What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not a disease but rather “syndrome” defined by a group of symptoms.  It typically presents with abdominal pain with altered bowel movements (i.e. constipation and/or diarrhea).

What causes IBS?

Numerous factors cause IBS. People suffering from IBS are usually afflicted by two or more of the following causes:

  • Food sensitivities
  • Parasites
  • Yeast
  • Bacteria
  • Certain drugs
  • Stress
  • Insomnia

How do we treat IBS?

Both myself (Matt Gowan, ND) and my wife (Vicky Weiler, ND) are naturopathic doctors with over 20 years of combined experience treating IBS. In fact, IBS is one of the top condition that we see in our clinic.  We enjoy treating IBS patients because people are so when we can identify the cause.   We recognize that one person’s cause of IBS could be entirely different from another person and therefore require very different treatment approaches.  Our approach typically involves the following:

  • Identify food sensitivities – Food sensitivities (not to be confused with food allergies) are the most common cause of IBS.  These food intolerances are usually caused by an immune reaction involving IgG antibodies that can be identified using a blood test.  IgG food sensitivities typically cause symptoms of bloating, water retention, cramping pain, diarrhea and or constipation. We can help you determine what foods bother you!
  • Eradicate infections – Pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and yeast can all contribute to symptoms of IBS.  Not all sufferers of IBS have these bugs but this is something that should be ruled out.  Stool samples can help identify the culprit but sometimes the test is negative but taking antimcirobials can improve symptoms.  We recommend certain  herbs to help remove infectious causes of IBS.
  • Improve gut flora – In addition to removing harmful bugs, it is important to supplement with “probiotics” or good bacteria to help recolonize the gut. We can recommend probiotics supported by research to help reduce IBS symptoms.
  • Normalize bowel movements – Certain foods that are rich in fiber can improve stool consistency, thus promoting regularity and reduce diarrhea.  We provide specific dietary changes that improve bowel movements.
  • Reduce urgency & decrease pain – Herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years to safely improve digestive symptoms.  We are knowledgeable in herbs that can alleviate abdominal pain.
  • Manage stress – Although stress is not the primary cause of IBS it can aggravate and precipitate episodes.  We can provide stress management technique to help you cope with stress.

Matt Gowan – Guelph Naturopathic Doctor Treats IBS

Dr. Matt Gowan is a naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of clinical experience.  He has a special interest in digestive conditions including bloating, IBS, colitis, heartburn, diarrhea, infantile colic, and constipation.  In addition, he is a professor, author, and researcher. He currently sees patients at Guelph Naturopathic Medical Clinic. Please contact him to get help with your constipation in Guelph.

All images are copyright of Matt Gowan ©2018 Reference

Disclaimer: This content is subject to change. The information is intended to inform and educate; it does not replace the medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. © 2018 Guelph Naturopathic Medical Clinic. All rights reserved.