February 22, 2018

Why the Cookie-Cutter Approach Doesn’t Fix Your IBS

The term “IBS” does a disservice to those who are labeled with it by their doctors.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a diagnosis given when common medical tests have found no structural changes in the digestive tract that could warrant the symptoms suffered. Symptoms can include any combination of diarrhea, constipation, bloating, cramping, plus resulting pain and/or anxiety. In most individuals, the symptoms are either of the chronic diarrhea (IBS-D) or chronic constipation types (IBS-C).  However, the nutritional and herbal recommendations given in magazines and cookbooks are usually too general and don’t pay attention to which symptoms predominate.

Taking general “IBS advice” can result in an aggravation of symptoms. For example, the IBS patient who suffers from diarrhea should not follow the same nutritional advice as someone who experiences chronic constipation, and vice-versa.  I believe this is why so many IBS sufferers lose hope, and stop believing that diet and supplementation can help not only manage their symptoms, but help them recover from this pattern.  The trial and error attempts they make without resulting benefits can be discouraging when you don’t understand the mechanism by which each recommendation works.

Trial and error takes a long time, costs a lot of money and often doesn’t result in any improvements. My observation is that clients coming to me with IBS have reached a state of analysis-paralysis; that is, they have run out of ideas, say their GPs and GI specialists have not provided any solutions, and they’re looking for a new approach.  Sometimes it takes another, objective point of view to identify what needs changing.

Consider my client, Gary.  After a detailed discussion of his history with IBS, my personalized nutritional counseling helped him overcome 9 years of suffering in just a few months!

So what did Gary do that helped me help him?  He kept a detailed diary of his eating habits and his symptoms, He came to appointments prepared, with questions he had written down and wished to discuss. He tried every recommendation I gave him, and asked his body how it felt after introducing the modification, and kept notes on the response.  His co-operation in sharing the details of how he felt allowed me to recommend specific nutritional modifications and specific supplements.  In addition to that, his willingness to try new things and his diligence to continue doing what worked, not to mention keeping his eye on the prize of well-being are what lead to his complete recovery.

If you suffer from IBS, you may benefit from a Digestive Rejuvenation Program. It’s a customized, not a cookie-cutter, approach to IBS. Also, be sure to read Gary’s testimonial and others if you haven’t already.  Are you ready to change your life?

(photo by TinWorks)

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