treating ibs

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.


staff2What an amazing year 2015 has been! We met many wonderful people who used to suffer from IBS and who now are back to the lives they thought were lost forever. Your comfort brings us joy! We also welcomed some amazing talent to our team. At the IBS Treatment Center we are proud to offer you a full-spectrum approach to your dietary health and wellness.

We understand what a huge impact IBS has on a person’s life. Many of us who work at the Treatment Center suffered through the ups and downs of digestive problems and endured diagnosis and remedies from doctors who didn’t quite “get it” or who seemed to dismiss our complaints instead of taking them to heart. It can be a frustrating path without the right support.

That is why we want you to feel supported 24/7 with quick access to our resources and information about what we can do for you. We would also like to introduce to you our new website! You will find it simpler to use than our old site, complete with background information about our doctors and specialists. You can even order the high-quality products recommended by our staff. It’s friendly, helpful, and tells you what you need to know—just like visiting one of our offices.

So during the festive time of year when that list of naughty foods you should avoid gets lost in the holiday cheer, please remember we are just a click away. We are always ready and willing to help you get back on track.

Our wish from the IBS Treatment Center to you and yours is a new year filled with great health, good friends, lots of cheer, and a happy gut. Because when you feel good on the inside, everything seems better on the outside.

Happy Holidays!
From All of Us at the IBS Treatment Center.


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.

The History of the IBS Treatment Center

(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!

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!


Dr. Stephen WangenThis story comes from a recent patient of the IBS Treatment Center. Her name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Stacy came to the IBS Treatment Center because she had terrible abdominal pain and bloating. She hadn’t been able to enjoy being outdoors or her favorite hobby (gardening).

Stacy was especially anxious because even wearing a seat belt was causing her a lot of discomfort, not to mention just being stuck in a car.

It was so problematic that she would regularly go without a seat belt, which is certainly not advisable. Her first goal was to feel well enough to be able to wear her seat belt.

After working with Stacy, doing the proper testing and follow up work, she is now feeling much better and can finally drive comfortably and do it in a much safer manner, because she is comfortable wearing her seat belt again.

She is also happier (ecstatic actually!) that she can now do some gardening again and is looking forward to much more in the future!

Drugs to Treat IBS

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.


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!


IBS Treatment CenterWe receive a lot of great letters and emails from our patients. Here’s a sweet one from Susan Weir.

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

See more testimonials from recent patients at the IBS Treatment Center here.

Who We Are: The Innate Health Group

Innate Health GroupThe Innate Health Group was designed and created to reintroduce something that has been missing in medicine, a belief that you are capable of being healthier if given a better understanding of your body.

We subscribe to the scientific method and the theory of evolution. We know that in most cases health is something that comes from the capacity of your body to perform according to its genetic design, with which you were born.

Health, excepting traumatic damage to the body, is usually not most effectively achieved by drugs or surgical procedures. Although these have their place, they are grossly overused. And frequently drugs and surgical procedures cause other significant problems that could be avoided by other techniques that not only solve the underlying problem, but avoid additional risk.

As a society we have lost touch with our innate health. We are confused by a medical system and a culture that prioritizes business over health, and by generic mass marketed treatments and fads that treat people as statistics and customers rather than as unique individuals with unique health care needs.

Our primary goal is to help you maximize your innate health. This is easier said than done, and the choices that will lead to improved health aren’t necessarily obvious, nor are they the same for everyone. As each individual is unique, so are the requirements for your body to be healthy.

However, at the Innate Health Group we are able to achieve great success with our patients by focusing on them as individuals and customizing each patient’s treatment plan. We utilize proven medical care and cutting-edge testing, and combine it with common sense to provide you with information about how your body works and what it needs to function optimally. Our promise to you is that we will not only try to solve your problem, but improve your overall health for the rest of your life.

The Innate Health Group includes the IBS Treatment Center, the Center for Food Allergies, the Food Allergy and Intolerance Foundation, and Innate Health Publishing.

Contact us or feel free to leave a comment below.


Dr. Stephen Wangen of the IBS Treatment Center.
Dr. Stephen Wangen of the IBS Treatment Center.

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:
Food Allergies and Intolerances; and Intestinal Microorganisms and Parasites.

Learn more by visiting our website.

Understanding Bacteria & Your Body

(photo: creativecommons)
(photo: creativecommons)

Inside of your body, primarily in your digestive tract, live an enormous number of bacteria.  These single-celled organisms have colonized areas of your body and exist happily there.

This may alarm you, as we have been trained to view bacteria as the enemy. However, we are not sterile beings. Our internal bacteria are actually critical to our health – so critical, in fact, that we cannot survive without them. They are fundamental to the development of our immune system, they help break down our food, and they even create nutrients that we need for good health. And most importantly for you, they play a large role in whether or not we experience diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, abdominal pain or IBS.

The bacteria inside us form a teeming, busy ecosystem. Changing or harming one species will have repercussions on the other species and on the host itself. While we are used to thinking of the earth’s ecosystems in this way, it may seem strange that these same principles govern our internal environments. This environment is all too easily altered, especially in our world of antibiotics. And many people suffer from IBS due to a microbial imbalance in their digestive tract.




IBS only tells you what you already know, that your bowel irritates you. There are hundreds of reasons that this can happen. There is no one cause, and there never will be. Once you break out of that type of thinking you will see many causes for IBS.


There is no one diet for IBS. There are certain foods that are harder on your digestive tract than others, such as coffee and alcohol. But avoiding them won’t cure your IBS. Generic IBS diets might help you a little, but they won’t help solve your problem.


We see IBS patients cured of their IBS everyday. Thousands of patients can’t be wrong. But if you believe the first 2 myths, then you certainly won’t find the cure.

Contact our office at or 1-888.546-6283.

Frequently Asked Questions at the IBS Treatment Center

gI_SignImage.jpgWe’re starting a new segment with our blog where we address frequently asked questions we hear from patients and potential patients alike. Let’s start today with the basics.

What does it cost to visit the IBS Treatment Center?

The Center offers a 10-minute pre-consultation over the phone or Skype for just $65.

Your first in-office visit costs just $199 for a 35-minute visit with one of our doctors that specializes in IBS.  When you come in person the $65 pre-consult fee will be deducted from the $199 fee for your first visit!

So essentially, you can have a 10 minute pre-consult with a doctor from the IBS Treatment Center for essentially free!

How many times will I have to visit the Treatment Center?

Non-local patients require only one in-office visit with the IBS Treatment Center. All follow up is then done remotely.  This enables patients from around the world to get access to the best IBS treatment available.

What makes the IBS Treatment Center different?

We offer treatment that is as unique as you are. The IBS Treatment Center specializes in treating AND curing IBS – it’s our passion and our mission. In fact, our founding doctor cured his own IBS!

How Many Patients Has the IBS Treatment Center worked with?

The Center has helped over 4000 patients since it opened its doors in 2005. Yes, 4000 people. Now let us help you!

Is the IBS Treatment Center covered by insurance?

Yes, as long as you have out of network coverage that is fully compliant with the ACA.  At least 75% of patients get reimbursement from their insurance company.

 Patients have been reimbursed by most major insurers including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United, Aetna, Cigna and more.