|Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is classified as the most common
of a number of Functional Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.
Functional GI disorders are frequently reoccurring GI symptoms
that are not explained by structural or biochemical abnormalities.
Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating
and frequently involve alternating between diarrhea
Estimates are that a between 20 and 35 million Americans
suffer from IBS
Almost 2/3 of IBS are female and
accounts for as much as 40% of the visits to Gastroenterologists.
Symptoms range in severity from mild to severe and are
frustrating and irritating but not life threatening. While
mucous is common, blood in the stool and inflammation of
the intestines is not considered a symptom of IBS. The
list of most common IBS symptoms indicate there is a disturbance
in digestion and changes in intestinal motility.
IBS is made worse by stress,
and indeed there is a close relationship between stress,
emotional upset and IBS.
This is not to say that stress is the cause of IBS,
but all indications are that stress aggravates IBS. The
most common treatments involve increasing fiber in the
diet and the avoidance of irritating foods. Increasingly,
a whole body approach to treatment is being recommended
which includes stress management and/or psychotherapy
along with dietary changes.
In our experience, we have had good success in decreasing
the symptoms of IBS through improving and normalizing the
motility of the GI tract. This can be done by doing
simple abdominal breathing exercises. Abdominal breathing
can generate a good relaxation response, is helpful
in stress management, and it also improves
intestinal motility. The improved motility occurs because
of the 'massaging effect' of the diaphragm on the intestines
and other internal organs. As the diaphragm massages, it
acts as a 'pacemaker' and helps to slow down and normalize
Why not try participating in the Freedom
from IBS Online
Class that uses a natural approach
to help IBS sufferers take control of their