The exact causes of IBS are still unknown, this is one of the reason's why the NHS is ill-equipped to deal with patients.
However, the good news is that there are a number of areas that your GP may not have explored.
At our clinic we explore the following areas to see if they are linked to IBS: including Parasites, Candida, SIBO, Food intolerances such as gluten intolerance and stress.
Please scroll down to read up on each of these:
If you would like to read an article on SIBO Victoria Tyler wrote recently for Positive Health magazine, please view:
by Michael Franklin
These have proved to be a cause of people’s symptoms in 31% of the sufferers from IBS who have consulted us. They are especially likely to be a cause where the major symptoms are:
1. Diarrhoea or endless loose bowel movements;
2. Abdominal pain;
3. A lot of gurgling or churning accompanied by the first two symptoms.
If the origin of the symptoms can be traced back to a bad stomach upset experienced on foreign travel, it increases the likelihood that parasites are the problem.
Even if the patient has been treated previously by means of a parasite test on the NHS, it is still very important to do a parasite test with the American laboratory that we use because their techniques are infinitely more sophisticated and will almost certainly find parasites in circumstances where an NHS test did not.
Dientamoeba fragilis and Blastocystis hominis are the commonest parasites that we find in Britain. The former should be relatively easy to eradicate; the latter can be extremely stubborn. If you have done a stool test in the past that showed you had parasites but are wondering if you have fully eradicated them, you may like to get in touch with us because:
1. We can arrange for the best possible new test for you; and
2. If that test proves positive, we can put you on to treatments that actually work.
Metronidazole (also known as Flagyl), for instance, is the only drug prescribed by GPs in Britain for parasites, but it does not work in a great number of cases. It also tends to produce side effects which can be just as bad as, or even worse than, the original symptoms.
A VERY RECENT CASE HISTORY
The problem for patients is that GP’s just do not seem to be aware that parasites can be a major cause of IBS. Nor, for that matter, even more surprisingly do gastroenterologists.
We have just had a patient in her twenties who has had EXTREMELEY BAD IBS for ten months – so bad in fact, that she has had to be off work for the whole of that time. She has been having diarrhoea up to fifteen times a day (ten times during the day and five during the night). She had been to her GP who suggested it was due to a virus! An exclamation mark is the kindest way I can think of commenting on that particular diagnosis.... Then eventually she was sent for a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, a barium meal, and a sigmoidoscopy. So these four tests together must have cost the NHS well over £1000 (or would have cost anyone doing them privately a total of about £2,500) and would have been followed by numerous visits to consultants.
What would we have done? The moment we saw that she had given diarrhoea ten out of ten on our long questionnaire we would have immediately suspected parasites. When we audited 120 successive stool tests that we did with the American laboratory we use, we found that 31.6% of those patients had parasites. Yet GP’s and gastroenterologists seldom ever seem to consider them when they are investigating a patient with diarrhoea.
For more on parasites, read Michael Franklin’s article below which appeared in Positive Health magazine entitled “The Real Causes of IBS”.
The IBS & Gut Disorder Centre
London, Sussex and Oxford
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The Real Causes of IBS
by Michael Franklin
If you would like to read the cover story article Michael Franklin wrote recently for Positive Health magazine, please click on the link below.