IBS - Painful, Uncomfortable and Embarrassing

By Anna-Maria Boelskov - December 01, 2015

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, aka Spastic bowel (perhaps a more visual and appropriate term) is a condition that can be severely debilitating. If you suffer from this or know someone who does you will know that it alters people's lives. Going out for dinner and drinks or a weekend trip to the country is not on a person's agenda if they suffer from IBS! You probably don't hear many GP's mention IBS, but more and more medical practitioners are slowly starting to recognise this condition and realising the benefits natural medicine has for people with IBS. There are no cure or treatment in the medical world, but natural medicine has great success supporting IBS patients - and it's a wonderful thing when the medical profession works hand-in-hand with the natural medicine profession, then great things happen in the health industry!

Here a patient of mine shares her story of combating IBS with nutrition and herbal medicine and how she is thriving today, symptom-free.


 What's the deal with IBS? Well, the term Spastic Bowel for this condition is appropriate, because it feels that way! The symptoms are; painful bowel, spasmodic cramping, bloating and unpredictable bowel motions - anything from severe constipation to explosive diarrhoea - and everything in between. Needless to say, it can be a real emotional hell ride.

As well as the real discomfort and pain there is a more hidden and unspoken side effect of IBS, and that is the Brain-Gut connection. Patients come to me and tell me their bowel and gut symptoms, and then they add... "I also feel really tired, unhappy, anxious and my memory is not working anymore". Well, that's the brain-gut-connection right there! The gut and the brain share many nerve endings and chemical transmitters, so if something's awry in the gut it will affect the brain.  In fact people with IBS and other gut issues don't manage stress as well as people with well functioning digestive tracts.

A lot can be done to help improve IBS! Food allergies and sensitivities play a huge role in IBS, but other areas also need to be considered such as parasites, long-standing leaky gut, medication and insufficient fibre intake along with a poor nutritional diet. Identifying the underlying cause is KEY! Going back to basics and rectifying the  imbalance for the patient and then providing supportive symptomatic relief that also helps soothe the bowel. Nutrition and herbal medicine can support and rebuild the gut and bowel whilst reducing symptoms - resulting in a fast reduction in daily discomfort as well has long-term improvement by healing the gut.

I use a range of natural tools for IBS, depending on the patient's case I always look at the diet and may use herbal medicine, probiotics, supplements and lifestyle changes. Luckily, with a step by step approach my patients find themselves feeling better within a few weeks (or days!!) and they gain lifelong knowledge to care for their health without feeling overwhelmed.

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