IBS Awareness Month: How Functional Medicine Approaches IBS Treatment

IBS Awareness Month: How Functional Medicine Approaches IBS Treatment

For those suffering from chronic illness, it can feel like your illness takes control and that there is little that can be done about it. While traditional medical treatments can become frustrating as doctors attempt to address the symptoms without resolving the underlying issue, there is another option. Functional medicine is a holistic approach to medicine that addresses the body as a whole and how systems interact while treating underlying conditions. By emphasizing the patient’s needs and encouraging discussion between the patient and the functional medicine doctor, functional medicine can greatly help those with IBS to reduce and manage their symptoms.

IBS And Treatment

What Is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic digestive issue that often affects the large intestine. IBS can cause cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, constipation, or any combination of these. Severe forms of this disease can lead to weight loss, rectal bleeding, iron deficiency or anemia, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, frequent fatigue, depression and/or anxiety, and abdominal pain without relief from passing gas or bowel movements. While some people with IBS are not greatly affected by it in their everyday lives, others face difficulties and pain on a daily basis. The severity of symptoms can have a wide range and impact each person’s life differently. Because IBS is a chronic condition where the specific cause is not known, it needs to be continually managed and treated.

IBS can be related to an imbalance of bodily fluids in the digestive process, such as low stomach acid, poor pancreatic juice secretion, or lack of bile. This can cause food to not break down properly, which can then lead to food fermenting or petrifying in the intestines. IBS can also be related to the lining of the intestines; if this lining is too thin, food can pass through this barrier and interact with the immune system. IBS patients commonly have bacteria growth within the small intestine that can be detected with a specialized breath test. Once diagnosed, this bacteria growth can be treated with a specific diet and supplements recommended by a functional medicine doctor.

Functional Medicine And IBS

Functional medicine is a holistic approach to medicine that focuses on the health of the whole body and addresses the cause of an illness instead of focusing solely on reducing the symptoms. For IBS, functional medicine examines all aspects of gut health, including the digestive and nervous systems. This multi-factorial condition can have different causes for different individuals and functional medicine focuses on personalized treatment. While many traditional medical treatments for IBS focus on symptom mitigation, functional medicine uses a comprehensive overview of digestive health for long-term IBS relief. By addressing this chronic illness at its source and having open and honest collaborative discussions with the patient, functional medicine doctors can create a chronic illness management plan that patients can stick with and benefit from long-term.

Address IBS With Functional Medicine In Irvine

If you suspect you have IBS or if you have already been diagnosed and are searching for relief, speak with a functional medicine doctor in Irvine. While IBS is not curable, the symptoms can be managed and a plan for a healthy lifestyle that allows you to live with this condition with reduced symptoms can be designed. A functional medicine doctor will use advanced scientific testing and a customized nutrition plan to help restore normal functions within the body. At Performance Health and Wellness in Irvine, our functional medicine doctors will evaluate you to uncover the underlying causes and triggers of dysfunction, including how your body rids itself of toxins, hormone regulation, the health of your digestive tract, and how your body absorbs nutrients, immune system function, and the inflammatory response. To schedule an appointment at Performance Health and Wellness, either call 1-949-476-1250 or fill out the online contact form.


To help the initial assessment go smoothly, have all medical records and previous lab results sent to Performance Health and Wellness when you book your appointment. This will help our doctors prepare for you and will ensure all information is accurate. If you need assistance or clarification about how to send documents, you can call our helpful and knowledgeable staff at 1-949-476-1250.

If you have gone to the doctor and they have told you that your results show nothing is wrong, that your symptoms are “in your head”, or they are oversimplifying your symptoms (example: claiming your stomach pains are likely only cramps even if they are debilitating), or you otherwise feel you are not receiving the treatment you need, try functional medicine. Because this field is patient-focused and encourages discussion, your concerns will be listened to. Specific medical conditions functional medicine can help treat are:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain
  • Hyperthyroid and Hypothyroid Conditions
  • ‘Adrenal Fatigue’ (HPA Axis Dysfunction)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Weight Gain
  • Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Hormone Imbalances
  • Migraines and Headaches

While there are many differences, here are the major ones:

  • Functional medicine is preventative, conventional medicine is reactive
  • Functional medicine does not rely on overprescribing medication nor is it tied with large pharmaceutical companies
  • Functional medicine focuses on personalized, long term treatment, conventional medicine focuses on quick solutions
  • Functional medicine treats underlying causes, conventional medicine treats symptoms
  • Functional medicine tends to avoid race and gender bias in the medical field as the process is collaborative and focuses on the patient’s needs as they communicate them

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Performance Health & Wellness is a full-service Wellness Facility located in Irvine California. Our team of Chiropractors, Active Release Technique Practitioners, Movement Therapists, and Wellness Therapists will support you on your journey to energized movement and comprehensive health and wellness.

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Connect with yourself by connecting with the team at Performance Health & Wellness. Call (949)476-1250.

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