Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
In this syndrome, the intestine is described as being hypersensitive, as the passing of the alimentary bolus (and therefore the distension of the intestinal walls) brings about painful sensations and discomfort. The results are spasmodic and uncoordinated contractions of the intestinal muscles. This disorder leads to episodes of  diarrhea or constipation accompanied by abdominal pain. IBS can cause small problems for certain people, whereas for others it can be much more serious. Symptoms may appear every day for a week or a month and then disappear, or they can persist for life. It is estimated that one school-aged child in nine has a period of symptoms similar to IBS every three months.

This intestinal disorder affects one Canadian in five, particularly women. It is a very serious functional illness and constitutes between 30% and 50% of gastroenterology consultations. Unlike more serious intestinal illnesses such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, IBS does not cause inflammation, does not alter the structure of the intestinal mucous membrane and does not increase the risk of colorectal cancer. IBS does not get worse over time and does not require surgery. However, it can seriously get in the way of professional and social activities and can impoverish quality of life. On the other hand, diarrhea and constipation can induce or worsen hemorrhoid symptoms.

  • Anger and stress linked to what is “retained” in the abdomen; in women, often after sexual abuse.
  • Antibiotics
  • Intestinal permeability

Intolerances to lactose and gluten are the most frequent; tests or a food journal with a food elimination-reintroduction protocol should be undertaken. The following foods should be eliminated or  restricted: alcohol,  caffeine, artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Aspartame, sorbitol, mannitol, etc.), very fatty  foods, and excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates.
  • Enzymes.
  • Pro- and prebiotics.
  • Enteric capsules of peppermint oil.
  • NAG (n-acetyl-glucosamine).
  • Eliminate allergenic food.
  • Hypnosis.
  • Psycho-energetic medicine, such as homeopathy or acupuncture.
This article is an excerpt from the AMCC's course: Metabolism and Nutrition (course 343).


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