What’s New with IBS

Have you noticed how times of great life changes often trigger some reflection on the past? For me, my leaving my position at About.com has brought to mind how much has changed on the IBS scene since I wrote my first book, “Breaking the Bonds of Irritable Bowel Syndrome” in 2000. I thought you might find this interesting…

When I was doing research for “Breaking the Bonds,” info on IBS was SO limited. Here is where things were at:

  1. IBS was still seen as something “all in your head”
  2. The only treatments were psychological – CBT and hypnotherapy
  3. Celiac disease was called “celiac sprue” and was considered very, very rare
  4. Food was considered to have no relevance in IBS

Where things are at now:

  1. IBS is now recognized as a complex disorder, involving dysfunction in many body symptoms
  2. Pharmaceutical companies are pouring money into developing IBS medications with a few already on the market
  3. Celiac disease affects a large part of the population and is under-diagnosed in people who have IBS
  4. The low-FODMAP diet not only recognizes that certain foods are IBS triggers, but offers an effective non-medication treatment for IBS

What is new:

  1. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) long dismissed by medical practitioners as being related to IBS, is now recognized as the underlying cause for a surprisingly high number of IBS patients. Even better, it is treatable! If you have a lot of bloating, or your IBS developed after a bad stomach bug, you may want to ask to be tested for SIBO.
  2. Bile Acid Diarrhea (BAD), once just a theory developed by small-town physicians is now also being recognized as being behind IBS in approximately 1/3 of people diagnosed with IBS. If you experience diarrhea right after eating or no longer have a gallbladder, you may want to talk to your doctor about BAD. Like SIBO, it is treatable!
  3. Health Coaching! When I first started to write about IBS, the only tool in my bag for supporting my IBS clients was CBT. Luckily, health coaching is a booming area of growth and has become an effective way to show people how to care for themselves so as to heal from chronic illnesses like IBS. If you are interested in working with me as your coach, click here for an initial consultation.