Many factors can cause the digestive tract to malfunctions. This may manifest as loose stools, caused by inflammation and the gut contracting too rapidly. Or it may be evidenced as constipation, when the digestive system moves too slow. For some of us, this distress can be frequent and painful, creating a major disruption in our life and in our lifestyle.
There are many conditions that can cause digestive issues including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). While all of these conditions involve inflammation of the lining of the bowel, IBS can be healed through careful shifts in diet and lifestyle. Dr. John Phelts D.C. has helped many of his patients with gastrointestinal disorders to restore their digestive system.
What is IBS?
IBS is defined by abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, and a cluster of symptoms that last for three months or longer. Symptoms vary for each person and can include:
Stomach gas and bloating
Alternating diarrhea and constipation
Mucus in the stool
Nausea after eating
Abdominal pain that progresses or occurs at night
Weight loss not explained by dieting or other health concerns
IBS can be caused by one or several underlying health factors that cause a disruption in the digestive tract. These factors can include:
Food Allergy or Sensitivity. Research has shown that IBS can be triggered or made worse in people who are consuming foods to which they have a food allergy, intolerance or sensitivity. For some people a specific category of carbohydrate foods known as "high-FODMAP" create symptoms of IBS. For a list of food culprits, read this blog post and see how you can help determine what is causing your distress. Dr Phelts uses Applied Kinesiology (AK) testing to identify what foods you may be sensitive to and uses energy techniques to desensitize you to that food.
Imbalance in Gut Flora. In the digestive system, we have friendly gut flora that support the process of digestion, nutrient absorption, and immunity. If we don't have enough friendly flora, or there is an overgrowth of unfriendly flora, or an "invader" yeast or bacteria, then inflammation, nutritional deficiency, and digestive distress can result. Toxins, processed foods, stress and antibiotic use can also increase inflammation and trigger or worsen IBS. Dr. Phelts puts his patients on a simple protocol to restore gut flora balance.
Hormones. Changes in hormones, particularly for women, can cause a cascade of changes in the body, including digestion.
A Holistic Plan for Healing IBS
At Phelts Chiropractic PC we assess for IBS using diagnostic tools such as physical exam, blood work, lab tests, stool and urine tests, food allergy or intolerance testing, dietary assessment, and assessment of lifestyle factors including stress level, fatigue, etc. The goal is to identify sources of inflammation that have set the stage for developing IBS. Once identified, doctor and patient, will develop a plan to minimize/ eliminate exposure to triggers, reduce inflammation, and promote healing with Science Based Nuttition.
The "healing plan" for IBS will be different for every person because so many factors interact to produce inflammation and symptoms. This plan can include following a Low-FODMAP Diet (useful for a variety of GI conditions), nutritional and herbal supplementation, stress management, avoiding smoking and caffeine, moderating alcohol intake, adjusting sleeping habits, homeopathy and exercise.
If you suspect that you are affected by IBS, contact Dr. John W. Phelts, D.C. about an evaluation and put yourself on the road to wellness. We are just two blocks for Grand Central Station and ocated near the 10016, 10018, and 10017 zip codes. It is possible to enjoy food again and heal from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Give us a call 212-286-2012
Marsh, A., Eslick, E.M., Eslick, G.D. "Does a diet low in FODMAPs reduce symptoms associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders? A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis." European Jl of Nutrition(2016 April) 55:3, 897-906. Accessed 12 Feb 2019: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00394-015-0922-1
Staudacher, H.M., Lomer, M.C.E., et.al, "Fermentable Carbohydrate Restriction Reduces Luminal Bifidobacteria and Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome." Journal of Nutrition, (1 August 2012) 142: 8, , 1510-1518. Accessed 12 Feb 2019: https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.112.159285
Healthline.com "A Beginner's Guide ot the Low-FODMAP Diet." Posted by Rossi, M. (2017 Mar 15). Accessed 12 Feb 2019: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/low-fodmap-diet
StanfordHealthCare.org "Low Fodmap Diet." Accessed 12 Feb 2019: https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-treatments/l/low-fodmap-diet.html
KateScarlata.com FODMAP Diet and IBS info. Accessed 12 Feb 2019: http://www.katescarlata.com/
Johnson, R.L., S. Foster, Low Dog, T. and Kiefer, D. National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World's Most Effective Healing Plants.(2012) Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.
Hawrelak, J.A. & Myers, S.P., "Effects for Two Natural Medicine Formulations on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Pilot Study." Jl. of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2010 Oct 18) 16:10. Accessed 12 Feb 2019: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/acm.2009.0090?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&
Pizzorno, Joseph E. Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4thEd. (2013) St. Louis, MO Elsevier.
"What is IBS?" DrWeil.com https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/gastrointestinal/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-symptoms-treatments/