In recent years, irritable bowel syndrome has become an increasingly common diagnosis, and patients may have been told that little can be done about this condition, although antispasmodics and laxatives are sometimes prescribed.
Sometimes also called mucus Colitis, IBS is unfortunately an extremely common condition which, because it is not associated with a general deterioration in physical health and because it presents with multiple symptomatology, tends to be treated lightly by an overworked medical profession, once life-threatening illness has been ruled out.
Fortunately IBS can be successfully treated by the allergy therapist and of course, apart from allergies, the possibility of Candida albicans infestation and other parasites must be considered. The patient will present with some or all of the following symptoms:
The patient may have been advised to ensure that the diet contains plenty of fibre and this is appropriate. Bran is not useful and should be avoided as it can be extremely irritant to the bowel mucosa, and often becomes lodged in the villi (folds in the bowel wall).
Parasites have been mentioned above, and it is possible that they may be present in the patient's water supply. A recent visit to a country where the water supply may be suspect shortly before the onset of the condition could be a possible cause.
The patient may have been exposed to toxic bacteria in food (Campylobacter, Shigella, Clostridia and others) and the patient's occupation, for instance farming, meat-processing, food preparation, handling of animals and pets, should be considered.
The administration of a probiotic containing Acidophilus, Bifidobacter, and other "friendly bacteria" is important and it may be necessary to use this for several months.
This condition is allergic in origin and although sometimes diagnosed separately, may be considered as part of the irritable bowel syndrome group of symptoms.
A chronic constipation, spastic colon is often treated by the administration of Liquid Paraffin B.P. or substances containing this such as liquid paraffin emulsion. The condition is characterised by areas of the large bowel losing its peristalsis and allowing faecal material to stagnate in, usually, the ascending colon. The position of the spasticity may change, and the resulting "moving blockages" be quite alarming for the patient. The writer has heard this described as "just like a small animal moving about in my tummy".
Foods such as leeks, Jerusalem artichoke, and chicory are useful to give some relief whilst desensitisation is proceeding, and a calcium & magnesium supplement is recommended to help relieve the spasms.
Llangwyryfon, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 4EY Tel: 01974 241376
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