Irritable bowel syndrome on the rise


Stomach disorders (functional dyspepsia) and bowel disorders (irritable bowel syndrome) have a reputation for being tricky to treat, perhaps because they have multiple causes and are often the result of a combination of factors.  Just some of the factors to consider are:

Gut Feelings
The gut is the only organ to have it’s own nervous system which is able to initiate reflexes without input from the brain.  Serotonin, a neuropeptide found in the brain also exists in the gut, suggesting the gut has the ability to think and feel.  It really does have a mind of it’s own!

Antibiotic use (via prescription and via the food we eat)
Our constant exposure to antibiotics affects the balance of gut bacteria.  An imbalance can produce digestive difficulties leading to “leaky gut syndrome” and irritation and pain.

Elevated cortisol levels due to stress can cause all kinds of reactions in the body.  The gut is particularly sensitive to the effects of cortisol which can include poor immune response, increase bowel motility and reduction in gastric acid secretion.

Whether it’s dietary related, post infection or some other cause, people with digestive disorders have increased levels of inflammatory cells which can lead to hypersensitivity and an over reaction to pain.

Despite all the varied contributing factors and an increase in the prevalence of functional gut disorders, the natural therapies medicine cabinet is full of solutions for dealing with these difficult conditions.  If you’re suffering with digestive complaints that just won’t seem to go away, there is hope! 🙂

Brenda Rogers

With over 25 years experience as a corporate trainer, naturopath, yoga teacher and wise woman educator, Brenda is the head clinician and coach at Quintessence Health.

"A healthy mind and body simply ensures you have the time and energy to fully express and manifest your life’s purpose – it facilitates the unfolding of joy."

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