amazing work you do!”

Best,
Mallory Saffold

Patients have come to the IBS Treatment Center from all over. They have visited our clinics in Seattle, WA and Santa Monica, CA from 49 states and from every continent on the planet.

Some of these patients had even spent a considerable amount of time at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UCLA, and other major medical centers to no avail. We have treated many doctors, nurses, even faculty from some famous medical schools.

We won’t blame stress, tell you to eat more fiber, or drink more water. We won’t repeat the same tests that you’ve already had and tell you that everything is ok. We’re listening, and we know that you’re not ok. Please let us help you!

The cause of IBS varies from person to person, which is what makes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating and chronic abdominal pain so difficult for most doctors to treat. However, through proper testing you will be able to identify the exact cause or causes of your symptoms and live a life free of digestive problem

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Patient Finally Finds Relief from Bloating

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(creativecommons)

(creativecommons)

“I began having bloating (severe) in my late teens. For many months I just brushed it aside not really thinking I actually had a medical problem. As time went on, the bloating became more intense and for longer periods of time.

My family practitioner would prescribe me an antibiotic and while on it, and several weeks after, I would have extreme diarrhea. I was diagnosed with IBS. However, I just kept getting worse and worse. I was extremely tired all the time and did not have enough energy to work all day.

Finally after trying to do some research on our own, my parents and I found the IBS Treatment Center. We decided to make an appointment and flight reservations. Within two weeks, we traveled across the country to talk with them. Now, only a few months later, my energy is much, much better and I don’t feel sick all of the time.”

- Jill Ochs from Kansas

Gas and Bloating

One of the by-products of the breaking down of food is gas. Bacteria and digestion create some gas, which collects into bubbles and is expelled as flatulence. This is normal.

However, if you are producing so much gas that it affects your social activity, or if the gas is especially odorous, then your body is not breaking down food properly. Excess gas can also cause bloating and often abdominal pain. The conditions most likely to cause excess gas and bloating are food allergy or an imbalance in the bacteria in your digestive tract.

The IBS Treatment Center offers specialized testing to determine what is causing your excess gas, bloating, and/or abdmonial pain. Our expertise in both testing and treatment enable us to help out patients discover and treat the condition or conditions that are causing their symptoms. The end result is that our patients find a solution.

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Insurance Companies are Vulnerable to Cyber-attack

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Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 5.48.27 PMAnthem Inc., one of the largest health insurance companies in the USA has reported that they have had data stolen by hackers.  Anthem Blue Cross and several other health insurance companies are owned by Anthem Inc.

Data apparently includes names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and email addresses.  This information is sufficient to assume identity fraudulently in a large number of ways.  Affected persons are now at risk for identity theft, bank account takeover, and a variety of other potential harms.

READ MORE:
http://krebsonsecurity.com

The IBS Treatment Center does not collect social security numbers and strives to keep our systems secure from hacking.  This breach at Anthem Blue Cross shows that large concentrations of identity data continue to be a target for hackers.  The value of data, even information many don’t consider to be valuable, like email address and personal information that may be used as password reset question answers is being accumulated by large groups of criminals who then combine the information and use it to conduct a variety of crimes.

The IBS Treatment Center highly recommends that patients use secure systems other than email, such as File Drop Vault® to send and receive sensitive and personal information.  Email and fax communications are sent over the internet in clear text and are subject to interception without detection.

Little can be done once your data has been compromised.  On should monitor activity in financial accounts/credit scores and reporting problems as soon possible to the proper authorities.  It is important to do this as protection from liability is limited in many cases, by the timeliness of the report of the problem.

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Patient Scours the Globe for IBS Specialist

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(commons.wikipedia)

(commons.wikipedia)

“My husband and I are missionaries and have lived out of the country the last three years.  Since leaving the country I have been sick with stomach issues.  I have had four colonoscopies, seen numerous doctors outside the country and in the US as well, all with no answers. The last thing that I was told was that I had IBS and there was no sense in running any more tests.

I can not say how thankful I am for the staff at the IBS Treatment Center. They are great to work with and are very helpful with anything that I need. I don’t think I will trust anyone else with my healthcare needs.

I really can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to the IBS Treatment Center.”

- Susan from Ecuador

IBS specialists are experts in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A gastroenterologist may diagnose IBS, but that will only tell you what you already know, that your bowel irritates you.

To the IBS specialist the label of IBS only serves as a starting point for further investigation, nothing more. The IBS specialist focuses on assessing and diagnosing the cause of your digestive problems, not on the gross structural integrity of the digestive tract. Rather than focusing on the patients symptoms, or simply treating the symptoms, the IBS specialist is devoted to identifying the condition or conditions in the patient that are causing the symptoms.

What Does an IBS Specialist Do?

There are literally hundreds of different causes of IBS and the digestive problems associated with IBS. An IBS specialist does not have any idea about how they will treat an IBS patient when they first meet that patient. Patients with identical symptoms may have radically different causes for those symptoms. An IBS specialist focuses on the detective work required to develop the proper treatment plan for each unique patient.

This process involves a detailed evaluation of how the body is responding to the foods in the diet (food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities), and a thorough assessment of the profound ecosystem (including probiotics, yeast, bad bacteria, and parasites) that is contained within the digestive tract. It may also involve evaluating enzyme production, acid production, and the overall functioning of the digestive tract.

IBS specialists do not do what gastroenterologist do, and gastroenterologists do not do what IBS specialists do. These are completely different specialties. There is only a very tiny amount of overlap with regard to stool testing. But even this is extremely minor as the IBS specialist utilizes much more advanced stool analyses.

If you have IBS and continue to see gastroenterologists, then you will continue to get the same kind of testing and treatment that you’ve always received, even if you go to the Mayo Clinic, or the Cleveland Clinic, or any other big name medical facility or highly regarded expert – because they have a “standard of care” that recommends limiting testing. If that hasn’t helped, or you’d simply like to begin your journey with a different approach, then you need to see an IBS specialist. Your experience will be very different, which makes it far more likely that the outcome will be very different.

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Patient Finds Relief From IBS After 30 Years of Suffering

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Dr. Stephen WangenI was diagnosed with IBS when I was in my late twenties. I have had bouts with diarrhea and constipation for 30 years! Some were embarrassing moments when running for a restroom while at Target, and not making it, to always passing gas and spending a lot of time in bathrooms.

I would try to laugh it off, but it really affects everything you do and you start to wonder why you aren’t normal, like everyone else. I didn’t want to take drugs to treat my symptoms. I wanted to find out what was making my bowel and colon irritable.

After going to the IBS Treatment Center it took about 2 weeks and I started to feel I was having normal bowel movements! Thanks to the IBS Treatment Center for your help and for making me feel comfortable when I come in!

-Nancy Akada

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or spastic colon is a bowel disorder characterized by diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating and chronic abdominal pain. It is fairly common and makes up 20-50% of visits to gastroenterologists.

Although formal diagnosis depends on a very specific set of symptoms, the range of symptoms that occur in patients diagnosed with IBS is fairly wide.

The cause of IBS varies from person to person, which is what makes irritable bowel syndrome and its symptoms so difficult for most doctors to treat.

However, through proper testing it is possible to identify the exact cause or causes of the symptoms and live a life free of digestive problems.

There are several hundred potential causes of IBS. The first step is to speak with an IBS Specialist who can help you determine what is causing your irritable bowel syndrome. Glad you’re feeling better Nancy!

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Mommy, I have a Tummy Ache: Kids & IBS

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Dr. Stephen WangenAn excerpt from our January 2015 e-newsletter. Click HERE to read the entire article.

It’s not uncommon for Jennifer to hear, “Mommy, I have a tummy ache.” Her daughter, Lauren, complains about stomach pain quite often.

But Lauren isn’t the only one who feels ill more often than she should.

Jennifer gets stomach aches too. And now that she thinks about it, so does her husband (although he doesn’t talk about it much). These pains are so common in her household that Jennifer barely remembers the last time they all felt well.

The doctors haven’t been much help. Jennifer took her daughter, of course, and even convinced her husband to see the doctor about his indigestion. She has asked about her pains too. And guess what? Not one good answer. No one seems to know why they have stomach aches so often. The pain comes on without warning and Jennifer can’t figure out what triggers it. Sometimes it’s really intense. It gets so bad that she worries about her health and her family a lot. She knows something isn’t right, but what can she do?

The pediatrician suggested Lauren would grow out of it. And Jennifer’s doctor gave her some meds and suggested she take Tums and an acid blocker like Prevacid. None of those remedies have helped much and they certainly haven’t cured her problem.

Continue reading the article on our website here.

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Patient Learns IBS is More Than “Stress”

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(creativecommons)

(creativecommons)

A great letter from a former patient.

“In the third grade I remember complaining constantly about having stomach aches and was actually put on anti-anxiety medication. I have struggled with this throughout my 52 years.

Things really got bad about 6 years ago when I started having severe stomach aches along with bloating and large, really smelly bowel movements.

After having every test known to man, with no serious problems found, I was diagnosed with IBS. I started feeling depressed, withdrawn, tired and sick ALL THE TIME.

A friend told me I should go to the IBS Treatment Center. I called the next day and made an appointment. One of the best decisions I have ever made! Thank you, I LOVE YOU!!!!”

- Susan Weir (former patient of the IBS Treatment Center)

––

Most physicians are trained to think of IBS as stress induced or as a type of psychosomatic disorder.

There has not been an easy medication cure for IBS, therefore 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.

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’s 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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Patient Uses Gludairyzyme to Help with Restaurant Accident

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GluDairyzymeFrom a former patient at the IBS Treatment Center.

Hi Dr. Wangen,

I went to an Italian restaurant on Sunday night. About the fifth bite in, I noticed the small strand of regular wheat spaghetti in my bowl. I had gluten ataxia by the time I got home. But I took some Gludairyzyme, some typical digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, aspirin and charcoal as soon as I got home. I also took some milk of magnesia to flush the pipes.

By morning, almost all my symptoms were gone! I was expecting days, perhaps months of trouble, as I had in my last accident in 2011. So I am really impressed with Gludairyzyme. Thank you for offering it.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Cheers,
Linda Hughes

GLUDAIRYZYME is an enzyme that is exactly for situations like this, where a person is accidentally exposed to gluten or dairy.

This product contains enzymes for both gluten and dairy and is free of Dairy/casein, eggs, wheat/gluten, corn, soy, yeast, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and peanuts. Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

This enzyme combination is a group of digestive enzymes specifically designed to aid in the digestion of gluten and dairy. GluDairyzyme may be especially helpful for those who suffer from gluten intolerance, celiac disease, dairy allergies, or lactose intolerance when they accidentally eat gluten and/or dairy contaminated foods. It is not intended to be a substitute for the avoidance of gluten or dairy, nor is it a cure for gluten intolerance, celiac disease, dairy allergies, or lactose intolerance. It is not suitable for people with stomach or intestinal ulcers.

 

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Patient Finally Finds Help for Her IBS

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536074_303001446438774_1933602105_nFrom a recent patient of the IBS Treatment Center:

My husband and I are missionaries and have lived out of the country the last three years.  Since leaving the country I have been sick with stomach issues.  I have had four colonoscopies, seen numerous doctors outside the country and in the US as well, all with no answers. The last thing that I was told was that I had IBS and there was no sense in running any more tests.

I cannot say how thankful I am for the staff at the IBS Treatment Center. They are great to work with and are very helpful with anything that I need.

I don’t think I will trust anyone else with my healthcare needs.

I really can’t say thank you enough to the IBS Treatment Center.

-Susan from Ecuador

Patients have come to the IBS Treatment Center from all over. They have visited our clinics in Seattle, WA and Santa Monica, CA from 49 states and from every continent on the planet. Some of these patients had even spent a considerable amount of time at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UCLA, and other major medical centers to no avail. We have treated many doctors, nurses, even faculty from some famous medical schools.

The cause of IBS varies from person to person, which is what makes irritable bowel syndrome and the symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating and chronic abdominal pain so difficult for most doctors to treat. However, through proper testing you will be able to identify the exact cause or causes of your symptoms and live a life free of digestive problems.

There are several hundred potential causes of IBS, but most cases result from issues that fit into two major categories:
•    Food Allergies and Intolerances
•    Microbial Issues  – including infections, bacterial imbalances, yeast, and parasites

There are other issues as well and since every patient is different it is essential to understand what is causing the IBS symptoms if you want to find an appropriate and ultimately successful treatment.  Use the links at left to learn more about IBS causes and some of the testing for those causes.

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Yes, You Can Have Healthy Digestion!

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Dr. Stephen WangenDigestion should be the natural process of an exquisitely complex system that converts food into the materials needed for life: vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids (proteins), and sugars (carbohydrates). From the average person’s point of view, it is a relatively easy, even unremarkable process, something you take for granted. But from a medical viewpoint it is truly fascinating.

A lot happens between the time you eat a piece of food and the time the waste products leave your body. Most people are concerned only with the two parts of the digestive system that require some active participation on their part – the food going in and the waste coming out. The steps between these two poles are involuntary, and you probably don’t pay a lot of attention to them, or need to, as long as things are working well.

Elimination itself is fairly straightforward. Eating causes the colon to contract, beginning the process of peristalsis: contraction followed by relaxation, over and over again along the tube, moving things down to the exit. Between thirty to sixty minutes after eating (depending on various factors, such as how much was in the intestinal tract to begin with), a person will normally feel the urge to have a bowel movement.

About 60% of the fecal mass is made up of water, although this figure can vary widely. When you have diarrhea, for example, the percentage of water is much higher. About 30% of a normal stool consists of dead bacteria, which gives feces its characteristic odor. The rest is made up of indigestible fiber, fats (such as cholesterol), inorganic salts, live bacteria, dead cells and mucus from your intestinal lining, and protein.

Relaxation is a key to healthy bowel movements. In fact, the whole of digestive function is based on relaxation. This is why stress is often blamed for bad digestion. When you are relaxed, the parasympathetic part of your nervous system is dominant. This same part allows your digestive system to “do its thing.”

Although the number of bowel movements a day that is considered “normal” varies, the average is one or two. Stools should be well formed; not watery; generally dark brown in color; and passed easily, without straining, cramping, or pain. Lighter brown stools, which usually float, generally mean you’re not digesting fats very well. Ideally, at the end of the bowel movement you should feel like you are fully “through.”

Evacuation is a fine balance and everyone is a little bit different, but the general rule is that if you experience discomfort, especially regularly, then things are not functioning normally. Pooping is a natural experience and should be comfortable and – dare we say it? – even bring an enjoyable feeling of release.

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Article Breaks Down the Deductibles of Various Health Plans

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Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 12.07.33 PMThis recent article from Forbes Magazine does a decent job of describing some of the terms in health insurance policies.  However, some additional information is needed.

The deductibles and maximum out of pocket limits only apply to “covered charges” and there are different rules for in-network vs. out-of-network providers.

Many plans that offer out of network coverage (that let you to see any doctor you want) have a separate, usually higher deductible for those providers.  They also usually have either a separate out of pocket maximum or no maximum.  This means that if the doctor you need to see is not in your network you may have to meet 2 different deductibles in a given year.  That can easily increase your medical expenses by double or more.

Plus, keep in mind that this only applies to covered charges.  Because insurance companies have decided to under pay for many services, hospitals and other providers have added “facility fees” and other charges that are generally not considered “covered charges” and for which insurance companies will pay nothing.  Since most providers don’t explain fees up front, you get an unexpected bill weeks after you have already incurred the charges and have little recourse.

In addition, insurance companies make up their own “allowed amounts” for the fees and services charged by providers of healthcare.  Often those “allowed amounts” ( for covered charges) are way below what things actually cost.  A blood draw is often “allowed” at between $2 and $3.   But no business can provide a qualified technician, gloves, needles, in a clean space for that price.  So the cost is shifted to other things.  As a result you may pay a large “facility fee” or pay much more for other services to make up the difference.  When in-network these fees might count towards your deductible and out-of-pocket maximum, but sometimes they are given special labels and the insurance company can wiggle out of paying – such as calling lab testing “investigational” or retroactively requiring pre-approval.

Questions?

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Patient Finds Cure for Chronic Heartburn

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Dr. Stephen WangenIt’s commonly believed that heartburn is the result of overeating. Although 116 million Americans may overeat, the size of the meal has no scientific correlation with the frequency of heartburn.

“Then we must be producing too much stomach acid,” you say. Having too much acid production is very rare. In fact, the opposite is the case. In most people, stomach acid decreases with age.

Whatever the name, if you are like millions of others, you are experiencing this gastrointestinal malady.

You may take your acid reflux problem for granted and buy your antacids at Costco, but you should be aware of the negative effects this has on your entire body. You also should know that heartburn is a sign of other problems, and can almost always be treated without acid blockers.

From a recent patient at the IBS Treatment Center:

I wanted to send you an update. I have not once had heartburn or indigestion, both of which I’ve had since high school.

I want to thank the whole team at the IBS Treatment Center for all they have done. I continually tell people about my experience with you all and encourage others to make an appointment. You all do such amazing work and I hope that you continue to do so for many year.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for sparing me years of pain, boxes of Prilosec and surgery!! I will never forget the amazing work you do!

Best,

Mallory Saffold

Acid rising from the stomach and irritating the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, results in the feeling of what is commonly called heartburn.

Some 35 to 45 percent of the population experiences heartburn, often called GERD or “gastroesophageal reflux disease”. That’s a whopping 116 million people! It’s also the most profitably treated symptom in America. Last year, Prilosec was the top selling prescription drug in the world, earning Astra Zeneca, the drug’s maker, 6 billion dollars.

This sad state of affairs means that it is almost considered normal to have GERD and to take drugs for it. However, heartburn is far less than normal, and those experiencing it are definitely nowhere near optimal health.

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Do You Have Good Digestion?

Posted on by IBSTC

DigestiveSystemDigestion should be the natural process of an exquisitely complex system that converts food into the materials needed for life: vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids (proteins), and sugars (carbohydrates).

From the average person’s point of view, it is a relatively easy, even unremarkable process, something you take for granted. But from a medical viewpoint it is truly fascinating.

Much happens between the time you eat a piece of food and the time the waste products leave your body. Most people are concerned only with the two parts of the digestive system that require some active participation on their part – the food going in and the waste coming out. The steps between these two poles are involuntary, and you probably don’t pay a lot of attention to them, or need to, as long as things are working well.

Elimination itself is fairly straightforward. Eating causes the colon to contract, beginning the process of peristalsis: contraction followed by relaxation, over and over again along the tube, moving things down to the exit. Between thirty to sixty minutes after eating (depending on various factors, such as how much was in the intestinal tract to begin with), a person will normally feel the urge to have a bowel movement.

About 60% of the fecal mass is made up of water, although this figure can vary widely. When you have diarrhea, for example, the percentage of water is much higher. About 30% of a normal stool consists of dead bacteria, which gives feces its characteristic odor. The rest is made up of indigestible fiber, fats (such as cholesterol), inorganic salts, live bacteria, dead cells and mucus from your intestinal lining, and protein.

Relaxation is a key to healthy bowel movements. In fact, the whole of digestive function is based on relaxation. This is why stress is often blamed for bad digestion. When you are relaxed, the parasympathetic part of your nervous system is dominant. This same part allows your digestive system to “do its thing.”

Although the number of bowel movements a day that is considered “normal” varies, the average is one or two. Stools should be well formed; not watery; generally dark brown in color; and passed easily, without straining, cramping, or pain. Lighter brown stools, which usually float, generally mean you’re not digesting fats very well. Ideally, at the end of the bowel movement you should feel like you are fully “through.”

Evacuation is a fine balance and everyone is a little bit different, but the general rule is that if you experience discomfort, especially regularly, then things are not functioning normally. Pooping is a natural experience and should be comfortable and – dare we say it? – even bring an enjoyable feeling of release.

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IBS Patient Finally Finds Help After 20 Years of Searching

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IBS Treatment Center Entrance and ParkingI first experienced IBS symptoms in 1992, at the age of 21 and I lived with it for 15 years.

I tried everything to find a solution including visits to about 10 doctors (G.I. specialists, OB/GYN, Internal Med., allergist, kinesiologist and chiropractors).

I read several books on IBS and tried elimination diets. I was tested for gluten and dairy allergies and the tests came back negative. I tried at least 6 different prescription medications, every over-the-counter treatment available for digestive problems and also tried many “natural remedies” from the health food store.

It was frustrating and exhausting and some days were better than others but that was always unpredictable. IBS was draining me and making me feel awful. In January, 2007 I came across the IBS Treatment Center’s web site. I immediately made an appointment.

Because of the knowledge gained from being a patient there, I have felt better in the last 2 months than I have in 15 years! Going there is a must for IBS sufferers.

- Mimi (former patient of the IBS Treatment Center)

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Patient Finally Finds Proper Treatment For IBS

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Dr. Stephen Wangen of the IBS Treatment Center.

Dr. Stephen Wangen of the IBS Treatment Center.

This letter comes from a former (cured!) patient of the IBS Treatment Center. Patients have come to the IBS Treatment Center from all over. They have visited our clinics in Seattle, WA and Santa Monica, CA from 49 states and from every continent on the planet. Some of these patients had even spent a considerable amount of time at the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UCLA, and other major medical centers to no avail. We have treated many doctors, nurses, even faculty from some famous medical schools.

I 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

Since 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 that our patients have experienced.

We won’t blame stress, tell you to eat more fiber, or drink more water. We won’t repeat the same tests that you’ve already had and tell you that everything is ok. We’re listening, and we know that you’re not ok.  Please let us help you!

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Probiotics: 4 Quick Facts

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Image of bacteria. (photo:creativecommon)

Image of bacteria.
(photo:creativecommon)

Probiotics, or supplements containing strains of good bacteria that normally live in the intestinal tract, are frequently taken by individuals suffering from digestive upset in an attempt to improve their symptoms.

In our practice, it is common to hear from patients who have tried probiotics that the supplements offered no improvement or even made them feel worse. The following points should help to explain why a negative reaction to probiotics is not necessarily surprising:

Fact 1

Many brands of probiotics contain low numbers of organisms, which essentially translates to a low dose of good bacteria.

Prescription probiotics can have numbers as low as 1 billion organisms per dose (which sounds like an awful lot, but is actually far less than what research finds to be a therapeutic dose). We commonly find that for some patients, doses as high as 25-50 billion organisms per day can effectively address the causes of IBS.

Fact 2

Most probiotics are grown on dairy, which can be very problematic for patients who suffer from a dairy allergy, a common cause of IBS symptoms.

In treating IBS, it is essential to identify any underlying food allergies and intolerances prior to starting treatment with probiotics, as taking a supplement that contains foods that your system reacts to negatively can cause more harm than good. Unique and specialized food allergy testing helps our physicians identify negative reactions to
specific foods in patients suffering from IBS.

Fact 3

The strains of good bacteria found in the supplements may not match the strains that your intestines need to reach healthy and appropriate levels.

By identifying the microbial ratios in the gut via a DNA stool analysis test, specific levels of different strains of good bacteria can be measured and identified as deficient. By replacing specific bacterial strains (instead of guessing), healthy levels of good gut bugs can be replenished to maintain a healthier intestinal environment.

Fact 4

Some strains of probiotics are much more anti-inflammatory than others. These strains help to reduce distress in your intestinal immune system, while others may have a potentially pro-inflammatory effect or no effect at all.

Research shows that certain strains of good intestinal bacteria are exceptionally strong regulators of intestinal inflammation. Having high enough levels of these bacteria can help to moderate immune reactions that can cause
symptoms of IBS.

Effectively utilizing probiotics is key to properly treating IBS. This is a science. Please contact our clinic if you
have questions about probiotics or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians.

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Patients Ends IBS After 40 Years of Suffering

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Innate Health GroupFrom a former patient of the IBS Treatment Center:

I am a 58 year old woman suffering with IBS since the age of 15.

I have been to many gastro doctors over the years who run basically the same tests. I have swallowed the camera pill, had numerous colonoscopies, endoscopies, breath tests… you name it. I even went to a Los Angeles’ major medical center a few years ago. Nothing was found and various meds/supplements over several decades did nothing.

My problem is chronic diarrhea. As I got older my problems were getting worse.

My husband found the IBS Treatment Center online and we decided to give it a try.
THIS PLACE HAS CHANGED MY LIFE!! I am so happy with my new life!

My favorite thing to do is travel and as I have traveled over the years, it has been marred with this issues..
But now.. my traveling is so much more enjoyable.

You will see how knowledgeable the staff are and how passionate they are to help you solve your gastro issues!!

Thank you!!

Puzzik F.

Click HERE to read more about Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

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Meet Our Doctors: Dr. Heath McAllister

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Dr. Heath McAllister

Dr. Heath McAllister

Dr. Heath McAllister is a state-licensed and board-certified Naturopathic Doctor. He received his doctoral degree, with honors, from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona and continues to teach medical students. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire, also graduating with honors (Summa Cum Laude).Dr. McAllister has a long standing interest in digestive health and considers it to be at the core of wellness. He has personal experience with IBS, and as a child suffered from diarrhea along with fatigue and moodiness. It was from this that he learned that when digestion works properly, everything else seems to come into balance. When digestion is not working properly, however, almost every major body system can be affected. Through effectively treating the digestive tract he has seen dramatic improvements in patients’ energy, mood, improved sleep, seasonal allergies, asthma, skin rashes, and other symptoms.

Having grown up in a small town in Maine, Dr. McAllister developed a deep love of nature. He is an avid hiker and wild-flower photographer and likes to get out when he can on weekends to explore wild-places. Before becoming a doctor he worked for the US Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Land Management as a plant biologist in the Mojave Desert.

Dr. McAllister also speaks Spanish and Russian proficiently, for those patients who may find it easier to communicate in those languages. To work with Dr. McAllister, please call our Santa Monica office at 310-319-1500.

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Patient Sees Big Difference Working with IBS Specialist

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(photo: commons.wikimedia)

(photo: commons.wikimedia)

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 my IBS.

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.

– Former IBS Treatment Center patient Amanda McLean

 

What Does a Gastroenterologist Do?

Many people assume that gastroenterologists are experts in all things related to the digestive tract. However, they are experts in diseases of the digestive tract, but not syndromes or symptoms.

Gastroenterologists primarily focus on performing colonoscopies and upper endoscopies. They may also do other imaging work of the GI tract, such as an ultrasound, CT scan,MRI, x-rays, and even “pill cameras”. And they may perform studies that assess the motility of the digestive tract. Therefore, if you go to a gastroenterologist your diagnosis will be based on this testing. Notice that all of the things mentioned so far are visual exams.

Gastroenterology is primarily a specialty in assessing the structure of the digestive tract. Gastroenterologists are focused on diagnosing ulcers, polyps, cancers, and other physically apparent abnormalities of the digestive tract.

Surprisingly, gastroenterologists do not have training in nutrition or most reactions to foods. And though the digestive tract is the single most concentrated area of immune activity, gastroenterologists have no special training in immunology. The tools of the gastroenterologist are all very useful tools – they are really important to diagnose cancers, structural problems, certain kinds of infections, and other problems. But the standard of care for problems other than those is purely palliative (also known as care to make you feel better about having IBS).

IBS Specialist

IBS specialists are experts in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A gastroenterologist may diagnose IBS, but that will only tell you what you already know, that your bowel irritates you. To the IBS specialist the label of IBS only serves as a starting point for further investigation, nothing more.

The IBS specialist focuses on assessing and diagnosing the cause of your digestive problems, not on the gross structural integrity of the digestive tract. Rather than focusing on the patients symptoms, or simply treating the symptoms, the IBS specialist is devoted to identifying the condition or conditions in the patient that are causing the symptoms. There are literally hundreds of different causes of IBS and the digestive problems associated with IBS.

This process involves a detailed evaluation of how the body is responding to the foods in the diet (food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities), and a thorough assessment of the profound ecosystem (including probiotics, yeast, bad bacteria, and parasites) that is contained within the digestive tract.

It may also involve evaluating enzyme production, acid production, and the overall functioning of the digestive tract. IBS specialists do not do what gastroenterologist do, and gastroenterologists do not do what IBS specialists do. These are completely different specialties. There is only a very tiny amount of overlap with regard to stool testing. But even this is extremely minor as the IBS specialist utilizes much more advanced stool analyses.

(photo: commons.wikimedia)

 

­

 

 

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