Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is it?

IBS is one of the most common maladies affecting adults. As the name implies, IBS feels like the bowel is irritable or “angry.” People with IBS experience cramps, diarrhea, feelings of constipation, and generalized abdominal pain usually experienced in the lower abdomen. “Bloating” is a common complaint, especially after meals.

What causes it?

There may be several causes for IBS. One of the more common is the inability to digest certain sugars. Without digestion, these sugars ferment into the gases methane, butane, and formate. These gases are irritating to the gut, produce abnormal motility, and are quite smelly (they are components of “swamp gas” and are quite flammable). These gases have also been associated with generalize muscle pain (similar to fibromyalgia).

You should see your doctor about any ongoing abdominal pain. You will probably need to have some diagnostic tests performed to rule out serious gut disease - peptic ulcers, cancer, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s Disease (ileitis).

What role might cytokines play?

Cytokines probably play a minimal role in IBS, although the relationship to diet and gut hormone production is being studied. We know that specific gut hormones [e.g., cholecystokinin (CCK), ghrelin, motilin, gastrin] are released in different amounts and patterns depending on meal consistency. We also know that inflammatory cytokines are related to an abnormal amount or pattern of gut hormone release. However, no consistent cause-effect relationship has yet been established.

What results could I expect with MNT?

This Plan is an ideal way to test for and improve symptoms of IBS. Many patients improve or resolve using PrescriptFit strategies without the need for costly tests or medication. In our clinical experience, most patients report rapid results, often noting improvements the first week.

Food Phase 1 requires use of PrescriptFit lactose-free products only (no other food). You should take at least eight doses per day along with a complete multivitamin. You may consume as many as 20 doses per day, if needed, to feel satisfied.

If you are taking medication, especially for high blood pressure, diabetes, acid reflux, or cardiac disease, your physician will need to carefully monitor your condition throughout the Plan.

Food Phases likely to cause symptom recurrence are vegetables, fruit, dairy products, and starchy foods. Sugars found in milk, fruit, beans (legumes), and wheat ferment in the gut to form methane, butane, and formate. By adding each food group sequentially, you can identify and then avoid the offending foods. Use this four-step, trial-and error approach to “weed out” the foods that make you feel bad:

  1. If symptoms increase during a particular Food Phase, simply skip that phase.
  2. Continue adding Phases and note symptoms.
  3. If symptoms occur in subsequent Food Phases, skip those phases as well until all 13 Food Phases are complete.
  4. Sequentially add previously offensive Food Phases and note results.

What results could I expect with MNT?

First, you need to be clear about what symptoms of IBS you might have. Next, you want to measure how severe each symptom is for you. This will give you a baseline to compare with future measurements. Most importantly, you (and your doctor) need a way to measure progress over time. Talk with your doctor at each regular visit about your symptoms and how they might change using the PrescriptFit Plan.

Let Us Help You

If weight loss is your goal, follow one of our 3, 7, or 14 day Food Phase Strategies.

If improving symptoms or health conditions is your goal, follow one of our 3, 7, or 14 day Food Phase Strategies.