Crazy Food Journey

Living with newfound food intolerances (allergies, reactions)


on August 5, 2013

What is IBS? I’ve heard the word so much. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you have too. This disorder affects 10 to 15% of North Americans according to Medicine Net. It seems to me then, that we ought to understand it a little better. IBS stands for “irritable bowel syndrome.” With my troubles I have heard this diagnosis so many times. “You have IBS, it will just hit you sometimes and you’ll be miserable, and sometimes you’ll be ok.” Now, I’m not normally one to speak up, but this was getting on my nerves, hearing it from every doctor after weeks of tests.

So I asked my GP, “Isn’t IBS more of a label doctors use when they know something’s wrong with you, but they don’t know what it is?” Now, here’s the part that surprised me, the upshot of his answer was “yes.” He admits that I am hurting (which is more than some people give me), but he does not know what it is. Furthermore, he’s giving up on giving me a real diagnosis and a plan of action.

What are the causes of IBS? If we can find a cause, maybe we can find a diagnosis.

Here’s a strange possibility I found on a WordPress blog.

 “Through the throat we ‘swallow’ our reality.  Difficulties in this area can therefore be associated with resistance or reluctance to accept our reality and take it in.  Food is what nourishes us and keeps us alive; it is a symbol of the nourishment in our world that [sic] is often used to replace such qualities.  Yet how often were we told as children to ‘eat our words’, and thus to swallow our feelings?  As Serge King writes in Imagineering for Health,

 We tend to associate food with ideas, as evidenced by such expressions as ‘food for thought’, ‘do you expect me to swallow that?’, ‘you’re feeding me a bunch of baloney’, that idea is unpalatable’, and ‘he was force-fed with the wrong ideas’, The throat, then, and the glands and organs in and around it, can swell up and get sore as a repressed response to ideas that are unacceptable”.  Deb Shapiro THE BODYMIND WORKBOOK


“All stomach disorders are the manifestation of a failure or refusal to “stomach” a person or situation that you fear or cannot tolerate.  You resist new ideas, especially those of others. It is also difficult for you to deal with someone or something that contradicts your plans, habits, or ways of doing things. You criticize easily (inwardly) and this prevents you from letting go.  Your Body’s Telling You: Love Yourself! Lise Bourbeau

Really? I think that is a bunch of bologna. I’ll grant you that stress could be worsening an already present problem, but this seems to be implying that if I fix my feelings, I will be healed. So my symptoms are once again said to be caused by my mind.  Every doctor I went to said, at some point, “You’re under a lot of stress aren’t you, Hannah?” And some of them would then proceed to prescribe an antidepressant. I was willing to try anything to feel better and did for several weeks, but there was absolutely no change in my pain and symptoms. However, my doctors seemed to think they had come up with the best solution remaining to me. Obviously, though, there must be some root cause or causes of IBS. That can’t possibly be the best we can do.

Do a Google search with me for causes of IBS.

“remains unknown”–WebMd

“It is not exactly known”–Mayo Clinic

“Doctors don’t know exactly what causes IBS”–Medicine Net

“the disorder has both physical and mental causes and is not a product of a person’s imagination”–NDDIC

I wrote earlier that 10 to 15% of North Americans are affected by this disorder. Why do we not know yet what causes it? There are, of course, theories, but my doctor offered me none of these possible causes. I suppose he figured that the diagnosis of IBS would be enough to make me happy, but I continued to search for an explanation. I hope you do also. Here is a list of theories: What Causes IBS?

Look at this list. I hope it helps you figure out a little more about what may be going on with you. At this point, I place most of my hope for almost anyone in a diagnosis of food intolerances and changing their diet appropriately.

Sorry for the longer post today, but I think this is an important subject.



4 responses to “IBS

  1. Laura says:

    Whew. For a minute there, I thought you were agreeing with that post you quoted. I was going to throw a little hissy fit.

    • I pretty much did throw a hissy fit when I read that blog. I also just about came unglued when I read that a possible cause of IBS is mental health (or lack thereof, I suppose). It really upsets me that IBS is the diagnosis. It’s not the cause of my symptoms, it is simply the label. Mainstream doctors just don’t accept their error yet. Anyway, I suppose you can’t tell how I feel on this subject. 😉

      • Laura says:

        I understand. We’ve been down that road ourselves with a few different things. I like having a label I can research and learn more about, but it should never be confused with an actual diagnosis and a disease that can be treated.
        Of course, once you get that label, doctors seem to have you crossed off their lists, problem solved. grrr…

  2. […] considered about 3 years ago, but now it seems second nature to me to realize that ADHD, much like IBS, is not a disease, nor really a diagnosis, but simply a label for a group of symptoms. In an NPR […]

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