Hypnosis for IBS – Does It Actually Work?

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects over 25 million people in the USA. Contrary to popular belief, IBS is actually a very common disorder which is classed by the medical profession as a ‘functional disorder’ – in other words there’s nothing medically or organically wrong with the body. Generally, conventional treatments often do not work very well and IBS sufferers often feel that their symptoms are being ignored, downplayed or misunderstood. Besides that, IBS is a multifactorial illness which means that there are many causes. As a result of that, it is difficult to pinpoint the accurate treatment. Fortunately, IBS is not fatal nor is it linked to the development of other serious bowel diseases. However, IBS can bring about extremely frustrating and disturbing and often embarrassing experience to the sufferers. More and more IBS sufferers are opting for more natural home remedies and self help. One of the treatments which is gaining much popularity is hypnotherapy for IBS. In this article, we look at what hypnotherapy is and its effect on IBS.

Hypnotherapy is a therapy using hypnosis not only to alleviate symptoms but often to uncover the cause of the problem which can be corrected thus ensuring a complete and permanent cure. Hypnotherapy is used as a way to make people more aware of their bodies so that they may have better control over their general functioning. However, this therapy is not suitable for children aged under five or anyone with a severe mental illness. Hypnotherapy is the process whereby you become deeply or lightly relaxed, guided by words, phrases, suggestions and imagination. Hypnotherapy is usually carried out one-to-one with a trained and trusted hypnotherapist in a therapeutic setting, but it may also take place in small groups, for example in pain or antenatal clinics. However, these days, many people prefer to buy ibs hypnosis tapes or CDs to listen in the comfort of their own homes. IBS hypnosis are available as downloads on the internet as well.

So how does IBS hypnotherapy helps sufferers to alleviate IBS symptoms?

Hypnotherapy is beneficial not only for the relaxation it induces, but for the state of suggestibility that characterizes it. Hypnotherapy can reduce this stress and its resultant negative impact by placing you in a deeply relaxed state, promoting positive thoughts and coping strategies, and clearing your mind of negative attitudes. Hypnotherapy induces a state of relaxation while the patient is awake, and allows helpful suggestions such as those aimed at controlling health problems to be directed into the subconscious mind.

Many studies have shown that hypnotherapy is indeed effective in improving both symptoms and quality of life in patients with IBS. What is more important is hypnotherapy offer sufferers a drug-free solution to their symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain and bloating. Hypnotherapy is not a miracle cure: rather it is a state of awareness that can be used for self-help. Hypnotherapy is time-consuming and it does take quite a bit of time to actually feel the effect. But to many sufferers, persistense pays off.

In conclusion, IBS hypnotherapy is recommended by authority IBS sites such as IBSTales.com. It has claimed over 80% success rate for alleviating all IBS symptoms. IBS hypnotherapy has been researched for 30 years and stands alone as the most significant long term symptom relief solution. Hypnotherapy has in fact proven highly effective in alleviating all of the various IBS symptoms. If nothing has work for you, why don’t you give IBS hypnotherapy a try?

The Possible Causes Of IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS for short is a condition characterized by the occurrence of abdominal pains, bloating, constipation or diarrhea. IBS is largely a mysterious condition because its exact cause is still not known.

A number of theories exist as to what causes IBS, but many doctors have examined patients with IBS only to find that their intestines are normal, no signs of damage visible. Over time, as technology and research continues to advance, we appear to get closer and closer to identifying the possible causes of this disorder. A few decades ago, people with IBS were regarded as “hypochondriacs” since, as previously mentioned, a routine examination of the intestines would yield no signs of damage.

Stress is believed to be one of the causes of IBS. Its sufferers report that the symptoms of IBS become more pronounced when they are highly anxious or stressed. The stress causes the muscles of the intestines to spasm, and in the process either trapping gas and fecal matter in the system (constipation) or rushing food out through the system (diarrhea). In most cases, stress-induced constipation or diarrhea is accompanied by several abdominal pains.

Aside from stress, a malfunctioning immune system and a sensitive reactive colon are believed to cause IBS. As research on IBS continues, many are starting to think that it is caused by the presence of a large number of bacteria in the small intestine. These bacteria are believed to cause changes in bowel movements, pain, gas and a host of other IBS symptoms. Typically, we only have a small number of bacteria in the small intestine. An abnormally high number of bacteria in this area can certainly cause a problem in the digestive system.

Food intolerance is believed to be yet another cause of IBS. Some foods may not affect one person, but can trigger IBS symptoms in another. A person diagnosed with IBS needs to be able to identify the foods that trigger his IBS symptoms so that he can actively avoid consuming these foods, thereby reduce the symptoms of IBS. Patients with IBS need not despair about not being able to eat the trigger foods anymore. According to doctors, they may be able to eat the trigger foods again after some time; it’s just that these patients simply needed a break from eating foods that trigger their IBS symptoms.

The bottom line is that up until now, the exact cause of IBS is still not known. The ones mentioned earlier are mostly speculations, possible causes. Those in the medical field do have theories as to the causes of IBS but these theories still need backed up by scientific evidence. The search for the root cause or causes still continues, research as vigorous as ever. Eventually, science will be able to exactly pin down the cause of IBS. If you have IBS, work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that can help you manage and cope with this condition. The good news is that with the right treatment plan, many IBS patients have learned to manage the symptoms of IBS and go back to having an active life.

Foods to Avoid With IBS

IBS is a digestive condition that affects many people’s lives, but with the right diet it can be helped. People just need to educate themselves about the foods to avoid with IBS. This article is expert qualified nutritionist advice about the types of foods to avoid with IBS.

Expert Advice on Foods to Avoid With IBS

People who suffer from IBS may find it debilitating and affect their daily lifestyle. If you have IBS the single best thing you can do is learn about foods to avoid with IBS.

Chronic IBS suffers sometimes need to live different lifestyles and can’t do a number of activities that others take for granted. Most so it can make people with chronic IBS to avoid certain social environments and activities through fear of having a bad reaction and not being able to keep their issue a personal secret. This can unfortunately cause them to feel socially outcast and shy away from certain social environments and certain hobbies or things like that.

The following information is for people who suffer from IBS or IBS pain and want to manage their condition through educating themselves about foods to avoid with IBS and making healthy food choices which will help manage and control IBS and allow them to live normal, stress and fear free lives where they do not need to feel left out and not let the condition rule their life.

Education is the key to finding an IBS solution
Educating yourself about the right foods and the wrong foods is the key to managing your IBS symptoms and IBS pain. The problem with IBS is that it won’t just go away if you ignore the problem. So you have to face the issue, educate yourself and treat yourself in the correct way. This is the only true way to ensure that you can enjoy your life and live without the shackles of IBS.

Stress and IBS
IBS can be triggered by foods but unfortunately it can also be triggered by stress and emotions.
This is why educating yourself about the foods that will and will not cause you issues is the key to managing IBS pain. If you are confident about your food choices, then you will not be stress and as a result you will avoid the two most common causes.

Foods to Avoid With IBS

Alcohol
Alcohol in general can cause digestive issues for some, but when combined with carbonation/ bubbles (such as beer and champagne) it can double or triple the effect.

It is worth trialing a few different types of alcohol and seeing what effect it has on you. Some people may find some types of alcoholic drinks perfectly fine, while others cause a lot of issues. It is best to try to stick to ‘cleaner’ alcoholic options that are low in added sugars and are free from gluten, preservatives, sulfates and other common processing inclusions. Spirits without carbonated mixes are usually a pretty good option – but once again it is a bit of trial and error until you find something that suits you.

Gluten
Gluten is a major allergen and many people’s digestive systems cannot handle this ingredient. Unfortunately our bodies were not designed to digest gluten as throughout our human evolutionary period gluten was nonexistent.

It is not until recent years that gluten was brought into the human diet and due to its ease of storage, low-cost, high production ease and ease for transport it because a major staple in the human diet. Foods like breads, pasta, cake, pastries and so on all contain gluten. Gluten is the major protein that comes from grains such as barely, wheat and rye. Even people without IBS can have major issues with gluten in the diet and cause things such as eczema and chronic sinus. So look to cut this out of the diet and you’ll immediately feel much better. Also ensure to read food labels and look out for the code names of gluten such as ‘modified food starch’. Gluten is used in a lot of processed foods so be sure to check label and shop at places that are known for holding a wide range of gluten-free foods – like local health food shops or online.
Rice and corn flour is a great alternative to wheat flour and other high gluten grains.

Soy
Soy is one of the top 8 irritants for digestive health. Soy based products and processed food containing soy should be avoided.

Sugar alternatives/ sweeteners
Sugar free alternatives when broken down in your digestive system cause gas, wind and bloating in most people even if they don’t have IBS. So it is obvious that these ingredient and foods should be avoided for people who suffer from IBS. Avoid at all cost. Natural alternatives like stevia pure leaf extract might be a good alternative for some who need to have a sweetener, but still use in moderation.

Sugar
Foods to high in sugar (particularly highly processed white table sugar) can cause issues as well. Avoid processed highly refined sugar foods like pastries, white breads, sugars and so on.

Fats
Foods that is overly high in fat cause havoc with your digestive system. This is not to say that all fats are bad and fats should be avoided at all costs. Healthy fats such as Omega 3 are vital to good health and a healthy digestive system. Including oily fish such as salmon is one of the best ways to do this. Other alternatives are including healthy grains like flax seeds (or also called linseeds) and chia seeds (very high in protein also). These high omega 3 grains do not give that fishy smell or reflux that some people can get from fish oil capsules.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Diet & Fiber

The information in this column is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice or recommendations by the author. Please consult with your physician before making any lifestyle or medication changes, or if you have any other concerns regarding your health.

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS), DIET & FIBER

An estimated 10 to 20 percent of the population suffers from a complex of gastrointestinal symptoms that are collectively referred to as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Irritable bowel syndrome affects women three times more commonly than men, and has historically been considered a “wastebasket” diagnosis for patients with functional gastrointestinal (GI) complaints when no other specific diagnosis can be found.

While the precise mechanisms underlying IBS are not well understood at this time, various theories have been proposed. These include abnormal responses to infections of the GI tract, abnormal hormonal and neurologic function of the intestines, hypersensitivity to certain types of foods, abnormal motility of the colon, a “hyper-awareness” of bodily functions, and certain psychiatric conditions, in addition to other hypotheses. (It is almost certain, however, that there is more than one cause for IBS.)

There are a variety of symptoms that have been associated with IBS, and the incidence, severity and frequency of each of these symptoms varies considerably from one IBS patient to another. Typically, however, IBS-associated symptoms include bloating, crampy abdominal pain, diarrhea alternating with periods of constipation, and the passage of clear or white mucus from the rectum. In many cases, IBS symptoms are more pronounced after eating, and patients with IBS often experience a powerful urge to move their bowels after meals. IBS symptoms are also more frequent and more severe during times of stress. In women with IBS, these distressing symptoms may become more intense around the time of patients’ menstrual periods. Other symptoms that have been commonly observed in patients with IBS include frequent heartburn, nausea and vomiting.

Because the true causes of IBS are poorly understood, there have been a wide range of treatments recommended for this syndrome. For example, exercise and other stress-reducing activities may be helpful for some IBS sufferers. Giving up tobacco, and reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption may also help to reduce IBS symptoms, while promoting improved overall health at the same time. Keeping a food diary can also help to identify foods that tend to provoke or worsen IBS symptoms in many patients. Finally, dietary fiber supplementation has been almost universally advocated by most IBS experts. Unfortunately, these and other recommended treatments for IBS are often ineffective in reducing the troubling GI symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome for many patients. Moreover, there have been only a handful of small, prospective, randomized clinical research studies, to date, looking at dietary interventions for IBS. Now, a newly published prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled fiber supplement study offers some helpful new clinical data regarding the treatment of IBS, and this data offers some hope for IBS sufferers.

This new clinical study, just published in the British Medical Journal, enrolled 275 adult patients with IBS. Patients were then randomized to one of three different groups within this study. A control group was given rice flour, which is a starch and contains no significant fiber. A second group of patients were given supplements of indigestible (insoluble) fiber in the form of bran. The third group received digestible (soluble) supplementation with psyllium powder (Metamucil). The type of supplement received by each patient wasn’t revealed until the end of the study.

Following 12 weeks of fiber (or placebo) treatment, the participants in this study were reassessed for the severity of their symptoms. Among the three treatment groups in this IBS fiber supplementation study, only supplementation with psyllium significantly improved IBS-related symptoms. When compared to the placebo group, IBS patients who had been randomized to receive psyllium were 22 percent more likely to report improved IBS symptoms. In comparison, there was no statistically significant improvement in IBS symptoms with bran fiber supplementation when compared to placebo, and, in fact, many IBS patients in this group actually dropped out of this clinical study because their IBS symptoms worsened while taking bran fiber supplements.

It should be noted there were two significant limitations of this study. First of all, nearly 40 percent of the patients who volunteered for this trial dropped out prematurely. However, this is a rather common phenomenon in clinical studies where the treatments are unpleasant, or when the response to such treatments is not immediate or dramatic. A second limitation is that, despite the researchers’ efforts to “blind” the patients as to which supplement they were actually receiving, three-fourths of the patients were still able to accurately guess the supplement that they had been randomized to receive. This finding, of course, introduces the possibility of bias in the perceptions and responses of these patients at the conclusion of the study. Moreover, to complicate matters further, and as prior studies have also shown, 35 percent of the control group of patients also reported an improvement in their IBS symptoms with a placebo supplement.

While there are significant limitations inherent in this study, it still represents one of only a very few existing prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical research studies of fiber supplementation as a treatment for IBS. Based upon the findings of this study, despite its limitations, dietary supplementation with soluble (digestible) fiber appears to be a prudent and potentially helpful intervention for patients suffering from IBS-related symptoms; while insoluble (indigestible) fiber supplements, like bran, may actually worsen the symptoms of IBS.

The Link Between IBS and Allergies

Despite the fact that IBS is the most common gastro-intestinal disorder seen by gastroenterologists today, very little is actually known about what causes it. Recently, however, researchers at Rush university in Chicago discovered that a significant number of people with allergic or atopic conditions such as rhinitis, asthma and eczema also have symptoms of IBS and found a clear link between IBS and allergies. This of course could have implications in the future regarding possible treatment options for IBS.

The study

The Chicago study led by Dr Mary C. Tobin and her colleagues involving 125 adults found that the prevalence of IBS was higher in those with seasonal rhinitis (2.67 times) and atopic eczema (3.85 times) and 12 out of 41 of the patients had both asthma and IBS. Tobin found a clear link between Atopy and IBS in this study and concluded that people in this sub group of IBS, or those who have atopic IBS should be differentiated from those with non-atopic IBS due to the fact that they could have “distinct pathophysiologic features that could benefit from specific therapeutic interventions”. This means that those with atopic IBS could perhaps find more relief by having treatment plans formulated that take into consideration other factors related to their allergies as well as their IBS symptoms.

What is IBS?

IBS is not a disease and is better described as a collection of symptoms which include abdominal pain and bloating along with abnormal bowel movements resulting in diarrhea, constipation or both. Other symptoms can include excessive flatulence (wind), mucous in the stools, a sense of urgency and straining whilst trying to perform a bowel movement. What makes IBS difficult to treat is that no two people will present with exactly the same symptoms or degree of severity, making any effective treatment plan for IBS quite complex and more a process of trying various options to see what works.

Also, rather than there being one single identifiable cause of irritable bowel syndrome; it would appear instead that many factors are involved which can include the likes of food intolerances, bacterial overgrowth, enzyme deficiencies, lifestyle and stress. Although stress itself doesn’t cause IBS it can make the symptoms of IBS much worse. What is known about IBS is that there is no cure and no single treatment plan that is suitable for all IBS sufferers.

Approximately 20% or 1 in 5 of the UK population suffers from IBS although this figure could be higher. In the past there were some difficulties associated with diagnosing IBS as up until very recently, IBS was only diagnosed when all other possible conditions had been ruled out, which takes time. Also, many people, particularly those with milder symptoms, may not seek help for their symptoms so are likely go undiagnosed.

Many previous studies have shown that exposure to certain allergens can produce symptoms of IBS in some people but if, as this latest study suggests, there is a clear link between IBS symptoms and atopic allergies, then this could open the door for new ways of treating at least some groups of people with IBS.

What is meant by Atopic IBS?

Atopy is a term used to describe conditions that arise as a result of an allergic reaction such as asthma, atopic eczema, atopic dermatitis and hay fever, so people with atopic IBS are those with symptoms of IBS who also have one or more co-existent allergic conditions. It is believed that around 15% of the population suffer from atopic conditions.

Why is there a link Between IBS and Allergies?

No one really knows why although it is thought that mast cells in the gut may be activated by allergens and set off the symptoms of IBS. Many people have found that by eliminating food that triggers their IBS they can obtain a significant amount of relief. Also, some people when taking antihistamines to treat their allergic conditions have also found that their IBS symptoms ease off at the same time.

Currently, treatment for IBS involves finding ways of dealing with the symptoms, which basically means diet and lifestyle changes along with anti-diarrheal agents for diarrhea, laxatives for constipation, painkillers for pain and even low dose antidepressants to promote normal bowel movements. Non-drug treatments for IBS include probiotics, herbal remedies and various supplements and digestive aids. The identification of a link between allergies and IBS could perhaps pave the way for more effective forms of treatment for IBS sufferers who are also suffering from allergic conditions.

IBS and Back Pain: Possibly Steps Toward Relief

It has been quite some time since I last addressed the issue of IBS and back or lower back pain. But due to the overwhelming readership the articles I have published have gotten and the amount of reader emails I have received I feel it is time once again to address the issue and hopefully bring some notoriety to the subject. My findings over the last few years have been most enlightening.

I have long been a proponent that in some cases IBS is, or at least seems to be directly linked to spinal injury or damage. In my case it seems that way, as it does for hundreds of others who have written me, telling their stories in emails.

I want to personally thank all those that took the time to dig and find my email address. I have to admit that I usually have not made it easy. So those that did actually get an email through, and there have been many, I know had to expend some effort to actually find the email address.

Recently I got an email from a Retired Navy Master Chief who recently read my article on “Lower Back Pain and Irritable Bowel Syndrome” It is because of him, I guess that I have since been prompted to get off my keester and publish something. His story is much like my own, in fact the only difference I see in his story and my own are possibly the manner in which his back injury was delivered and our occupations.

The more email that I receive from people telling me very similar stories about their experiences with Irritable Bowel Syndrome; the more I am convinced that there is a definite link between back/neck or spinal injury and the onset of IBS.

It goes without saying that nerves that control gut operations get to and from the brain via the spinal column. So it only stands to reason that any amount of damage to those nerve corridors, conductors and conduits could and most probably do have an effect on the overall digestive system operation. It also stands to reason the worse the injury or disruption of nerve impulses to the gut, the worse IBS symptoms could or will possibly be.

I am not a doctor or spinal specialist, nor do I profess to have any knowledge but that which I personally have acquired during my own long battle with IBS, and from the accumulated knowledge of being able to compare stories sent to me by hundreds of other IBS sufferers.

There is something that I feel I must mention that I find quite profound. I have been writing and publishing in one manner or another about IBS for about 10 years now, maybe more. It was not until I published about my own observations regarding my conclusion that there was a correlation between my own spinal injury and IBS that things seemed heat up.

Once I published the first article where I suggested the connection between back pain or spinal injury and IBS, I started to get emails from many other Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers. Like I said, they had to dig to find my email address and be able to send me their stories, yet they did. This tells me that there has to be more than my own observation and speculation involved here.

Since the time of the first article where I asserted that there was a connection between back pain and IBS, I have received hundreds of emails from readers that were moved enough to actually take the time to tell their stories. After reading their stories, I was saddened as there was nothing I could tell them at the time that would help them. For most to whom I replied, my main suggestion was to demand that their primary caregiver at least consider the plausibility of the connection between spinal injury and IBS.

I know from my own personal experience with over 7 doctors that for them to consider something that isn’t currently in their neatly categorized and cataloged list of symptoms and solutions, it is almost impossible to get them to consider anything else as a possible cause. Heaven forbid that a layperson should be able to tell a “doctor” anything. I have to admit that I only broached the subject with three physicians, and the result was less than hopeful.

Each one took a note, or supposedly took a note of what I had to say, and promptly moved on to the IBS play book. I call it that because all doctors seem to have the same mentality when it comes to IBS The only way to diagnose it is to go from test A to test B and then C and so on and on regardless of the results, regardless of how much of your money they spend on tests, tests that had they actually read your history they would have known had been done over and over already.

Until I got my last email from a reader I had almost given up hope that the medical profession would even consider the theory of spinal injury in relation to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And I quote from the Master Chief’s email, “Like you I’ve experienced the same symptoms for almost 15 years now. One of my PAs over the past two years introduced the thought that my problem was the result of some physical trauma.” Personally I find this to be astounding, the first time I have ever encountered a person in the medical profession that would even consider such a thing. Granted the person was only a PA (physician’s assistant) but it’s a start. The Master Chief had previously outlined to me an accident he had been involved in many years earlier which involved a head injury, but from his description could have easily involved a spinal injury as well that may have gone undetected. Who can say for sure?

He goes on to give a brief history of his condition and then at the end of his email he says something I feel is indicative of not only my own experience, but also those of almost everyone who took the time to email me their stories. And again I quote” I’ve had three Colonoscopies in the past ten years with nothing found. I’ve done my best investigation to identify my “trigger” by taking certain foods (dairy, caffeine, breads, sugars, etc.) out of my diet to no avail. Right now I’m taking Align, which seems to help, but in no way makes life normal. I’m only 48 and I keep telling myself that I’m not supposed to feel this way at my age. I keep looking for the “silver bullet”, something that will make everything all right- don’t we all though.”

His story could just as easily be my story, and the sad fact is I don’t have any hard evidence which I can point to as progress in the right direction for IBS suffers. What I do have is a few more years of experience battling the beast. And during that time I have discovered some things for myself that have actually seemed to help me, and I stress” me”. What I am about to impart is what I have done that has helped me battle IBS and made my life somewhat better over the last few years since I started publishing about back pain and IBS.

My “brand” of IBS and its cycle in my life has the typical symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Things such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating abdominal pain and most of the other classic symptoms, but there never seemed to be a set pattern, and there was no way to tell which symptoms would occur. For me IBS seems to be a type of cyclic happening. Actually coming to that conclusion took me almost 20 years to figure out. Not because I am stupid, but because my back injury transformed over those number of years.

To make a long story short, I had a very bad back injury when I was a young man. At the time I was told that my only options were one, spinal fusion of L1, L2 and L3. After finding out what that would actually mean as far as mobility was concerned, I decided to go with option 2 which was to let nature take its course and see if things would heal on their own to a manageable condition.

After about a year of recuperation, I did get better. I went back to work and only had occasional problems with my back for about 15 years. Then things seemed to get worse with my back. During the 15 year period I had continued problems with Irritable Bowel Syndrome that was contributed to a gallbladder issue but never acute enough to be operable until way late in the game. That’s for another article and not actually relative to the findings and conclusions I intend to draw attention to here.

As my back seemed to worsen, I began to take Ibuprofen to control the pain because it worked. I finally went to a spinal specialist who diagnosed me with Spinal Stenosis, as well as having severe degradation of the lower lumbar vertebra. Nothing I had not expected, but also not much they could do.

I was able to manage my back pain so well with continued Ibuprofen use that I didn’t think about it much for quite some time. What did bother me was the increase in the symptoms of IBS. They got worse and worse and seemed to be more frequent. Instead of having symptoms that came on and lasted a few days maybe once or twice a month I now had symptoms that lasted weeks, sometimes a month or more with no relief. It really wasn’t easy to identify the cycle. Because the way it happened for me, it was hard to associate the two.

I would start to notice a change in my bowel movements over a period of several days which was something I had long experienced. It might be constipation or it might be diarrhea, there was never really any pattern there. But there came a point a few years ago, that my back would cause me problems enough that I would take as many as 4 200mg tabs of Ibuprofen as often as every 4 or 6 hours because the pain was getting that bad. So now I am dealing with back pain and IBS in a much more noticeable fashion.

It took me a long time to notice that when the IBS started to rear its head, that shortly after, meaning 2 to 4 days after the IBS started up, I would have a bad episode of back pain. I would take more pain medication. My back pain would get better, my IBS would get worse. After maybe a of week of taking things easy, my back pain would settle down and later on my IBS would begin to mellow out. That is if I didn’t go and do something to irritate my back again, then the IBS wouldn’t let up until the back pain eased up again. And thus I associated finally a causation with my symptoms.

When the though actually occurred to me that the two things, back pain and IBS were related, I set out to prove it if to no one other than myself. I quite taking the ibuprofen altogether, instead when the pain would start I would mark that indeed the IBS symptoms had preceded the back pain. I noted that as the back pain got worst so did the IBS. Now the issue was how to treat the back pain without making the IBS symptoms even harsher.

My provisional solution was to try chiropractic’s. So for a time, when I would feel the Irritable Bowel symptoms coming on, I would go see my chiropractor. By doing a lower back manipulation or sciatic relief procedure, the inflammation in my lower back would be relieved, thus the pain would go away for however long, and the IBS symptoms got better.

So for me this is what I believe has been occurring on a semi regular basis. Through normal everyday work and movement the joints in my back would become inflamed, including the many years before the pain got to the point of needing regular management. Even though there was surely inflammation in the early years, the pain was negligible or possibly even imperceptible. Let’s face it; we all deal with a certain amount of pain to some degree or another in our lives. My pain was such that I could do little or nothing about it, and had the ability to ignore or accept it.

My GI tract on the other hand, I believe was more perceptive of the inflammation. So my theory is such that when the inflammation starts, nerves that control the entire GI tract are affected in so much as the signals to and from the brain via the spinal cord are either suppressed or strangled off at times. As the inflammation subsides, the nerve signals once again are able to connect properly and the Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms begin to diminish.

As for the fact that the IBS became worse with prolonged use of ibuprofen is an easy concept to understand. Look at all the reports of stomach ulcers and bleeding caused by ibuprofen. Continued use served to exacerbate an already inflammatory condition in the gut.

So for now this is my solution. No NSAID products of any kind if it can be helped. Narcotics and I don’t mix well so even though I don’t like the risks of acetaminophen products, they unfortunately have to play a small role. My back pain is managed almost entirely by chiropractic and muscle manipulation now and my IBS is markedly better.

Is it a total cure? Absolutely not, but if I had to put a percentage on how much better it is I would have to say 65 to 70% better. And yes the IBS symptoms still occur prior to my back pain onset. And because I am a rather stubborn person, I always wait to see that my back does or will actually require manipulation before I go have it done. And on occasion, about 1 out of every 4 episodes of IBS, there will be no back pain and the symptoms will subside in a day or two.

Is this to say that there is a deeper rooted causation for my particular Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptomology? I cannot say with any certainty. But I do believe that the majority of the time it is directly related to my ongoing problems with my spine. And it may be that even though there is no perceptible back pain for the small amount of times that the symptoms occur without the back pain, that the inflammation is indeed still the root cause. Even having said that, I never go in for manipulation right away when the IBS symptoms begin, I always wait for the back pain begins or get to a moderate level.

Stubborn also translate into cheap. I don’t like paying for those $80 to $120 visits to the chiropractor. So how long I suffer with the recurring symptoms each time is relative to the amount of money I have, or am willing to part with and how quickly I am willing to do it. Insurance only goes so far.

The conclusion I have come to for myself. And I cannot stress enough that every case is going to be different. But for myself, I am certain that my back injury plays a major role in my Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I am further convinced that the taking of NSAID pain relievers made my condition even worse.

I further conclude that by finding alternative methods to control pain such as chiropractic manipulation and muscle massage, I have been able to significantly decrease the severity and also the frequency of my IBS symptoms.

So, it might be worth your while to investigate for yourself these things I have talked about in connection with your own IBS symptoms. I have no affiliation with any chiropractic association or massage therapy entity that would compel me or compensate me for stating the things I have. Even if you don’t feel you have a spinal injury or condition where by inflammation of the spine might be occurring, it might not hurt to seek out a local chiropractor and have an exam or just go in for a through manipulation and judge for yourself the results.

Keep in mind that for many years I had pain that I was able to almost totally ignore. We train ourselves to live with pain, not that it’s what we should be doing, but it happens. So it might be possible that others who have IBS also have ignored back, spine or neck pain that could be a contributing factor in the Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms that are exhibited in their particular “brand” of IBS.

I do not contend that the information that I have given about what has been helpful for me will be the solution for everyone or for anyone for that matter. But I do think it’s important to keep up a dialog of sorts to keep hope alive. If you have suffered long with the symptoms, you know own too well how hard it is to find any kind of practical medical support and how little hope that the medical profession has given us as far as any type of cognitive answers regarding causation or subsistence of symptoms.

My hope is that the information will lead other IBS surfers to reexamine their own “brand” of IBS and possibly follow a loosely carved path to find at least some relief. Further I would not try to assert that my symptoms are completely gone, nor do I conclude that all of my IBS symptoms are related to my spinal condition. But to me, the evidence is too compelling for me not to concede that my IBS is at least moderately connected to spinal injury.