IBS stands for irritable bowl syndrome and is a chronic condition that includes diarrhea and pain in the stomach. Chiropractic care removes pressure off the spinal nerves which allows muscles and body systems to function, including the digestive system.
What is IBS and how does it affect the body?
Dr. Ken Freedman: IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome. Typically, it’s irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea or IBSD, and that’s not the same thing as an occasional stomach issue. It’s usually a condition that’s a lot more long-lasting. It’s chronic and it includes episodes of frequent diarrhea with pain in the stomach and discomfort.
It affects people a number of different ways. Obviously, you’re really uncomfortable; it’s bothersome. It can be very, very frustrating. One of the roughest things about it is that even though you may not have symptoms, people with IBS never really know when they’re going to have a flare-up and when their symptoms might come back.
Do we know what causes IBS?
Dr. Ken Freedman: There are a number of different theories behind it. Some people think it may be linked to emotional issues. If people are worried or upset, it increases the motility of the gut. It could be because of, as I said, psychosocial issues. It could be due to irritation to the gut from certain things in the foods that people eat; things like that. We also suspect that it could be due to improper energy that’s coursing over the nervous system that’s controlling the digestive system.
What are some common over-the-counter treatments and medications that mask the symptoms but don’t fix the real cause of IBS?
Dr. Ken Freedman: All you have to do is turn on the television. As a chiropractor, I’m the first one to admit that it’s not within my scope of practice to be an expert in drugs and pharmacotherapeutics, but we all know that there are many, many different forms of medication that help to control the symptoms of IBS.
The challenge with all of those drugs is that they really don’t get to the root of the problem. They don’t fix anything. They just treat the symptoms. In many cases, just in treating the symptoms, it can cause other problems in addition to IBS, which all you have to do is read the label on the packaging and you can learn a little about that.
How does chiropractic care naturally heal IBS?
Dr. Ken Freedman: Well, it doesn’t heal IBS. Chiropractic care doesn’t heal anything. What chiropractic care does is it detects, locates, and removes interferences to the body’s ability to be able to function at its best and self-heal. If your digestive system, which is one of the major systems in your body, is dependent upon energy, which travels from the brain down the spinal cord and over the nervous system to the organs of digestion, and if that energy’s not flowing correctly, the digestive system can’t work correctly.
Now, we all know people who have had pinched nerves in their neck or back and their back muscle or neck muscle went into spasm. Well, there are muscles in the gut that help move food through the digestive tract. If there’s pinched nerves in the spine, aside from muscles in the back being affected, muscles in the gut can become affected the same way, where they can go into spasm or work in an uncontrolled manner because the energy that controls normal function is being disrupted.
The whole goal within chiropractic care is to enable that energy to be able to flow freely, so the body has the best ability to be able to function as well as it can, including the digestive system. It’s not chiropractic that heals the person, Liz, it’s really the person that’s able to heal themselves.
Can dietary changes also help rid the body of IBS?
Dr. Ken Freedman: Well, again, it’s not the change in the diet that rids the IBS. It’s the body’s capacity to self-heal that does that, but there are certain things that you can do dietarily that’ll help take gasoline off the fire, so to speak. You may want to get away from inflammatory foods like wheat and dairy and sugar. You may want to stay away from some of the things that are very spicy.
Alcohol can be an irritant as well, and certain medications can be highly irritating to the digestive system, so you have to be very careful. If you’re seeing a medical doctor under their care, you have to make sure that you disclose that you have sensitivity within your gut before taking certain medications because it can definitely trigger things or exacerbate it.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Ken Freedman, visit www.freedmanchiropracticcenter.com or call (732) 254-6011 to schedule an appointment.