How we help with IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder estimated to affect up to 1 in 5 Canadians, giving Canada the highest IBS prevalence worldwide.
Unlike some other digestive conditions, IBS isn’t as clearly defined. IBS describes a cluster of symptoms rather than a singular disease. Therefore, each person can have unique symptoms and triggers, all falling under the same umbrella of IBS. A particular challenge with IBS is that the cause is often unknown. IBS can express itself differently in different individuals.
There are 3 IBS types:
- IBS-D: diarrhea dominant
- IBS-C: constipation dominant
- IBS-M: mixed; alternating between constipation and diarrhea
The primary symptoms of IBS include:
- Gas and bloating
- Painful cramping
- Constipation, diarrhea or both
- Irregular bowel movement quality; changes in color, appearance, smell etc.
There are certain risk factors for IBS that may increase your chances of developing it. Some of these risk factors include:
- Gender: IBS (especially IBS-C) is more prevalent among women
- Age: Individuals under 50 seem to be at a higher risk of IBS
- Genetics: Having a family member with IBS increases the chances of developing the disorder
- Stress: Symptoms can be initiated and exacerbated during periods of intense stress. Mood-related disorders like depression and anxiety can also play a key role in IBS.
- Diet + Nutrition: Diets containing common irritants such as processed foods, alcohol, dairy, wheat, and chemical food additives can instigate IBS
Colon Hydrotherapy as Holistic Treatment for IBS
IBS has been described as chronic, as symptoms are typically long-lasting, and there is no known cure. However, holistic approaches can help manage, minimize, and even potentially eliminate IBS symptoms.
Colon hydrotherapy, in particular, is an excellent supportive treatment as IBS is interference in the normal functioning of the large intestine.
Colonic irrigation is a safe way to eliminate excess waste from the large intestine and can also have a gentle balancing effect on the entire digestive tract. This can be incredibly healing and supportive for IBS.
Many clients note improvement in abdominal pain and bloating, constipation, and diarrhea after a series of colonics. Colonics can help to manage the persistent discomfort and pressure from trapped gas and built-up fecal matter, in addition to generally soothing stressed nervous and digestive systems.
It is common to experience less disturbing symptoms and a notable improvement in the quality of your bowel movements after a few colonic sessions.
However, as we mentioned before, IBS can express uniquely in different individuals, and each case has slightly different pathologies that drive the disorder. So for some, it may be more of a long-haul journey, and more intensive nutritional, supplemental, and supportive lifestyle therapies may be necessary to see significant improvement.
How do Colonics help?
Particularly for IBS-C, colonics can provide immense healing and relief. However, individuals do not have regular bowel movements, and there is often compounded waste in the colon. This backlog can cause an increase in cramping and abdominal pain, mainly associated with eating. By removing this backlog, individuals can experience relief in constipation and bloating associated with it.
During colonic irrigation, you are not only eliminating solid waste. It is typical for a client to release lots of gas during a session, alongside physical waste. This gas–previously trapped deep inside the colon–can relieve pressure within the GI tract once released, easing abdominal discomfort and cramping.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation
The vagus nerve is a long cord of sensory fibers that runs from the brainstem to the visceral organs and significantly regulates the parasympathetic (rest & digest) nervous system. Colonics gently stimulate the vagus nerve, leading to several supportive benefits, including:
- Less inflammation: the vagus nerve can send signals to the brain to release anti-inflammatory neurotransmitters to mitigate tissue damage. This can be helpful in IBS to ease digestive inflammation and discomfort.
- Improved breathing quality: the vagus nerve elicits the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which tells your lungs to breathe. This can be especially helpful to individuals with IBS who have stress and mental disorders associated with shallow breathing. Additionally, acetyl-choline can help regulate heart rate and slow down pulse, potentially improving anxiety.
- Gut-brain (mind-body) connection: The vagus nerve allows the gut to speak with the brain. Electrical impulses called ‘action potentials’ will enable the gut to tell the brain how it’s feeling. Through stimulating the vagus nerve, Colonics can improve the communication between the gut and the brain.
Improves Bowel Tone
The introduction of water into the bowels can stimulate peristaltic contractions. These contractions play a significant role in having comfortable and complete bowel movements. In addition, colon hydrotherapy is known to regulate intestine muscles. Spastic intestines (clenched, stressed intestines) are a common feature of IBS. This improvement in bowel tone can help to improve symptoms of constipation in individuals with IBS.
Our clinic has seen a range of client experiences with colonics and IBS, from complete disappearance of symptoms (best case scenario) to improvement and better management of symptoms (most common).
Everybody is different, and every case of IBS is unique.
We recommend beginning with a gentle explorative session to see how your body responds. And, of course, integrating proper nutrition is recommended in addition to colonics. Our team of Nutritionists and Therapists are here to support you.