Have you struggled with your digestion for a long time? You are not alone. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. According to the International Foundation of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States, about 2/3 of which people are female. So what is IBS?
IBS is a group of symptoms, including abdominal pain or discomfort and changes in bowel movement patterns like constipation or diarrhea. Doctors often call IBS a “functional gastrointestinal disorder”. This means that the GI tract doesn’t function properly, but doesn’t show any physical damage. Often after testing and procedures, everything comes back looking “normal”. Doctors are sometimes unable to identify a condition that explains the uncomfortable symptoms.
Unfortunately, instead of searching for the root cause of the issue, the typical treatment is prescribed medications to manage the symptoms of the disease. Sometimes these medications can lead to other symptoms, side effects, further deterioration of healthy gut flora and gut lining. Occasionally, covering up an underlying irritant over time is can lead to a much more serious disease, like an autoimmune condition.
What causes IBS
The causes of IBS symptoms can be a number of issues like leaky gut, yeast or candida overgrowth, food sensitivities, parasites, unmanageable stress, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).
Tests can be done with a functional medicine practitioner to help identify which of these is causing your painful symptoms.
How to heal IBS symptoms
We believe in a functional medicine approach for treatment. This is comprised of four basic clinical steps — remove, replace, reintroduce and repair:
Remove – First we want to remove anything from the diet that is potentially causing damage, inflammation, and irritation in the gut — gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, sugar, nightshades, alcohol, caffeine, bad bacteria, infections from parasites and yeast. It’s important to do this for a consistent period of time, like three weeks, so the body can truly reap the benefits. Removing all of these irritants immediately takes the pressure off the GI tract and decreases inflammation. For mild symptoms, this alone can solve the issue.
Replace – Then we replenish enzymes and acids lacking in the gastrointestinal environment. The Digest supplement the body with extra help to breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fats while it is working toward a state of balance.
Reintroduce – The third step is to reintroduce the good bacteria into the intestine to establish microflora balance. Our probiotic, Cultivate, will do exactly that. The prebiotic-filled diet that you consume on the Clean Program (we’re talking lots of veggies) will also help feed these bacteria and allow them to thrive.
Repair – Now that we have gotten rid of the bad, and added in the good, we have to repair the damage that has been done. Some of this will happen on its own with the body’s own natural healing capabilities and a healing diet, however other supplements can help. Integrity and Balance are incredible gut-supporting supplements that will help tame inflammation and heal the gut lining, leaving the GI tract functioning optimally.
Keep it simple
The 21-Day Clean Program uses the principles of a functional medicine-based nutritional solution to heal the underlying cause of IBS. It incorporates essential functions of detoxification such as reducing the workload of digestion, rebuilding the inner environment with enzymes, prebiotics and nutrients, and enhancing elimination.
If you suffer from IBS the 21-Day Clean Program is the perfect way to start your journey towards better digestive health. We don’t have to live our lives on medications that leave the root cause of the issue unknown. Let’s take our health into our own hands.
Written by Hannah Aylward
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