"IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome causes a number of digestive issues, including gas, diarrhea, and constipation, which can make many sufferers afraid to eat or enjoy meals with family and friends. Fortunately, IBS is a condition that can be managed, given the right dietary adjustments. Utilizing the advanced techniques of Nutrition Response Testing, I can determine your IBS triggers, then generate a customized nutrition plan to soothe current symptoms, as well as help manage your condition for the long term."*
-Juliana Mazzeo, MS, CDN, Director
Nutrition Wellness Center of Nassau County
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the colon, or large intestine. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscles that constrict and relax to move food through your intestinal tract to your rectum. In individuals with IBS, the contractions are stronger than usual or last longer than usual, which causes bloating, diarrhea, and gas. On the other hand, some IBS sufferers have weak intestinal contractions, which slows food movement and leads to dry, hard stools. IBS is generally classified under one of four categories: IBS with constipation, IBS with diarrhea, Mixed IBS, or Unsubtyped IBS. Approximately 10% to 15% of American adults suffer from some form of IBS.
Common Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The symptoms of IBS vary widely from individual to individual and often resembles those of other disorders. For IBS sufferers, symptoms may be worse at times, while other times they may improve or even disappear altogether. Some of the most common symptoms of IBS include:
Common Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Trigger symptoms differ in IBS sufferers. While some stimuli may affect one person, they may prove ineffective in another. For some, a food intolerance or food allergies can trigger IBS symptoms. Certain foods, such as spices, fats, chocolate, cabbage, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, milk, alcohol, and carbonated beverages have all been credited with triggering IBS symptoms in some individuals.
Stress, though it has not been found to cause IBS, can play a role in the onset of IBS symptoms. Many people with IBS find that their symptoms tend to worsen or occur more often during times of intense stress. Hormones can also play a role in the development of IBS. According to research, women may be more likely to develop IBS as a result of hormonal changes that occur. For many women with IBS, symptoms tend to worsen around or during their menstrual cycle.
Sometimes other conditions, such as excessive bacteria in the intestines or a severe bout of diarrhea, can trigger IBS. Your family history may also increase your risk of developing IBS. Studies indicate that people who have a family member with IBS may be at increased risk of developing the condition. Irregularities in your gastrointestinal nervous system may also spur IBS. A lack of coordinating signals between the intestines and your brain can cause your body to overreact to the activities that usually occur during the digestive process, which can cause you to experience a more intense than usual discomfort when your abdomen expands from stool or gas. Depression, anxiety and certain personality disorders have also been shown to increase the risk of developing IBS.
In most instances, IBS is treated by incorporating lifestyle and dietary changes. We may recommend that you eliminate high-gas foods, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and carbonated beverages that may be triggering your IBS. Studies show that some people with IBS experienced a decrease in diarrhea once they eliminated gluten; therefore, we may also suggest that you eliminate gluten from your diet.
Nutrition Response Testing offers a noninvasive way to treat a number of conditions, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is a holistic, noninvasive process that identifies hidden chemical imbalances in your body. While you may feel you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, in our experience, it is quite possible you have something else mimicking or exaggerating the symptoms you are experiencing now.
It is almost impossible these days to maintain a diet that doesn't include some form of toxins. Each person's body will handle these toxins differently. As you can imagine, long-term exposure to improper diet and toxins can cause the metabolism of the body to malfunction and generate health conditions that need attention. Our approach to your immediate and long-term health is identifying these imbalances, and incorporating a medical nutrition diet plan that brings levels in balance. Your symptoms are likely to correct once the balance is restored, but you'll feel revitalized with more energy and improved mental alertness.
Left untreated, irritable bowel syndrome can lead to malnourishment. Avoiding certain foods may mean you are not getting the proper nutrients your body needs, which can lead to malnutrition. In addition, constipation and diarrhea, both major symptoms of IBS, can aggravate or bring about hemorrhoids, which can impact your quality of life and bring about depression.
The intestinal tract plays a critical role in digestion and is responsible for blocking harmful microorganisms while allowing nutrients and other vitality generating substances to be absorbed for use by every organ and tissue of the body. When the intestinal tract is compromised by an underlying imbalance, it opens the door for many immune and digestive disorders, including IBS.
Once these underlying issues are resolved, many food sensitivities will drastically improve, if not be eliminated altogether. As a certified dietitian, your health is important to me. If you suffer from IBS, please contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help improve your condition.