How we treat IBS

IBS is not a disease but rather a group of symptoms that can have multiple causes. Each patient is unique and there’s no “one treatment fits all” approach. During your first visit, we take a thorough medical history that lasts 60 mins so that we can determine the possible cause of your IBS. We always provide our patients with specific dietary changes to help us identify their unique food triggers. In some cases, patients may require supplements that can be purchased online and shipped directly to you.  Our approach to treating IBS includes 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 (1-3).  Elimination diets can also help identify the culprits. (4)
  • Eradicate infections – Pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and yeast can all contribute to symptoms of IBS.  Antimicrobial herbs can help treat these infections.
  • Improve gut flora – In addition to removing harmful bugs, it is important to supplement with probiotics or “good bacteria” to help recolonize the gut. (5, 6)
  • Normalize bowel movements – Certain fiber-rich can improve stool consistency, thus promoting regularity and reduce diarrhea.
  • Reduce urgency & decrease pain – Many traditional herbs can reduce abdominal pain and urgency associated with IBS.
  • Manage stress – Although stress is not the primary cause of IBS, it can aggravate and precipitate episodes.  Stress management may help improve IBS. (7,8)


Who provides IBS online support?

Matt Gowan, ND, and Vicky Weiler, ND own and operate Guelph Naturopathic Medical Clinic.  This husband and wife team both have a special interest in digestive issues including heartburn, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, infantile colic, and IBS.

Dr. Matt Gowan, ND is a naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of clinical experience. He completed his undergraduate in biochemistry before becoming a naturopathic doctor.  In addition, he is a professor, author, and researcher. Click here to read his full bio.

Note: Dr. Vicky Weiler is currently on maternity leave, but will be seeing patients again in September 2020.

Get IBS support!

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1. Atkinson W, Sheldon T, Shaath N, Whorwell P. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut. 2004;53(10):1459-1464. [PubMed]
2. Drisko J, Bischoff B, Hall M, McCallum R. Treating irritable bowel syndrome with a food elimination diet followed by food challenge and probiotics. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006;25(6):514-522. [PubMed]
3. Shahbazkhani B, Sadeghi A, Malekzadeh R, et al. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Has Narrowed the Spectrum of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2015;7(6):4542-4554. [PubMed]
5. De G, Vandenplas Y, Hauser B, Devreker T, Veereman G. The use of probiotics in IBD and IBS. Minerva Pediatr. 2014;66(5):491-500. [PubMed]
6. Andresen V, Löwe B, Broicher W, et al. Post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) after infection with Shiga-like toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O104:H4: A cohort study with prospective follow-up. United European Gastroenterol J. 2016;4(1):121-131. [PubMed]
7. Konturek P, Brzozowski T, Konturek S. Stress and the gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011;62(6):591-599. [PubMed]
8. Ibrahim N. A systematic review of the prevalence and risk factors of irritable bowel syndrome among medical students. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2016;27(1):10-16. [PubMed]

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.