Natural Treatment for Constipation & Diarrhea
IBS Diet and Nutritional Medicine
Are you bloating or experiencing stomach pain? Is it embarrassing or affecting your daily activities? Are you looking for IBS Diet Support in Perth?
The diagnosis of IBS is often given to a collection of symptoms when the doctor or specialist cannot find an explanation. With further investigations, often an underlying contributing factor can be identified such as copper overload. Often a GP will recommend an IBS diet such as a FODMAPs or GAPs diet, however this can be frustrating as the underlying cause of the IBS has not been identified.
Several factors initiate and maintain IBS, such as genetic predisposition (pyroluria disorder), history of acute gastrointestinal infections or altered intestinal mucosal function. Sometimes parasites such as Blastocystis hominis or Dientamoeba fragilis can cause IBS symptoms. Elevated elements in the body such as copper overload can also cause IBS symptoms.
Other causes include food allergies, altered bowel flora (dysbiosis with lowered bidifo bacteria and lactobacilli) or elevated levels of stress. Conditions such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or fructose malabsorption should be ruled out as aggravating factors.
IBS with Constipation
Initial functional pathology testing such as stool testing can rule out some aggravating causes. In some cases a treatment of herbal medicine and nutritional supplements are recommended to treat the gastrointestinal tract, including the small and large intestine. Often herbal support of the liver and digestive secretions will improve the consistency of the stool and frequency of bowel motions.
Exercise can prove to be an extremely useful tool for the alleviation of IBS symptoms. A selection of daily works, yoga, cycling, aqua aerobics or dancing help the bowel motility as well as optimise blood flow through the gastrointestinal tract.
Dietary modifications are extremely helpful with the management of constipation dominant IBS. Foods which encourage bile and gastric secretions often help increase bowel motility and alleviate uncomfortable symptoms.
IBS with Diarrhea
Allergies, altered microflora (dysbiosis with lowered bidifo bacteria and lactobacilli), altered stress response, acute incidence of stress such as traumatic events may all contribute to decreased stool transit time. Sometimes parasitic infection with organisms like Giardia, blastocystis hominis or Dientamoeba fragilis can cause diarrhea or loose stools. It is important to identify this with parasite testing and treat these infections if they are suspected.
These alterations often result in abdominal pain, bloating, increased flatulence and multiple other discomfort and stress.
Key IBS Diet Advice
This list is not exhaustive, however it does provide some important tips straight from top naturopath tips!
- Take a good quality probiotic
- Increase fluid intake to 2 – 2 ½ litres daily to optimise stool frequency and weight as well as maintain body hydration
- Increase dietary fibre including soluble fibre – psyllium, eat whole grains such as oats or try LSA mix on your breakfast oats
- Avoid insoluble fibre such as wheat-bran as they are harder to digest
- Apple cider vinegar with meals to increase stimulation of pancreatic enzymes and bile production. Care should be taken with peptic ulcers or gastritis as vinegar may aggravate these conditions
- Reduce alcohol and coffee consumption
- Use a diet diary to assess any food allergies. Keep a detailed diary to associate foods with IBS symptoms
- Reduce or avoid food allergens when identified to reduce IBS symptoms
- If no fructose intolerance, increase laxative containing fruits such as prunes, figs, plums, nectarines, stewed fruits. It may be necessary to complete a breath test to rule out fructose malabsorption
- Eat small nutritious meals to reduce impact and overloading the digestive system. 5 small meals of nutrient rich foods may be better than 3 large meals which stress your digestive system
Useful IBS Pathology Testing
Often the IBS label is given by a practitioner when they are not sure about the underlying causes of digestive discomfort and IBS symptoms. At the Cura clinic, it is often recommended that the patient considers completing some functional pathology tests to eliminate possible causes of the IBS symptoms.
The following are some tests often used at the Cura clinic.
- CDSA – Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (check for parasites, bacteria or yeast)
- Parasitology stool test – 3 day stool test
- Intestinal permeability – leaky gut – intestinal permeability test
- Food Allergy testing – ALCAT, IgG or IgA
- Functional Liver detoxification test – liver detoxification pathway
- Secretory IgA – Mucous membrane Immune test
Commonly Prescribed Natural Medicines
The following are some examples of natural therapy products used in the treatment of IBS. Only a few are used at one time with a patient and they are carefully prescribed specifically for the individual make-up of the patient.
- Herbal medicine fluid extracts
- Probiotics – therapeutic grade and dosage
- Dietary recommendations such as wholefood eating
- Vitamin A
- liquid zinc drink or Zinc citrate
- Personal blend of liquid herbal medicine
- Vitamin B complex (activated Bs)
- Traveller’s Friend citrus seed extract
- Magnesium powder (mineral blend)
- Fish oil (EPA/DHA rich)- therapeutic dosages