What is IBS and How Colonics can Help
If you are experiencing a varied range of digestive symptoms (such as bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and abdominal pain) but your doctor has ruled out more serious illnesses like Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, chances are good you are suffering from what is known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. This common, chronic condition, which is endured by approximately 20% of the population, affects the functioning of the large intestine, causing digestive discomfort that usually ranges in severity from mild to moderate, but which can become quite debilitating for some. While at present there is no cure for IBS, diet and lifestyle changes, along with supportive therapies that aid in improving intestinal function, can make the condition much more manageable.
What causes IBS?
While the causes of IBS itself are not yet well understood, it is believed that IBS symptoms arise from the improper contraction of the intestines. Our intestinal walls are lined with layers of muscle that contract in order to keep food moving through them so that it can be successfully processed and eliminated as waste. It is thought that in people with IBS, these essential intestinal contractions are either too strong and last longer than they ought to, or are too weak and quick. In the case of the former, food is eliminated too quickly as waste (causing diarrhea), and in the case of the latter, food stalls in the intestine and waste build-up, causing uncomfortable constipation, gas, and bloating.
Why this happens is still being debated. Some experts believe those with IBS may have abnormal levels of serotonin; while serotonin is generally known as a “happiness hormone”, it also plays a key role in digestive function, which perhaps explains why those with depression and anxiety tend to also be prone to digestive issues. Another theory suggests that people who develop IBS have unhealthy gut flora; in other words, the balance of good vs. bad bacteria within their intestines is off, leading to less than optimal intestinal function.
What are the risks of IBS?
If you have IBS, you’ll be relieved to know that it has not yet been linked to an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, and it is not thought to actually damage the intestines, unlike Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. That being said, severe IBS does carry health risks—notably from diarrhea, which can cause severe dehydration and electrolyte loss. If you have IBS and begin to experience symptoms such as light-headedness, extreme thirst, fatigue, infrequent urination, nausea, and/or headaches, see your doctor immediately.
How can Colonics help to alleviate IBS symptoms?
Colon hydrotherapy is perfectly safe for use in treating IBS, thanks to the fact that the condition does not actually damage the lining of the intestines. Many people find the process of colon hydrotherapy quite helpful in alleviating their IBS symptoms, and choose to make it a regular part of their treatment plan.
Colon hydrotherapy has been found to be particularly effective in relieving the discomfort associated with periods of constipation, offering the immediate expulsion of impacted fecal matter, cleansing it out of the colon so that the patient may return to normal at once. This process is much safer than the use of laxatives, which can in fact irritate the bowels by introducing harsh chemicals into the digestive tract. Colon hydrotherapy, on the other hand, is a detoxifying process which actually helps to cleanse harmful chemical build-up from the intestines. It also aids in the removal of excess mucus and harmful pathogenic flora, which then allows the intestines to more effectively absorb nutrients, combatting some of the nutrient loss that tends to accompany chronic diarrhea and constipation.
It is also thought that regular colon hydrotherapy treatments may help to tone the colon by stimulating the muscle and nerve activity in the region, prompting the intestines to function better as a whole and keep eliminating waste more effectively for some time after treatment.
To get the most out of your colon hydrotherapy treatment, it’s advised to ingest a wealth of probiotics afterward, to encourage the gut to replenish healthy bacteria, further warding off the accumulation of harmful bacteria that are thought to contribute to the development of IBS symptoms. In addition to the avoidance of “trigger foods” and stress reduction techniques, colon hydrotherapy and probiotic supplementation can go a long way toward helping you live a symptom-free life.