Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a condition that is becoming widely known. Due to the uncomfortable physical symptoms, in addition to the unpredictable flare-ups of this condition, living with IBS can be especially difficult. Our chiropractor for IBS at Life Source Chiropractic has developed the following information to inform our patients about how chiropractic for IBS can help manage this condition.

What Is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a combination of symptoms affecting the digestive system. IBS can cause recurrent abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation along with other digestive symptoms; however, it does not always cause visible changes in the digestive tract.

The necessity for natural irritable bowel syndrome relief is highlighted by gut-brain interaction disorders such as IBS. Although medications prescribed by a doctor may provide some relief, they do not generally address the underlying contributors of IBS. At Life Source Chiropractic, we provide interventions that are geared toward enhancing the neurological system as a whole, which includes the brain and spinal cord. As a result, the pathways of communication for nerve signals that are vital for gastrointestinal health are optimized.

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Sometimes the bowels function adequately since irritable bowel syndrome is a flaring condition. The remainder of the time, a person with IBS may experience unpleasant symptoms. If the main symptom they experience is constipation, the condition is known as IBS with constipation or IBS-C. If diarrhea is the predominant symptom, they are diagnosed with IBS with diarrhea or IBS-D. Occasionally, an individual may have both diarrhea and constipation. This is known as IBS with mixed bowel habits or IBS-M.

Who Does IBS Affect?

Approximately 12% of Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome according to recent statistics. Because constipation and other digestive issues tend to become more prevalent with age, it’s easy to assume the same is true for IBS; however, this is not the case. The majority of people who develop IBS are usually under 50 years of age.

Women are twice as likely as men to develop IBS. Risk factors for IBS also include a previous severe gastrointestinal infection, a family history of IBS, or traumatic childhood events, such as abuse.

Symptoms of Leg Pain

Similar to arm pain, leg pain can also have a significant impact on everyday living. Because the legs are needed for walking, it can be difficult just to leave home, which can restrict social activities. Without the ability to bend, crouch, or lunge, ordinary household cleaning and maintenance duties can also become difficult. 

Beginning leg pain treatment as early as possible is important due to the fact that the legs carry the body. Patients have come to Life Source Chiropractic in agony from the zapping pain that shoots down the legs as a result of sciatica. Other patients have been affected by the unbearable stabbing, burning, or tingling pain caused by foot or knee issues when they attempt to stand up or walk.

Common Symptoms of IBS

Although the most frequent symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation, they are not the only symptoms that patients have reported to us at Life Source Chiropractic. Bloating, the feeling of not completely emptying after a bowel movement, and white mucus in the stool are some other known symptoms of IBS.

IBS is a chronic condition characterized by sporadic symptom flare-ups and otherwise generally healthy bowel function. Many women also report a worsening of IBS symptoms during menstruation.

How Chiropractic Helps Improve IBS

Our approach to chiropractic for IBS provides our patients with natural IBS relief. Although the pharmaceutical industry has millions of dollars worth of pills to help disguise IBS symptoms, we focus on identifying and addressing any underlying issues that are causing the symptoms.

Chiropractic Adjustment for IBS Symptom Relief

According to scientists, The relationship between the brain and the gut is thought to be disrupted in functional gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS. Because of this, the stool can move either too rapidly or too slowly through the intestines, resulting in diarrhea or constipation. Even when there is only ordinary amounts of gas and stool in the intestines, poor brain-gut communication can make the belly feel uncomfortably full.

Chiropractic adjustments are intended to correct what is known as a spinal subluxation. A subluxation is the chiropractic term for improper alignment. The vertebrae, or spinal bones, can physically compress the nerves when the spine is out of alignment. This can result in dysfunction throughout the body, which includes the digestive tract.

Healthy communication between the brain and intestinal tract is restored when we conduct a chiropractic adjustment to correct a subluxation of the spine. This results in the accurate processing of information from the small and large intestines to the brain so pain, fullness, and other sensations are not misinterpreted. The intestines receive instructions from the brain to move food through at a normal pace so the body can absorb the maximum amount of nutrients.

Dietary Designs for Healthier Living

The body’s center for processing food consists mainly of the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, diet significantly contributes to the reduction of IBS symptoms. Life Source Chiropractic recommends avoiding gluten, eating a diet rich in fiber, and possibly trying a low FODMAP diet, which is a temporary diet designed to restrict certain foods to try and pinpoint those that are problematic. 

Boost Fiber Intake

One of the most frequent complaints associated with irritable bowel syndrome is constipation. Fiber softens the stool, allowing it to pass more easily. The recommended amount of daily fiber intake for adults is between 22 and 34 grams.

Despite the fact that there are two types of fiber—soluble and insoluble—research has shown that soluble fiber offers better relief from IBS symptoms. Fruits, oats, and beans are some great sources of soluble fiber.

Excess gas, bloating, and other IBS symptoms can be brought on by rapidly increasing fiber intake. For this reason, Life Source Chiropractic recommends our patients add no more than 30 grams of fiber to their daily consumption. Some examples include adding an orange, ½ cup of broccoli, or a small bowl of salad to your meals throughout the day.

Eliminate Gluten

Wheat, barley, and rye all contain a protein called gluten that can bring on symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Celiac disease is a condition whereby the body cannot digest gluten. Individuals with celiac disease are often prescribed a gluten-free diet. Despite the fact that irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease are two distinct conditions, IBS symptoms can be brought on by gluten. Therefore, it also makes sense for people with IBS to adopt a diet that excludes the majority of pastas, grains, and cereals. People who suffer from IBS should also remove processed foods from their diet since the majority of them frequently contain gluten.

Follow a Low FODMAP Diet

One way to reduce or eliminate many hard-to-digest foods is to follow a low FODMAP diet. Our chiropractor for IBS recommends people with irritable bowel syndrome avoid the following FODMAP-rich foods:

  • Wheat and rye
  • Honey and high-fructose corn syrup
  • Milk, yogurt, soft cheeses, and other dairy products
  • Fresh, canned, or frozen cabbage, onions, garlic, and other vegetables
  • Fresh, canned, frozen, or dried apples, cherries, watermelon, and other fruit or their juices

A Symptom-Reducing Lifestyle

Along with diet, some easy lifestyle modifications can make symptoms more manageable and also help minimize IBS flare-ups. Incorporating exercise is one of the best lifestyle changes people can make. The body was made to move, and regular physical exercise throughout the day makes circulation, respiration, and digestion more efficient.

At Life Source Chiropractic, we also teach our patients how to cope with stress. There are many ways to reduce stress, some of which include meditation, deep breathing, and progressively relaxing the major muscle groups. Reducing stress can improve coping with IBS symptoms since stress frequently makes them worse.

Sleep also helps to improve IBS symptoms because the body rests, rejuvenates, and rebuilds during sleep. When sleep is skipped, all the benefits of a solid night of shuteye are also skipped.

Rebalancing the Microbiota for Optimal Gut Health

Probiotics have gained popularity over the years, and the intestinal tract is normally home to these living microorganisms. When they are destroyed by threats such as antibiotics or infections, digestion isn’t as efficient or complete.

Supplemental probiotics are often suggested to our patients with IBS. Since probiotic supplements help the gut digest more effectively, many of our patients find them helpful for IBS relief. We also recommend our patients speak to us before starting probiotic therapy since symptoms and their causes vary from one patient to the next.

When to Visit Our Chiropractor for IBS

Our chiropractor for IBS advises a visit to us as soon as possible once a diagnosis of IBS is received. A patient’s chance of experiencing outcomes similar to those found through research depends on how quickly they receive care.

A recent study involving a 32-year old woman with IBS, depression, anxiety, and unrelenting symptoms throughout the day found that she could have a normal bowel movement with no pain after her initial appointment. Following her first few weeks of care, her physical symptoms diminished, and her depression and anxiety decreased significantly.

If you’ve been frustrated by the care you or a loved one has received, or if the idea of natural IBS relief interests you, give Life Source Chiropractic a call. We are here to answer any questions you may have and to schedule a consultation for natural irritable bowel syndrome relief.