There is a reason for the term ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’. Rather than being just one symptom or one set of symptoms, it is a rather broad term, covering just about any bowel symptom a person can have. It is more likely to be a collection of varying bowel symptoms caused by a variety of factors. Each person is uniquely different.
As with all homeopathic treatment, there needs to be a clear picture of what symptoms each person has and why they have the symptoms that they do.
Generally, after medical tests have ruled out ailments such as Crohns Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, etc the diagnosis of IBS is made.
Diagnostically, IBS has recurrent abdominal pain plus two or more of:
- Pain better from defecation
- Altered stool at the onset of pain
- Abdominal bloating
- Increased or decreased stools at the onset of pain
- A ‘never completely empty’ sensation after passing stool
- Passing mucus from the rectum
- Morning cluster of motions
- Constipation alternating with diarrhoea
Other symptoms reported by patients with IBS can include:
- Fatigue (some IBS patients also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
- Unexplained insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns
- Susceptibility to colds, flus, sinusitis or post-nasal drip
- Allergic sensitivity
- Restless leg syndrome
- Gastric reflux
- Crawling skin.
I have completed further studies with Sydney homeopath, Jon Gamble who’s special area of interest is in treating chronic conditions where medical treatment has not been successful. He specialises in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS); Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) & respiratory problems, and has delivered seminars for other homeopaths around Australia, on these conditions.
He has run a busy clinic in Wollongong since 1987 and also practises in Mittagong and Sydney.
You can find my listing as an Accredited Practitioner on Jon’s website: http://www.irritablebowelsyndrome.net.au
Whilst conventional medicine has largely given up on treating this syndrome because of the lack of “cause”, we homeopaths are not so pessimistic. To this end, we have identified 20 different causes of IBS. Once we have determined which is the cause of your particular set of ailments, the appropriate treatment can also be determined.
Of all the causes of IBS which we have identified, here are some of the most common ones:
- History of traveller’s diarrhoea or food poisoning years before followed by ongoing bowel problems.
- ate some ‘dodgy’ seafood or drank suspect water.
- Sometimes there is no clear onset: the symptoms have appeared gradually over time only from drinking the town water supply. This patient will have underlying gut parasites that may not show in any testing for parasites.
* sluggish gallbladders. Symptoms of this may be nausea, constipation or diarrhoea, with flatulence and an inability to digest oily or spicy foods.
* an abdominal ultrasound shows they do not have gall stones. However, ultrasounds do not detect these sluggish or malfunctioning gallbladder problems.
- Young women taking the Oral Contraceptive Pill are prone to sluggish gallbladders.
This means that the bacteria in the gut is out of balance. Taking some form of probiotic often helps these symptoms.
Causes of dysbiosis:
* antibiotics, the oral contraceptive pill, or a period of stress.
* too much ‘candida’ in their bowel which can cause sugar cravings, frequent hunger, dizziness and headaches, (low blood sugar-type symptoms) flatulence and fatigue. Sweet food and refined foods usually aggravate these symptoms.
- There are sub-varieties of dysbiosis and each of these respond better to different treatment regimes.
Some long-standing cases of IBS have a mixture of all three of the above causes, and these cases require a longer treatment time.
Treatment consists of:
- Homeopathic medicines
- Herbal medicines
- Dietary modification
- Mineral supplementation
- Chelation therapy
The treatment period varies, but usually takes between three and nine months.