ibs symptoms

staff2From 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 years.

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

Heartburn or acid reflux or GERD — 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.

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.

If you experience heartburn, it’s important to get the proper testing so that we can sort through the possible causes and provide you with permanent relief. Even heartburn caused by necessary drugs can be treated in a way that is much healthier and more effective than acid blockers.

QUESTIONS? Contact our office at info@ibstreatmentcenter.com or 1.888.546.6283.

rssyoutube

(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.

rssyoutube

DigestiveSystemPatients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea or abdominal pain often wonder if they have a problem with their gallbladder.

Problems with the gallbladder can indeed cause these symptoms. However, many people find that having their gallbladder removed did little or nothing to help their IBS, or even made it worse.

What does the gallbladder do?


The gallbladder does exactly what its name describes; it is a small bladder that stores gall. Gall is more commonly known as bile. Bile is produced by the liver and piped over to the gallbladder via the bile duct.

What is bile?


Bile is a highly concentrated yellow green fluid that contains bile acids. Bile acids are important for digesting fats. When you eat, your gallbladder contracts and secretes bile into the small intestine to help you digest your food. If your gallbladder has been removed then it will be more difficult for you to digest fats. In such cases, eating too much fat may cause loose stools.

When does that gallbladder need to be removed?


In some people, stones develop inside of the gallbladder. These stones, when small, can become lodged in the bile duct, which can cause severe pain and be very dangerous if they also clog the pancreatic duct. Larger stones are not able to pass into the bile duct, but their presence can cause severe pain. Sometimes this is worse when the gallbladder is contracting. In either case, removing the gallbladder usually relieves the pain and you feel much better.

(more…)

rssyoutube

(photo: commons.wikimedia)
(photo: commons.wikimedia)

This study shows that fatigue is common in people with IBS and food hypersensitivities.

From National Institutes of Health:

Chronic fatigue in patients with unexplained self-reported food hypersensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome: validation of a Norwegian translation of the Fatigue Impact Scale.

Authors: Lind R, Berstad A, Hatlebakk J, Valeur J.

Source
Department of Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen.

BACKGROUND:
Patients with unexplained self-reported food hypersensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) suffer from several health complaints, including fatigue. The aim of the present study was to validate a Norwegian translation of the Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS), and to assess the impact of fatigue in patients with self-reported food hypersensitivity and IBS, as compared with healthy controls.
(more…)

rssyoutube
Study Explores Connection Between Reflux and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

(img: commons.wikimedia.org/)
(img: commons.wikimedia.org/)

This 10 year study found a strong correlation between reflux and IBS. We are not surprised. Many of our IBS patients experience reflux, and often both the reflux and the IBS is gone once they receive treatment here. But you don’t have to have IBS to be successfully treated for reflux.

Excerpt from the study The natural history of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms in the community and its effects on survival: a longitudinal 10-year follow-up study from National Institutes of Health:

METHODS:
Data on mortality and cause of death at 10 years were obtained from the Office for National Statistics. Baseline demographic data, lifestyle factors, gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life were recorded at study entry. The effect of all these factors on persistent and new-onset GERS, and 10-year mortality, were examined using univariate and multivariate analysis, with results expressed as odds ratios (ORs) or hazard ratios (HR) with 99% confidence intervals (CI).

CONCLUSIONS:
Gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms persisted in one-third of individuals, whilst new-onset gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms were associated with poor quality of life, irritable bowel syndrome and higher body mass index. Gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms did not impact adversely on survival.

Click here to read the complete study.

Image thanks to http://commons.wikimedia.org/

rssyoutube

(image thanks to epenihadux.github.com)

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.

Today, we wanted to share a recent patient testimonial that highlights how what you eat can affect many different aspects of your health.

Without the foods that I am allergic to my joints felt at the least 10 years younger. Somehow moving doesn’t seem to feel restricted and gravity isn’t as heavy.

Seven months ago I was told I have piriformis syndrome in my left hip. I haven’t seen any improvement in the pain until now. I had tendonitis in both of my elbows and couldn’t hold even an opened book in my hands without my elbow feeling like they were stiff and going to break. I had to stop Crocheting and knitting because it hurt too bad to do anymore.

I was sent to a Neurologist but since I wouldn’t take the cortisone shot there wasn’t anything he could do for it. I spent 8 years on and off antidepressants for migraines with no real help. Doctors put me on arthritis medicines but I didn’t trust the stuff and wouldn’t take it. I didn’t believe getting to the root of the problem with IBS would make a difference in my whole body.


Living with IBS is a nightmare. It makes you feel like you are terminally ill. ….
I know I still have a ways to go but everyday I remind myself were I was and I am amazed how great I feel!


Thank you so much for the job you and everyone who works with you do that so very few take the time to understand!

Cindy Tomes


Image thanks to github.com

rssyoutube

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, but they can be broken down into two major categories: 


  1. Food Allergies and Intolerances; and
  2. Intestinal Microorganisms and Parasites.

rssyoutube

People often think that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) has to involve diarrhea or constipation, but often it does not.

For many people the only obvious symptom is abdominal pain. And the pain can vary from a mild discomfort to incredibly debilitating. In fact, chronic abdominal pain is one of the top 5 reasons that people to go to the doctor.

Unfortunately, for many it is also very poorly treated. The typical approach is to rule out ulcers, appendicitis, gallstones, uterine problems, or cancers. This may be done with blood work, scopes, scans, ultrasound or other imaging, depending on the problem.

If you have one of the aforementioned problems and it’s found, then your problem should be solved. But many people with abdominal pain do not have an ulceration, appendicitis, gallstones, uterine problems or cancer.

For them, all of the tests come back negative. They are told that nothing is wrong and left with the impression that it’s all in their head.

Of course, something is very wrong. There is always a logical reason for a problem such as abdominal pain, and it’s rarely just a mental or stress issue. But it’s not something that is structural or that you can see with the kinds of tests mentioned above. Unfortunately, those are the only tests most doctors have to offer.
(more…)

rssyoutube

(img thx to http://nursingcrib.com)

It is often tempting for physicians to blame the gallbladder for abdominal pain and digestive problems even when there is little or no evidence that the gallbladder is the culprit. It’s a relatively simple procedure, and most people don’t miss it too much. If stones are present, then the decision is easy to make.

However, in some cases physicians recommended that the gallbladder be removed even when stones are not apparent on any exams. The recommendation is based primarily on symptoms and a lack of any other visible problem. Gallbladder function tests also may indicate that the gallbladder is not functioning at 100%. However, that does not mean that it is the cause of the problem. If the gallbladder is functioning at a below normal level, removing it will only guarantee that it will not function at all.

Studies have shown that patients with IBS symptoms and/or abdominal pain are more likely than others to have gall bladder removal surgery (cholecycstectomy) when they do not have gall stones. This exposes the patient to the increased (though small) risks of surgery and to further digestive problems caused by the abscence of a gall bladder.

Testing for food allergies and other causes of IBS symptoms, and treating those conditions can enable patients to avoid unnecessary surgery and achieve good digestive health.

Image thanks to nursingcrib.com

rssyoutube

Constipation is one of the primary symptoms defined as IBS.

The two major factors for defining constipation are the frequency of bowel movements and their firmness. One sign that your digestive system is functioning optimally is that you have at least one bowel movement per day. However, bowel movements that are difficult to pass, very firm, or made up of small rabbit-like pellets qualify as constipation, even if they occur every day. Other symptoms related to constipation can include bloating, distension, abdominal pain, or a sense of incomplete emptying.

If you don’t have these symptoms but you rely on extra fiber (such as Metamucil), a stool softener, a laxative, or some other method to prevent these symptoms, then you also have constipation.  Constipation is one of the primary symptoms defined as IBS – irritable bowel syndrome.

Constipation is a symptom of slow transit time, not unlike rush-hour traffic. When the colon is backed up, the small intestine is also backed up. And when the intestines are backed up, the stomach can be delayed in emptying itself of food matter. This is why some people with constipation also experience heartburn and reflux.

Constipation of course affects digestion and therefore can contribute to the malabsorption of nutrients, which can lead to a wide spectrum of health problems. It can also delay the removal of waste from the body, and not just from the colon. The liver is responsible for removing a majority of toxins (including pollutants, hormones, drugs, heavy metals, and even cholesterol) from the blood stream. Much of this waste is then dumped into the gastrointestinal tract for final disposal. If the intestinal tube is slowed in its transit time, then these toxins are not removed in a timely manner and may even be reabsorbed. This is akin to setting the garbage out at the curb but not having it picked up for several weeks. It’s not good for the neighborhood, so to speak.

Constipation may also be painful. As fecal material passes through the intestine, water is absorbed out of it. The longer it remains inside the tube, the drier and harder to pass it will be, causing painful stretching of the colon as well as the anus.

(more…)