Holistic Approach to IBS

Getting a medical diagnosis should be helpful.  But does the diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS help the client?  There are certain symptoms  a person needs to meet to be diagnosed for IBS.  A person has to have had abdomen pain for 6 months, have unintentional weight loss, and a couple other factors.

But what happens after the IBS diagnosis?  Let’s read about a client’s story.

holistic treatment of IBS

Story of IBS

The young lady told me she had been tired her whole life.  And to boot, she had stomach issues which came and went. She was nauseous a lot and occasionally had stomach pain.

A year ago she started having pain in her lower left part of the abdomen.  She went to her doctor and was diagnosed with….(drumroll please) IBS.  And then she was put on medications to help deal with gut spasms.  Which helped but she didn’t want to be just on medications to help the abdomen pain.

She then saw multiple doctors, alternative medicine doctors, holistic doctors, and acupuncturists  who viewed her health issue through their lens. She saw hormone doctors who tested her hormones and other doctors who tested her blood for different issues.

She also had anxiety since childhood – she tended to think that the worst was going to happen. And when gut issues flared up, she got more anxious.  Eventually she ended up seeing me.

Holistic Approach to Gut Health

And what did I think? I thought she has at least three issues.  She’s been tired her whole life which affects her quite a bit.  And if she’s had IBS for most of her life , that should be looked at. 

Her IBS is related to her gut and the gut is a very important part of our body.  It’s where we digest our foods so we can get our energy, where the bacteria live which produce some of our vitamins.

And her anxiety which increases her stress probably doesn’t help her gut. 

IBS is a label but it doesn’t tell us much.  It doesn’t tell us what caused the issues.  We need a holistic approach to the gut issue

Holistic Treatment of IBS

She may not have enough stomach acid to digest her foods. Or perhaps she has reactions to certain foods. A common cause for ibs is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. That is where bacteria are in the small intestine and eat our food for themselves causing bloating, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea.

Or perhaps the anxiety is making her stress worse so that the wrong bacteria/yeast are growing in her gut. 

So perhaps a holistic treatment for her gut health  may be to treat her anxiety so that she doesn’t get stressed.  Then she would eat better.  And we can also deal with the wrong bacteria in her gut.


We have to go deeper than the label of IBS to find out what is really going on with the person. Because the person wants to get better from IBS!

If you are an existing client with a question about this blog post or anything medical-related, please contact me thru the practice portal

Dr. Richard Chen

To your health!

Dr. Richard Chen
Focused Wellness Author,
A New Way to Health: Wheel of Health
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