Both the small and large intestines are involved in this syndrome of impaired intestinal motility. Symptoms include cramping, usually in the lower abdomen, and constipation alternating with diarrhea. The pain is usually relieved by the passage of either small-diameter stools of varying consistency or gas and mucus. Symptoms may be chronic or occur at intervals, and are often triggered by anxiety-producing periods of stress.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is invariably caused by hidden food allergies or sensitivities. The colons of some people are so sensitive that they react to certain common foods as if they were poisons. The aggravating foods differ from one person to the next but may include such things as wheat, milk products, oranges and citrus fruit, caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, colas), and/or the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, paprika, cayenne, chilli, tobacco). Tracking down and eliminating the offending foods relieves this condition. Total relief will not come, however, until every molecule of the culprit(s) is/are eliminated from the diet. A little bit of a poison is still a poison.
The symptoms of irritable colon flare up during periods of stress because of the “threshold” effect on weak adrenal glands. Food allergies/sensitivities create a low-grade form of stress that is always there as long as the offending foods are eaten. Working creates stress. So do family and social situations. During times of low stress, the adrenal glands may be able to cope with the allergic-type stress without displaying any symptoms. Stresses pile up, however. On high stress days the adrenals become overworked and cannot cope with the irritating foods. It is as if each person has a threshold of stress beyond which allergic symptoms are experienced but below which they are not. Strengthening the adrenal glands nutritionally can raise this threshold considerably. Sometimes adrenal strengthening by itself completely eliminates allergic reactions.
Also see the chapters, “One’s Food is Another’s Poison” and “It Begins with Digestion”, in NUTRITIONAL SOLUTIONS FOR 88 CONDITIONS (available at Amazon.com)