Thank you for tuning into this video today. This video is going to be a comprehensive video about irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that I’ve seen now for almost 30 years in the clinic, a long, long time. It’s quite a common complaint that affects probably between 10 to 15 percent of the population in the western world at any given time.
It’s not uncommon to get patients in with functional bowel disturbances. In fact, they probably make up about 10 percent of what a medical practitioner would see in his or her clinic at any given time and probably account for about 50 percent of all the cases that a gastroenterologist or bowel specialist would see.
Let’s just first look at the signs and symptoms that encompass irritable bowel syndrome. The typical signs and symptoms that we would see would be bloating and gas. There could be all sorts of uncomfortable sensations in the gut. There could be spasms or cramping sensations, constipation and diarrhea, particularly alternating constipation and diarrhea, are common with irritable bowel syndrome.
What’s not common, however, is to see a patient who’s bleeding from the bowel or have anemia, low iron counts, or would have fevers. Sweats at night. Those sorts of things that don’t tend to really be irritable bowel syndrome. I would refer you go to a gastroenterologist for scoping because you may have inflammatory bowel syndrome, which is a separate complaint. That’s an autoimmune disease. It’s less common than irritable bowel syndrome, but we still see it in the clinic quite regularly, particularly ulcerative colitis, which would be the feature of another entire video that I’ll do at some stage.
It’s interesting when I went to America in 2003 for some training, I heard Dr. Alan Gaby speaking. Dr. Alan Gaby is a past president of the American Holistic Medical Association, and Dr. Gaby calls IBS a “garbage can diagnosis.” Garbage can diagnosis is a condition he believes is the one where the doctors throw people in a rubbish tin and hope that someone else will take it away because they’re in the “too hard” basket. Functional complaints like adrenal fatigue, Candida diagnosis, irritable bowel syndrome; these are what Dr. Gaby calls a garbage can diagnosis.
I would tend to agree because it’s very easy to see a patient in a five-minute time slot and then say to the patient, “Well, we’ll run all the tests. But if we can’t find anything, we might give you an antidepressant. Or if it’s irritable bowel syndrome (which I see a lot), we’ll just put you on a fiber supplement.” So that’s a bit of a cop out because western medical doctors don’t tend to really be interested in looking at causes of conditions. They’d rather treat the symptoms that are presenting. Which is really unfortunate for the patient because if a patient has had a functional bowel complaint for many years, that can lead to anxiety and depression. And not only that, if a functional bowel complaint goes on for a long, long period of time, that can even lead to diseases in its own right, many types of conditions.
Let’s now explore the four main causes that I would tend to see a lot with irritable bowel syndrome. I’m just going to grab my note sheet here. The common ones I would see with patients would be allergies. Allergies are quite common. We’ll go into that in a minute. Bugs, all kinds of bugs patients can present with, which can often cause IBS. We’re looking at Candida or parasites, small intestinal bowel overgrowth. Stress is a really big one. Stress is often not spoken about with the bowel. And intolerances. Let’s clearly understand that food intolerances and food allergies are two entirely different things. People often get them confused. Allergies are associated with the immune system. And the common allergies I would see with IBS would be dairy allergies, probably number one.
Dr. Hyman on YouTube, and many other doctors, believe that gluten’s the big one, but I don’t believe that at all. I believe gluten problems become a real issue with people who’ve had a gut issue for a considerable period of time. People who’ve had poor bacteria levels, poor digestive enzyme levels for some period of time. Many times they end up becoming intolerant to gluten because of that. It’s not the gluten that causes the problem. It’s they had a problem and gluten made it worse.
The common allergies you’ll find in my Candida Crusher book. I wrote quite a lot about food allergies. But the typical allergies we would see would be dairy allergies, number one. I see a lot of banana allergies, pineapple allergies, peanut, chocolate, sugar allergies, and, of course, gluten is on that list as well. Egg is another allergy that we commonly see. I would say to you if you’ve got IBS, if you want to shake it really quick, have a look if you’re eating any of those foods I mentioned and certainly pull them all out of the diet before you go running off to the doctor. Take those foods out of your diet if you suspect an allergy and you have IBS.
Intolerances are different altogether. Intolerances are developed usually because of enzyme problems that the person will have. Lack of sufficient digestive enzymes or one specific enzyme that will break one particular food component down like a starch or a sugar. For example, lactose intolerance. The person has an issue with lactase or the enzyme to break lactose down, so that will cause bloating and diarrhea. Lactose intolerance is not an allergy as such. Don’t get them confused. Tests can be done to work out if you have any of these allergies or intolerances.
There’s a very good food allergy test you can do through a company called US Biotech in Seattle. They do a very good food allergy panel, a blood-based panel, to determine if you have an allergy against up to 100 different common foods and beverages. You can even do a spice panel and an inhalant panel to see if you’ve got allergies for spices or anything that you might breathe in.
Those things are worth scoping out if you have IBS. Intolerances as well. If you believe you have intolerances, cut milk out because it’s the most common intolerance, dairy intolerance. It doesn’t matter whether you have organic milk or milk that’s unpasteurized or unhomogenized. If it’s straight from the cow, you can still have a problem with this food product. So I recommend that you get rid of all dairy if you’ve got IBS. That’s the first thing that you do.
If we look at the second category, that would be bugs. Bugs are quite common with many people. Many people take pharmaceutical medications like antibiotics, the Pill, hormone replacement therapy. There are many pharmaceutical medications that will disorder or disrupt the bowel. Once we start getting some changes in bowel flora, we’re leaving the bowel much more prone to developing a Candida albicans overgrowth, which is very common with irritable bowel syndrome. I see lots of patients with Candida who have IBS. But similarly, I also see lots of patients with parasitic infections like Blastocystis hominis or Dientamoeba fragilis. These are weird names, but these are bugs that we commonly see in people with IBS.
People end up with one pathogen; they could end up with multiple pathogens. It’s a bit like weeds in a garden. You end up with one weed and within a year or two; the whole garden is completely overgrown and unmanageable. Sometimes you go to the doctor and then the weed spray will be brought in, i.e., antibiotics or potent antifungals. They’ll kill everything off and you’re left with a decimated lawn. It’s a bit like what Monsanto does with the glyphosate or Round-Up, which is coming and round up the whole lawn, kill it all off. What a load of crap! It’s not really the way to go. I really don’t believe that drugs like fluconazole, these pharmaceutically prescribed antifungals or antibiotics, are the way to go. They’re many natural alternatives.
I developed a product called Canxida for that reason that contains 11 ingredients and it’s probably the best antifungal/antibacterial that you’re going to get on the market today. Canxida.com. I’ll guarantee if you take this product as directed, it will not aggravate you or make you feel sick or wipe out a lot of your beneficial bacteria.
With the bugs, it’s a matter of getting the balance back again. So don’t eat foods and take drinks that feed these bugs. You can read a lot about these on yeastinfection.org. So foods containing sugar, confectionary, candy, ice cream, alcohol, soda drinks, all these sorts of foods, white bread, too much bread in your diet, cookies, cakes, all these sorts of foods, they feed the bad bugs. Having a diet which tends to be a lot richer in the lean proteins and leafy greens and grains, which I believe are good like brown rice and quinoa, are very goods grains to eat. These things don’t play into the hands of the bad bugs. Getting your bugs back in balance is important. Understanding food intolerances and food allergies is important.
If we move on. Stress is probably never really spoken of. I watched Dr. Hyman’s clip on irritable bowel and Dr. Hyman never really mentioned stress or its implication with irritable bowel. I could tell you now, in my professional opinion, stress accounts for 40 percent of irritable bowel syndrome. That’s almost half. Think about this for a minute. Ten percent of people who go to doctors have IBS and about almost half of those people go to the doctor with gut-related problems that are stress induced. Stress is one of the biggest causes, silent causes, of most disease today. And it’s a very loose term, stress. Many patients when I talk to them about stress, they don’t even believe they’ve got stress or can’t see how the stress is implicated in their condition.
I saw several patients yesterday. And, in fact, I saw eight patients, and three out of those eight had a gut problem, a serious gut problem. And when I analyzed each one of those cases, I could see how stress affected all of those patients. In particular, the ones with the gut problem. Stress has the most amazing way of destroying a person’s digestive system, and it will do so on several different levels. One of the most common occurrences of stress is how it affects the gut. It’s going to really affect it because blood’s going to be taken away from the digestive system to go to the larger muscles, particularly in the “alarm” phase or the initial phases of stress.
The body has three stages of stress, but the alarm phase was designed to get us away from any kind of threat. What if my mobile phone rings or the telephone rings or a demand is placed on me? This is basically an alarm. So you may think that isn’t a stress, but repeated alarms punctuated by big emotional stresses that we have are things that affect our gut profoundly. If you look at your lifestyle and the kind of stresses you live under and you start analyzing your digestive malfunctions, you’ll see that there’s quite a strong correlation there.
Lots of people eat in front of computers. And, in fact, I checked with each patient I had yesterday about his or her handling of their mobile phone, and most people admit that they spend far too much time checking emails or messaging or calling on their cell phone, even during meals. It’s ridiculous. These are the things that cause functional gut problems. You clearly have to understand that your lifestyle affects your digestive function to a marked degree. If you want to kick that irritable bowel syndrome in days, you need to have some clear boundaries and go on what we call a “digital detox” and start realizing the connection.
As the years roll by, I tend to see more and more people with stress-related digestive malfunction and typically, irritable bowel syndrome. And once I teach the patient these concepts and we start teaching relaxation more, interesting how we find that the digestive system improves. Even without diet change or supplement change or anything at all, just by teaching the patient how to relax a lot more. Stress affects the gut on quite a deep level. Those are the key things that I believe are the causes of irritable bowel syndrome. Allergies, intolerances, bugs, and stress.
There are many different things you can do to get on top of irritable bowel syndrome. A key thing you can do if you’ve had IBS for many years is to do a comprehensive stool test to find out (a) what kind of bugs you’ve got, (b) what the imbalances are like of these particular bugs. Have you got any good bugs? You may have hardly any beneficial bacteria at all and only a moderate amount of bad bacteria and quite a lot of Candida. You’ll only know that through a stool culture; (c) have you got any inflammation going on in the bowel? This could be a prelude down the track toward inflammatory bowel conditions.
Sometimes IBS can turn into IBD. Irritable bowel syndrome can become inflammatory bowel syndrome. Doing a functional stool test will give me an idea on your immune markers or inflammation markers, the bacteria markers. We also look at things called short chain fatty acids, which are the products of bacterial fermentation. There are many different things we can find. Occult blood, we can see if there’s any blood in the stool at all. So a very, very worthwhile test. I tend to do a lot of stool testing and I work through Doctor’s Data in Chicago, who I believe have got the world’s best stool lab. After performing a few thousand of these tests, I’ve come to the conclusion that many people have got poor levels of beneficial bacteria, too many different kinds of bad bacteria, and also poor immune function. We can see that through a marker called Secretory IGA.
What are the solutions for people with IBS? How do we get on top of the condition? If you’re intelligent, you’ll try to work out what the primary causes are. What started you on this pathway to getting IBS? I’ll call that the “exciting” or the primary cause. And then the maintaining cause. What’s keeping it going? Those two things need to be addressed. Often if you deal with the causes, particularly the maintaining cause, you’ll find that you’ll get significant relief in a short period of time. Either doing a food allergy profile or a stool test will give you a pretty good idea on what to target.
Making a diet change is a very smart thing with IBS. You need to make dietary changes. If you go to yeastinfection.org, you can read a lot more about my diet advice for Candida patients, which certainly doesn’t contradict the information I give for IBS as well. I tend to put people on a low allergy diet; it’s a key thing. It’s an elimination diet. And as they improve, I start doing reintroduction.
I also recommend that you take some good quality probiotics. It’s very important to take probiotics to re-seed the gut. And then we recommend products like Vitamin A, Evening Primrose, fish oil, and glutamine. There are many different nutrients I recommend at the tail end of treatment to repair the digestive system. Most patients with IBS, in my opinion, have got stress-induced problems, Candida-related problems, and leaky gut syndrome.
I’ve written a whole big post on leaky gut syndrome. It’s when the gut becomes more permeable and proteins can start getting in through the digestive system and affect the immune system on the other side, and that can cause a lot of problems, a lot of low-grade inflammation and problems in the body. You can get brain fog out of it, sore joints, fatigue, many different things can occur as a result of leaky gut.
That gives you a little bit of information on irritable bowel syndrome. This is a condition that can be fixed up literally within a week. It’s possible. It’s possible to fully cure IBS literally within two to three weeks, but within days, you can get significant relief from this condition. And don’t let anyone tell you that it’s incurable. There’s no cause and that you’ll need to stay on anti-depressants or sleeping pills or Metamucil like fiber supplements for life. It’s a lot of nonsense. You don’t need to do that. Any doctor, who tells you to go on fiber because you’ve got IBS, in my opinion, is giving you wrong advice. You need to address the cause. That’s intelligence. Just remember common sense isn’t very common in medicine.
You need to take responsibility in your own hands when it comes to healing yourself from this condition because most all cases of IBS are diet and lifestyle related. Just about all cases have some component of stress. Don’t forget that. If you’re living in a stressful situation, you’re stressed in your relationship either professionally or socially, with your children or your employer, employees, whatever, this is what needs fixing up. You need to get to the root cause. If you can get this sorted out, along with your diet, maybe a few carefully placed supplements, you can get on top of this problem. You don’t need to have constant diarrhea or constipation and gurgling sounds and bloating. You don’t need to have any of those complaints. They can all be remedied, but you have to take matters into your own hands.
I hope this YouTube clip has given you some good information today on irritable bowel syndrome. The last words I’ll leave you with are “it is curable, but it’s all up to you.”
Thanks for tuning in.