Irritable Bowel Syndrome

As many as 45 million Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While IBS symptoms are disruptive, the impact on your overall gut health can have a wide-reaching effect on the rest of your well-being.

At FoundationMED in Raleigh, North Carolina, the functional medicine physicians provide expert diagnosis and customized treatments to restore your digestive health, relieve your symptoms, and improve your overall well-being.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

IBS is a common digestive problem that causes a variety of disruptive symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and abdominal distension

IBS interferes with the way your body digests food and absorbs nutrients. It weakens your overall gut health and can cause problems throughout your other body systems. IBS can also increase your risk of yeast infections and parasites such as worms.

Additionally, IBS irritates the thin, but critical, lining of your intestinal tract. When the single-cell-thick lining is weakened, it leads to leaky gut syndrome, which causes poor nutrient absorption and allows foreign substances and toxins to enter your body. Functional medicine experts believe that leaky gut syndrome contributes to autoimmune disorders and inflammation throughout your body.

Causes of IBS


Many factors contribute to IBS. For example, a food sensitivity can disrupt regular digestive function. Gluten, dairy, sugars, and the preservatives found in processed foods can trigger IBS. Additionally, antibiotics and common over-the-counter medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause IBS.

Your digestive tract is also home to trillions of bacteria and other flora that support your digestive function. However, dysbiosis (dysregulated gut flora) and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can disrupt your digestive health, trigger IBS symptoms, and lead to leaky gut syndrome.

How is IBS treated?

The physicians at FoundationMED begin treatment with a thorough exam and testing to identify the underlying condition causing your IBS. They study the basic health of your gut and consider your lifestyle and diet to diagnose any underlying issues and determine the best treatment to correct the root cause of the problem. They also work with licensed health coaches who can help you implement needed lifestyle changes.

In many cases, you may benefit from diet modifications. Depending on your needs, your physician may recommend the low FODMAP diet, AIP diet (paleo autoimmune protocol), or the 4R gut reset program (remove, replace, reinoculate, repair). These diets also reduce your exposure to food-based toxins and maximize your digestive capacity by incorporating fermented or live-culture foods to rebalance your gastrointestinal flora.

By removing irritants from your digestive tract, your intestinal lining can heal, reducing both your IBS and other health issues. For example, you may find that you have more energy, and your skin looks better when you follow one of the physician-recommended diets.

Call FoundationMED or schedule a consultation online today to get Save to the bottom of your digestive problems and receive customized treatment and care to restore your health.