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Relief for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Sufferers
by Kathryn Burnachie

There's nothing so upsetting and embarrassing as suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)...

Alternating constipation and diarrhea, stomach cramps, gas, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and lots of colonic mucus! But almost every alternative practitioner has a health-related story of how they got into nutrition... this is mine.

At the age of 18 I started to have digestive problems. Looking back, I displayed classic symptoms of lactose intolerance, and I didn't even know what lactose was at that age. And even if I did recognize the symptoms, there where other factors which were a much more likely explanation.

However, my symptoms were quite infrequent until I went to work abroad where I contracted dysentery and related stomach infections. After numerous antibiotic treatments I was still no better. And when I returned home, I continued to have serious stomach problems until I was diagnosed with IBS.

I had just started a new life with new friends, yet I would have to disappear at any moment to the bathroom.

In the beginning some of my friends would joke about my unexplained absences, but it wasn't very funny at all... Getting to the bathroom before having an accident was causing major stress and wreaking my social life! And what if I didn't make it? That thought filled me with fear. It got so I was scared to leave home. What if I got stuck in traffic or couldn't find a bathroom in an emergency?

It became a vicious cycle of stress-induced symptoms. Shear panic about whether I could find a bathroom in time just increased the frequency and severity of my symptoms. Worry was wreaking my life and I was starting to feel helpless and out of control. When I was finally diagnosis with Irritable Bowel Syndrome I was sort of relieved to at least know what the problem was... Maybe, the doctors would help me find a cure. Had to be good news right? NOT!

They told me IBS was just a psychological problem... It was all "in my head" and just "learn to live with it". The Syndrome in IBS is really a set of symptoms. But there is a solution... Finding a compassionate alternative therapist is the key. Many doctors don't understand the symptoms of IBS much less how to treat it effectively.

IBS can masquerade as other serious illnesses and disease. Work with an informed alternative medicine practitioner to investigate your digestive symptoms before undergoing a course of treatment.

Ultimately IBS can be controlled, but it's up to you to take responsibility for your own health!