Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common disorders of the gastrointestinal tract that people experience. It is believed to account for up to 50% of all referrals to gastroenterologists.

Women experience this condition more than men, at a 2 to 1 ratio. Up to 15% of all people in the world have this condition. IBS has several physiological, psychological, and dietary factors that contribute to its occurrence.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

There are a variety of different symptoms that people with IBS experience. Diagnosis of IBS is determined by a combination of the following characteristics:

  • Distension or pain in the abdomen
  • Changes in bowel function, including diarrhoea or constipation
  • Hypersecretion of colonic mucous
  • Dyspeptic symptoms, including anorexia, flatulence and nausea
  • Either anxiety or depression to varying degrees

The most typical symptom presentation that results in a diagnosis of IBS is bloating, bowel motions relieving pain, and an onset of more frequent bowel motions.

Therapeutic Considerations

When someone has IBS, there are a variety of things that a naturopath considers when coming up with a treatment plan. These include:

  • Increasing dietary fibre
  • Identifying and eliminating allergenic or intolerant foods from the diet
  • Reducing and/or eliminating refined sugars from the diet
  • Supporting healthy gut microflora
  • Supporting mental health, particularly reducing stress if present

Herbal and Supplement Support

Specific treatment options to consider for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) include:

  • Probiotics help to support a healthy and diverse intestinal microbiome. Improving gut function and helping to address inflammation.
  • Provide supplemental dietary fibre to help support and normalise stool formation and frequency.
  • Reduce inflammation using anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, liquorice, chamomile, and peppermint.
  • Reduce hypersensitivity of the gut using peppermint, fennel, lemon balm, chamomile, and St Mary’s thistle.
  • Support liver function using dandelion, globe artichoke, and turmeric.

Ruth Griffiths

Ruth has had a lifelong interest in and passion for nature, natural medicine, and the human experience. She began her studies in Health Science, Aromatherapy, Remedial Therapies, including Manual Lymphatic Drainage, in Melbourne over 25 years ago. On completion of these studies, Ruth operated a clinic for 8 years in the Grampians region, specializing in […]

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Lou Chalmer – Autoimmune Disease, Counselling, And Philosophy

Lou is a certified Functional Nutrition Consultant, Heartmath and Immune Function Practitioner and Counsellor in training. Lou’s interest in health and wellbeing was sparked many years ago, but she decided to pursue a career in wine and environmental science. After working on her PhD in Regenerative Agriculture for two years, she decided that she would […]

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Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   Her journey into studying Naturopathy started when she was 18 years old.  Katherine  has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as a naturopath and support them through their […]

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Gurudaya – Shiatsu Therapist, Kundalini Yoga Instructor

Gurudaya is a practitioner of Shiatsu and Oriental Therapies and a Kundalini Yoga instructor. She completed her studies of Kinesiology in 2004, followed by Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in 2007, and Shiatsu in 2014. She has found Shiatsu to be her preferred method for treating clients, for the calm and quiet mindfulness it promotes in […]

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