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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Chiropractic

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on March 14, 2008

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder, affecting some 58 million Americans.  Yet it’s also one that many people aren’t comfortable talking about because the signs and symptoms may be embarrassing. Some signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhea, constipation or both

Many people have only mild signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes the problems can be disabling, however. In some cases, you might have severe signs and symptoms that don’t respond well to medical treatment.

For most people, IBS is a chronic condition, although there will likely be times when the signs and symptoms are worse and times when they improve or even disappear completely.

No one knows exactly what causes irritable bowel syndrome.  Some researchers believe it’s is caused by changes in the nerves that control sensation or muscle contractions in the bowel.  Others believe the central nervous system may affect the colon. And because women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with IBS, researchers believe that hormonal changes might also play a role.

Irritable Bowel symptoms can be triggered by a range of things from gas or pressure on your intestines to certain foods, medications or emotions.   Many people have an intolerance for dairy products.  If you suffer from IBS, you’ll know shortly after eating or drinking dairy products.  Another trigger is stress.  Most people with IBS find that their signs and symptoms are worse or more frequent during stressful events, such as a change in their daily routine or family arguments.

Because it’s not clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome, medical treatment tends to focus on the relief of symptoms.   Some of the treatments include anti-diarrhea drugs, anticholinergic (these drugs suppress the nervous system) drugs and even anti-depressants.  Bear in mind, all of these drugs have side effects, some even fatal.

The most effective means of prevention of IBS symptoms has been stress reduction and management.  Some forms of achieving stress reduction is psychological counseling, biofeedback, exercise, yoga, massage, meditation, deep breathing exercises and even hypnosis.

One of the most telling realizations about Irritable Bowel Syndrome is that no one knows what causes it, yet it is usually made worse with stress and better when stress is reduced.  As with seizures and high blood pressure, specific chiropractic adjustments (that affect the parasympathetic nervous system) have helped many individuals suffering from IBS, even ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

If you’re suffering from these chronic (and sometimes debilitating) condition, wouldn’t it be worth giving chiropractic a try?  No drugs, no side effects.  If you’d like to give chiropractic a try to help restore some balance in your life and health, let me know.  If I’m not in your area, I’ll be glad to help you find a good chiropractor near you.

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