Irritable Bowel Syndrome: What is it & is there a cure?

Updated: May 11

I suffered for years with the sympto ms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Abdominal pains kept me awake at night.

I was bloated to the point I looked pregnant.

Passing stools was a major challenge, and I could be blocked up for days.

Then there was the fatigue, brain fog, nausea, depression and acne.

What was the specialist's response?

You have irritable bowel syndrome. Eat more fibre, take Metamucil and drink more water.

But, none of those things helped.

Until one day, with the help of a knowledgeable holistic health practitioner I discovered the root causes of my IBS symptoms. With a clear plan, dietary changes and some natural supplements I was able to address those causes and now I consider myself an ex-IBS sufferer!

You see, irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS) is a BS diagnosis!

It is a term used for a collection of symptoms (like abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and gas) with numerous underlying triggers and causes.

It is a "waste basket" diagnosis used when other conditions such as colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colorectal cancer and coeliac disease have been excluded (hopefully). (1, 2, 3)

Unlike, those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), for example, IBS shows no visible signs of structural damage to the bowel.

IBS is therefore considered a functional gastrointestinal disorder, characterized by chronic, often disabling, abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. (2, 4, 5)

So, what are the symptoms of IBS?

Common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Generalized abdominal pain or cramping

  • Constipation (difficulty emptying bowels, or infrequent bowel movements)


  • Diarrhea (loose stools, with or without a sense of urgency - having to rush to the toilet)

Some can alternate between constipation and diarrhea. (2)

Many with IBS or poor gut health also complain of:

  • Bloating https 3,6

  • Feeling of incomplete evacuation (7, 9)

  • Mucus with bowel movements (8, 9)

  • Worsening of symptoms after eating (8, 9)

  • Excessive or smelly flatulence (gas) (9, 10)

  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux or heart burn (