- 3 months of continuous or recurring symptoms of abdominal pain or irritation accompanied by at least two out of these three features.
- May be relieved with a bowel movement.
- May be coupled with a change in frequency, or
- May be related to a change in the consistency of stools.
- Two or more of the following are present at least 25 percent of the time:
- A change in stool frequency (more than 3 bowel movement per day or fewer than 3 bowel movements per week).
- Noticeable difference in stool form (hard, loose and watery stools or poorly formed stools).
- Passage of mucous in stools.
- Bloating or feeling of abdominal distention.
- Altered stool passage (e.g. sensations of incomplete evacuation, straining, or urgency).
Treatment Strategy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Treatment of IBS will depend upon the cause and the predominant symptoms. I utilize a questionnaire developed at Addenbrookes Hospital in order to ascertain if your IBS is caused by malfermentation, overload & overflow, anxiety, specific food intolerance or other causes.
Following a consultation every patient receives a written explanation of the suggested treatment strategy, the contents of each herbal prescription and an explanation regarding the choice of herb. Prescriptions for IBS are usually a combination of 5 or 6 herbs with the following therapeutic actions.
- Antispasmodics & smooth muscle relaxants to reduce or prevent the involuntary muscular contractions which cause abdominal pain.
- Carminative to improve digestion and relieve the discomfort of flatulence and colic.
- Demulcent which are soothing & protective to repair irritated tissues.
And where necessary
- When levels of digestive acidity are high alkalising herbs are utilised.
- When diarrhoea predominated astringents are used which contract tissues, making them firmer and thereby reducing discharges.
- When stress aggravates symptoms herbs which reduce the intensity of the sympathetic nervous system are used.
Specific diets are recommended depending upon the cause and symptom pattern these include:
- Low fibre diet
- Exclusion diet based on a well research and tested list of the foods most likely to cause symptoms.
- Low fibre, no gluten diet
Written guidelines are supplied.
I am very grateful to Amanda for her treatment of my diarrhoea-predominant IBS. Over the past few years, I have seen two gastro-enterologists and a homeopath, and taken two Yorktests to eliminate food intolerances, but I had only succeeded in bringing my symptoms under a varying level of control, even after years of food-elimination and dietary modification. I had been told that all I could expect was to manage my condition, not to cure it.
However, Amanda’s herbal preparations, together with her dietary advice, have made a big difference within just a few weeks, despite starting over Christmas, a time when I cannot resist all the wrong types of foods. My leaky gut seems to be now healing well, despite occasional setbacks caused by my weak will as regards chocolate and other banned foods. At last, I have hopes of being able to resume guided birdwatching holidays without having to worry about whether my innards will behave.
Many thanks indeed, Amanda.
When I consulted Amanda in December 2009 I had suffered from digestive problems for 15 years. Despite the best effects of my GP and consultant, who prescribed Questran, Ranitidine and copious use of Immodium, I was struggling to control my symptoms of alternating constipation and diarrhoea, passing mucous, bloating, discomfort, spasm and deep fatigue.
Within a few months of taking herbal medicine my symptoms had improved significantly, I was able to stop all other medication and my energy levels began to slowly build.
Amanda provides a first class service with a strong commitment to helping her clients.She has helped me enormously and I would recommend her to anyone who values the natural approach to healing. Thank you
Rob S. Manchester