By Robert Gilliland, B.S., D.C. –
Over twenty-seven million Americans suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and yet no one can agree on a cause. Is it a neurological disorder? Is it caused by food sensitivities, hormone imbalances, stress, medications such as antibiotics, or genetics?
What I find clinically is a combination of the above. The one thing common in IBS or suffers is this – it almost always starts in the gut. Let’s take a look at the probable causes and tie it all together.
The four main neurotransmitters are Serotonin, Dopamine, Acetylcholine and Gaba. Your body has a limited supply- more has to be manufactured, 75-85 percent of the building blocks of these NT’s are found in the gut.
Almost everyone with IBS or IBD has a ‘problem’ food that will most likely give them symptoms.
Hormones are regulated by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
Stress eats up B vitamins. The more B vitamins you have, the better you handle stress.
Medicine – (Antibiotics)
Antibiotics kill all bacteria, good and bad. After a round of antibiotics, the bad bacteria can over populate.
Some people are more susceptible than others because of a genetic quirk.(HLA- xx)
Tying It All Together – What I see clinically
A person is introduced to food (wheat, corn, soy, dairy) at a very young age, before their digestive system is fully developed, causing food intolerances – signs may include colic, spitting up food, eczema, chronic ear infections, chronic upper respiratory infections, asthma, etc. (These are typically things we ‘grow out of’ – only we don’t really grow out of it, it just goes into hiding).
Or, a person lacks sufficient stomach acid. (It is extremely important to produce adequate amounts of stomach acid to disinfect the food coming into our bodies; to prevent H. pylori in the stomach and parasites in the gut) Sufficient stomach acid is also needed to utilize B vitamins, especially B12. Stomach acid also starts the digestive process by creating an acidic bolus to alert the liver and pancreas to release other digestive enzymes.
What Happens When Digestion Is Compromised?
Low stomach acid – incomplete food digestion, inability to utilize B12 (adequate amounts of stomach acid are needed to ‘kick-start’ the intrinsic factor that allows your body to use vitamin B12), makes stomach susceptible to H. pylori (the cause of most stomach ulcers), food is not sterilized (bad things pass through to your intestines), poor fat digestion (stomach acid starts the digestive process, without an acidic bolus (digested food), the liver (gall bladder) and pancreas don’t receive the proper signal to release their digestive enzymes to breakdown fat) – undigested food is digested by bacteria in your gut (example: beans; humans don’t digest beans, the bacteria in our gut do this for us, this is why you are ‘gassy’ after eating beans) – the bad bacteria in your gut gets fed and overpopulates – the excretion from the bad bacteria (lipopolysaccharides) forms a film layer on the villi in your intestines (villi are tiny finger-like projections that bring nutrients into your body) where the bad bacteria hide, this film layer also prevents nutrients from getting into your system (creating nutritional deficiencies) – the bad bacteria breakdown the tight junction between your intestinal cells or the cellular matrix (the insides of the cell), creating a ‘leaky gut’ (a leaky gut is when the small ‘holes’ in your gut become bigger, allowing undigested food particles or large proteins into you system) when these larger proteins get into your system they are attacked by your immune system and antibodies are made – you may develop an autoimmune condition (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, where your immune system attacks your own tissue) – a dysfunctional immune system can alter hypothalamus function (the hypothalamus is the master regulator; it controls hormones) – a poor functioning hypothalamus disrupts the delicate hormonal balance and neurotransmitters (Serotonin, Dopamine, Gaba and Actylcholine) become deficient – deficient hormones cause a disruption in how the body communicates, leading to chronic conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1983 and have spent over 20 years looking for a better solution, a natural solution. The approach I take is not to treat the disease, but rather, correct the underlying cause(s).
To learn more about a natural alternative to IBS, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and what you can do about it without drugs, come to one of my free seminars on Saturday, September 8th or September 22nd at 1 pm at 27499 Riverview Center Blvd, Bonita Springs, FL. Seating is limited so call and reserve your seat now, 239-444-3106.