Digestive Health

OK, in a nutshell, and without making it too scientific and complicated .....

Functional Bowel Disease, (irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain, excessive flatulence, indigestion and heartburn) and Organic Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Diverticulitis, Coeliac Disease and Bowel Cancer) are all on the increase, due in large part to our diets and lifestyles.

At any one time, it is estimated that approximately 20% of the Country’s population has Irritable Bowel Syndrome, (IBS) and children as young as 4 are being diagnosed with this condition. In our opinion, 20% is a very conservative estimate, and a more realistic figure is around 50%, if you take into consideration other common symptoms of IBS, such as indigestion and heartburn.  Medics are no nearer to finding a cure. Nowadays it’s all about trying to manage the symptoms. Trying to minimise the pain, the bloating, the irregular bowel movements. There are no conclusive tests to diagnose IBS, but on the positive side, there’s no evidence to support that IBS can cause bowel cancer.

Here at the IBS, Digestive Health and Gut Disorders Clinic at Plains View GP Surgery, we are very familiar with IBS, and all its symptoms, having treated thousands of patients successfully.  People who have been suffering for decades find that after a couple of colonic treatments, some tweaking of the diet, a little education on sensible eating habits, and targeted supplements to cleanse the intestines and re-build the gut flora, their IBS is considerably improved.

Coeliac Disease is an allergy to gluten, and people diagnosed with this condition must avoid gluten in their diet. Diagnosis is through a blood test. Even if the smallest amounts of gluten are ingested, it can make them very ill.  Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis also come under the category of Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. These two diseases are conditions of inflammation and ulceration in the lining of the bowel wall, although, in some cases, the ulceration can occur anywhere along the gastro-intestinal tract, including the mouth and oesophagus. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is usually diagnosed through blood tests.  Symptoms are pain, bloody diarrhoea, resulting in poor nutrient absorption, malabsorption and, in severe cases, malnutrition.

No-one knows what causes these conditions, but a ‘faulty’ immune system is thought to be the cause.  Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, in flare-up are contra-indications for colonic hydrotherapy treatment. Instead we would look at dietary factors that may be having a negative impact on the gut, causing irritation and inflammation. We will put you on an ‘anti-inflammatory’ diet, perhaps some targeted supplements, and look at blood tests and stool testing to establish any specific food allergies. There may be an issue with intestinal parasites or a break down in the integrity of the gut wall, creating gut hyper-permeability (leaky gut) issues that may be contributing to these conditions. It is extremely important that IBD is well managed, as there is a risk that it can develop into cancer, especially with advancing age.

If you need help with any of the above conditions, then please don’t hesitate to contact Linda Booth at our IBS, Digestive Health & Gut Disorders Clinic, and we can discuss with you the various treatment options.

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