Cure IBS without drugs in 5 simple steps

Date: September 12th, 2022
Author: Billie Bradshaw

Over 60 million Americans have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (that’s 20% of the population)!  To better understand what IBS is and how to treat it, Dr. Mark Hyman takes us through the basics of its causes.  First, it’s important to understand that our gut contains a microbiome that contains trillions of bacteria.  In fact, there’s more bacteria DNA than human DNA in your body.  Some of that bacteria is good and helpful, others aren’t.  When there is an imbalance of too many bad bacteria in your gut, this results in SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).  It’s also important to understand that there is a very thin layer between this harmful bacteria in our intestines and the rest of our body.  If we add stressors such as too many antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, intestinal infections, or a low fiber high sugar diet or alcohol, we can develop leaky gut causing a myriad of IBS symptoms.

Because of the many contributing factors to IBS, there isn’t necessarily a one size fits all solution.  Fortunately, there are a few things you can do.  1) Understand and eliminate the foods to which you are allergic.  2) Get rid of the bad bacteria in your gut.  3) Repopulate the good bacteria.  Check out the full video to get all of the details.

hi this is dr. Mark Hyman imagine having a condition with symptoms so severe that you can't leave the house yet your doctor calls it a functional or psychosomatic disease meaning it's all in your head imagine that's frustrating but it's a very real problem for the 60 million people that's 20% of Americans who have irritable bowel syndrome they're plagued by uncomfortable and often disabling symptoms like bloating cramps diarrhea constipation and pain I have many patients with irritable bowel syndrome some of whom have suffered for decades without relief their previous doctors couldn't find the cause of their illness so they were told just to take more fiber or take Metamucil or prescribed sedatives like valium or anti spasm drugs or antidepressants that's not the answer and I can tell you about a different way to solve the problem I've heard old bowel syndrome by dealing with the cause let me tell you about my patient Alexis at 45 she suffered from irritable bowel for 33 years almost her whole life her sudden and major symptoms were painful cramping diarrhea that would come out of the blue she was doing the best she could to prevent it she didn't consume dairy she didn't drink or smoke she took citrucel every day and yet nothing helped she would go to the bathroom four or five times even before she left the house in the morning and she couldn't go out of the house without knowing where all the closest bathrooms would be in case she had what she called s attacks now these were in Alexis's only problem she also felt full and bloated after every meal which starchy foods made worse an upper endoscopy had shown that she had gastritis or inflammation of her stomach and she'd taken many antibiotics over the years she also had severe PMS or premenstrual syndrome and hid irregular periods breast tenderness sugar cravings headaches agitation she also had very unusual symptoms like rectal itching which is often a clue for yeast infections or food allergies and she was tired all the time now she tried to eat healthy but her diet was less than ideal she had a bran muffin and coffee in the morning and a salad for lunch but her drug of choice was sugar form of cakes and ice cream and jello and diet sodas and other junk food not surprisingly she was about 20 pounds overweight so how did I help Alexis well all I really did was to treat the underlying causes of her digestive problems and how did I do that well first you have to understand a little bit about how the gut works to know how to fix it if it's broken now imagine a tennis court that's the surface area of your small intestine where all your food is absorbed your small intestine is also the site of about 60% of your immune system the bad news the small intestine is also just one cell layer away from a toxic sewer all the bacteria in your gut and the toxins from food if that lining breaks down from stress or too many antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs or intestinal infections or a low fiber high sugar diet or alcohol and more look out your immune system will suffer and you can develop all sorts of digestive problems and other systemic problems but let's talk a little bit more about those bacteria in your gut you've got about three pounds of it 500 species in your gut in fact there's more bacterial DNA in your body then there is human DNA of all the gut bacteria there are the good guys and the bad guys and then there's a very bad guys if the bad guys take over or if they move on to the areas where they shouldn't be which is the small intestine it's normally sterile in there then the body can start fermenting the food you digest particularly sugar and starchy foods that's called small bowel bacterial overgrowth or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and it's a major cause of irritable bowel syndrome the major symptom it causes is bloating or feeling of fullness after meals now what causes the bloating it's the overproduction of gas by bacteria as they have lunch on your lunch this can be diagnosed by a breath test which measures gas production by the bacteria or a urine test that measures the byproducts of the bacteria after they absorbed up in your system bacterial overgrowth is a real problem and it was recently described in a review paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and it can be treated in fact just recently a major paper was published in the annals of internal medicine that showed that using a non absorbed antibiotic called RIF a mixin for ten days resulted in dramatic improvement in bloating and overall symptoms of irritable by clearing out small bowel bacterial overgrowth that's very good news for irritable bowel patients but unfortunately not all patients with the same diagnosis are created equal there's more than one factor that leads to irritable bowel syndrome another major cause of IBS is fluid sensitivities another landmark paper was published in the prestigious British Medical Journal gut and it found that eliminating foods identified through delayed food allergy testing called IgG antibodies resulted in dramatic improvements in irritable bowel symptoms another article in editorial in the American Journal of Gastroenterology stated that clearly we must respect and recognize the role of food allergies and inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome these are the two main causes of irritable bowel food allergies and overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine but there may be others including lack of digestive enzymes parasites worms zinc or magnesium deficiency and more and this is precisely why it is so critically important to personalize the treatment based on the unique circumstances that exist for each person who suffers from IBS the solution is most certainly not a one-size-fits-all now this is exactly how all of functional medicine is practice which is individualizing and personalizing treatment now let's get back to Alexis I prescribed her a non absorbed antibiotic I gave her any fungal drug for her yeast problem and I had her eliminate the foods she was allergic to then I gave her supplements of healthy bacteria to normalize her gut and zinc to help with her digestive enzymes see because chronic diarrhea can cause a zinc deficiency I also gave her extra fiber to feed the healthy bacteria fish oil to reduce gut inflammation and a multivitamin and herbs to how balance their hormones which are greatly affected by abnormal gut bacteria so what happened next well Alexis came back two months later a different person not only did she lose twenty pounds she had not had one of her attacks at all and was having normal bowel movements for the first time in 33 years and as a side-effect she also had more energy no more PMS she looked and felt ten years younger and was free of the suffering she'd endured for over three years she lost 20 pounds are you like Alexis it doesn't have to be that way we have the understanding and tools to deal with this chronic problem and the suffering it causes in one in five people there is no need to wait for any more studies I have been treating interval Bal at my practice for over 15 years with dramatic success in fact just today one of my patients told me that for the first time in his life he didn't have anymore stomach pains or digestive problems he had been so bad that he had to had a phone installed in his bathroom so what do you need to do to take advantage of these discoveries today if you have irritable bowel follow these steps one take the test for IgG food allergies and eliminate the foods that are positively testing for 12 weeks or you can do it on your own if you can't afford the tests just eliminate the most common food allergies for 12 weeks that's dairy gluten yeast corn eggs soy and peanuts and then reintroduce them to see if they cause symptoms I've written about this in the ultra simple diet it's a complete program that you can follow at home next get rid of the unwanted visitors in your small bowel ask your doctor to prescribe her for Maxon next you can repopulate your gut with healthy bacteria so there is a way out of irritable bowel syndrome and it's not through your head