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North Adams Chiropractor | North Adams chiropractic care | MA | Digestion and IBS

Living Well

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Chiropractic and Nutrition               413-663-5500


Digestion and IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) causes pain and discomfort, embarrassment, anguish, debilitation and ruins the quality of life of millions of its victims. It is estimated that one in five suffer from one form or other of IBS and that women appear to be more prone to it.2 The truth of the matter is that, all kinds of digestive disorders like reflux, ulcers, gas, stomach pain, etc. are all wrapped around similar causes.

Doctors call IBS a functional disorder because there is no sign of disease when the colon is examined. IBS also tends to occur with other pain disorders, such as fibromyalgia (49 percent of patients also have IBS), chronic fatigue syndrome (51 percent), chronic pelvic pain (50 percent), and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (the joint of the jaw and is frequently referred to as TMJ) (64 percent).3

People with IBS appear to have hypersensitive nerves within the large intestine. Under certain conditions (such as stress or consumption of certain foods *), the normal passage of stool and gas may cause pain. Research has suggested that IBS patients have extra sensitive pain receptors in the gastrointestinal tract, which may be related to an abnormal level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating digestion and mood. Their level of serotonin may help explain why people with IBS are likely to be anxious or depressed.4

Within the brain, serotonin is localized mainly in nerve pathways emerging from serotonergic pathways that spread extensively throughout the brainstem.5 Although the connection is still poorly understood, emotional stress is also often a significant component of IBS.6

Digestive disorders are painful and since all organs require nutrients to function, if digestion is off; so is total body health. So do something about digestion now.


1. Nutritional and lifestyle choices. If you have IBS, then cutting out not only gluten, but grains is important to recovering.

2. Eliminating alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars, and fatty foods can significantly reduce symptoms.

3. It is also important to remove known food allergens or irritants which we can help you identify.

4. Take a daily probiotic. Taking Vitamin D3 with Probiotic is something we recommend. Several studies recently prove that probiotics are not only safe, but effective, in improving symptoms of IBS and bowel movement frequency.

5. At Living Well can help you get to the cause of your IBS through a thorough Nutritional Response Testing examination and analysis. As the study above revealed, sensitive nerves are a key part of digestive disorders and IBS type syndromes.

2American College of Gastroenterology Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Task Force (2002). Evidence-based position statement on the management of irritable bowel syndrome in North America. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 97(11, Suppl): S1-S26.
3Whitehead WE, Palsson O, et al. Systematic review of the comorbidity of irritable bowel syndrome with other disorders: What are the causes and implications? Gastroenterology. 2002 Apr;122(4):1140–56.
4Kasper DL, Braunwald E, et al. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2005:2298–303.
6Delvaux M. Alterations of sensori-motor functions of the digestive tract in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2004 Aug;18(4):747–71.
7Floch MH, Narayan R. Diet in the irritable bowel syndrome. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2002 Jul;35(1 Suppl):S45–S52.
8EurekAlert Oct. 6, 2008

* Some foods you should avoid when dealing with IBS.


North Adams Chiropractor | Digestion and IBS. Dr. Francine Lajoie is a North Adams Chiropractor.