Friday, November 12, 2010

Possible origins of IBS

...Know your ennemy.

On my last post, I wanted to give you methods to fight IBS right away. Now let's get more in depth and have a look at the possible origins of our syndrome. On the whole, very few is known about this condition. But a lot of progress have been made recently, which is very encouraging. Will we see a real cure in the years to come?
This list is all I could gather about the origins of the IBS, we will start with proven, hard science facts, and end with a blog page I stumbled upon, which particularly appealed to me.

So, what causes IBS?
Basically, as of now, we can separate IBS sufferers in three fields:
  • Intolerance to a type of food, or lack of a certain element (vitamin, calcium...). So don't forget to keep a journal of what you are eating to see if there is any pattern. If you want to be sure, your doctor can help. Most common food intolerances are lactose-intolerance, fructose-intolerance and gluten-sensitivity (gluten can be found in wheat). On the  IBS group forums , a reader found out he actually had a deficiency in vitamin D, and got entirely rid of his IBS by taking supplements. So you may want to go to your doctor's and check any lack of vitamin too. For vitamin D, it's pretty easy to know if it influences your IBS: if your symptoms get worse with winter, you should definitely try complements (vitamin D being mainly produced in the skin when there is enough sun).
  • A theory that tends to gain weight is that many IBS sufferers actually suffer from SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth). This condition has very similar symptoms as IBS, so at first this makes perfect sense. But as of now, not all scientists are convinced by this theory. However, SIBO can be cured using antibiotics, so if you can afford it, get tested for SIBO and take some medication (these are unfortunately pretty expensive). rifaximin seems to particularly work well with IBS sufferers.
  • Last theory, an abnormal serotonin level can cause IBS symptoms. Unfortunately, the only treatment for these are antidepressants, which make you often feel like a zombie, so the side effects may be even worse than living with IBS.
is that it? Well, kind of. Those are the three main hypotheses right now. Other resarch has been conducted, some found that brains of IBS sufferers are not structured exactly the same as a normal one. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about that.
But I recently stumbled upon a blog post from an IBS sufferer, who had a theory, and got totally rid of his IBS thanks to it. Careful, this is not an official research, but I found it to be interesting nonetheless.

IBS, symptom of the western diet?
On his blog, rick shares a theory of his: IBS is linked to the western lifestyle. Although I think this is inaccurate, simply by looking at this chart of IBS sufferers in various countries , what follows really blew my mind:
So, what did I do?
Well the experiment was pretty straight forward. I just went back in time 50 years!
Well OK not literally, I don't have a time machine, but I altered my lifestyle to try to avoid as much of this modern day western-living as I could.
He then explains the changes:
_ Eat everything organic: vegetables grown in local farms, rice, juice, butter
_ Self made bread
_ Shower filter to reduce amounts of metals and chlorine

Back in time. And guess what happened?
Within just a couple of days, the results were simply startling.
 The IBS just went away, completely! No IBS-C, no IBS-D. One trip to the bathroom first thing in the morning and I was fine for the rest of the day. No grumbles, no feeling bloated, none of the usual 'bowel not feeling completely empty' malarkey that usually plagues my entire existence.
 Now, if you have had IBS for a certain time, you certainly know there are some "trigger foods", and that an IBS friendly diet helps a lot. So I said I did not believe in Rick's theory, but that mediocre food quality could be THE trigger of IBS certainly sounds possible to me.

Unfortunately, this change was to hard to maintain over time (too expensive, time-consuming), so Rick went back to normal food, and IBS appeared eventually.But on my side, trying locally grown, organic products is definitely one of my next steps to improve my IBS condition.

2 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

Paleo + L-Glutamine = Great Success. It's disappointing to see the price we are willing to place on our health... buy nice clothes and a nice car but cheap cheap on the food.

Guillaume said...

I am currently on a low-carb diet, and it works wonders. And paleo is pretty close to it. So yes, sounds like a great choice!

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