irritable bowel syndrome

  1. Vitamin D eases irritable bowel syndrome

    Bowel problems? This vitamin is just what you need!

    It's one of the most common reasons people see a doctor -- responsible for nearly 10,000 office visits every DAY.

    Yet it gets almost no attention in the media.

    It's time to change that.

    Up to 45 million Americans suffer from some degree of irritable bowel syndrome. While many seek treatment when it gets bad, the vast majority are too embarrassed to even mention it to a doctor.

    Believe it or not, sometimes they're the lucky ones.

    When you DO ask a doctor for help, he could put you on meds that are even worse than those stomach struggles!

    Well, friend, I'm here with a little relief -- and it's not a drug with side effects.

    It's an ordinary vitamin that you might be taking anyway... just not in the right amount!

    A new analysis of seven studies confirms that many people battling the gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and more that mark irritable bowel syndrome are also low in vitamin D.

    Not only that, but the study also does something even more important.

    It proves that taking D supplements can help ease the worst the condition can throw your way.

    Three of the seven studies in the new analysis were clinical trials that tested supplements in IBS patients, and 2 in 3 found big-time benefits. The vitamin eased the worst of the symptoms, making the condition less severe and improving overall quality of life.

    The researchers behind the new study say that we need more research, and I won't argue with that.

    Let's just make sure that it's the RIGHT KIND of research!

    Too many studies -- especially on vitamin D -- use very low levels, often just a few hundred IUs per day.

    If that doesn't work -- or, rather, WHEN that doesn't work -- they can claim that the D didn't help.

    OF COURSE it didn't. That's barely enough to make a dent in your deficiency.

    In reality, you need much higher doses to get any benefit at all. Even without IBS, most people need between 2,000 and 5,000 IUs per day, and some may need more in winter, when sun levels are low (and especially if you're fighting off a chronic illness or are taking certain meds that can sap you of your ability to absorb D).

    Along with increasing your intake of the sunshine vitamin, be sure to take other steps to control the symptoms, including a high-quality probiotic blend and extensive testing for food sensitivities in the care of a holistic medical doctor.

    If you're in the San Diego area, I can run those tests right here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in Southern California? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

  2. Probiotics ease irritable bowel syndrome

    Ease the misery of IBS naturally

    Irritable bowels?

    When you've got IBS, it's not just your bowels that are irritated.

    This disease brings with it so much misery that it can inevitably wreck your mood, leading to anxiety and depression.

    But the latest research reveals one easy action you can take that'll help ease the mood disorders that too often come hand-in-hand with IBS.

    And if you do it right, this same action can also ease the worst of the tummy troubles that mark this condition.

    The answer is in probiotics, or the healthy bacteria that live in your gut and help with digestion.

    Folks with IBS often have serious imbalances in those bacteria, with low populations of the essential ones that are so important to overall health.

    But if you can restore that balance, you can reap some pretty big rewards.

    Start with Bifidobacterium longum, especially if your IBS is making you feel down in the dumps.

    In the new study, this healthy bug -- one I recommend to my own patients, even those without IBS -- led to dramatic mood improvements in IBS patients.

    While only 32 percent of folks given a placebo had better scores on a test that measures depression levels, a full 64 percent of those given the probiotic enjoyed a significant boost in the mood.

    Scans confirmed what the patients felt, showing new activity in the parts of the brain responsible for mood and wellbeing.

    The study didn't get into the whys and hows, but other research has shown that B. longum supplements can slash levels of the "stress hormone" cortisol.

    While we do need SOME cortisol, many people have too much -- especially when in the grips of a chronic disease such as IBS. Bringing those levels down can restore some degree of calm, ease anxiety, and lift the mood.

    Think that's good? It is -- but that's only the beginning.

    A quality probiotic supplement containing B. longum as well as a blend of multiple human-tested strains can do more than just lift you out of the dumps. If you have IBS, it can ease the condition itself with fewer painful cramps and fewer urgent runs for the toilet.

    That's some pretty powerful medicine!

    Just bear in mind that bacterial imbalances are generally a symptom of IBS, not a cause. Restoring that balance will certainly help, but it won't cure the condition.

    That'll take a little more work.

    IBS can be caused by food sensitivities (especially to dairy and gluten), undiagnosed gut infections, fungal growths, and even parasites. If you have this condition and haven't had much luck with a mainstream doc, seek the advice of a holistic physician experienced in treating gut disorders such as IBS.

  3. Beat irritable bowel syndrome without drugs

    Irritable bowel syndrome doesn’t respond well to medications, but you don’t need the drugs anyway. A new study finds nondrug treatments can work wonders for IBS patients.
  4. Irritable bowel syndrome patients need vitamin D

    Irritable bowel syndrome patients are low in vitamin D more than 80 percent of the time, but supplements can raise their levels, according to new research.
  5. Mind over belly in battle of the bowels

    If you're suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, the problem might not be entirely in your stomach.
  6. Worm your way out of MS

    I know -- as far as the gross-o-meter goes, this one is off the charts... but a series of new studies finds that stomach worms can actually help defeat multiple sclerosis.
  7. The wrong approach for IBS

    It was downright frustrating to read a study in the New England Journal of Medicine pushing the antibiotic rifaximin for irritable bowel syndrome, despite lackluster results and far more effective drug-free alternatives.
  8. Real powers of fake drugs

    You've heard of the placebo effect--but now, a new study finds that even patients who know they're taking one of these phony meds can get some very real results.

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