The IBS Treatment Center is hoping its unique diagnosis and treatment approach can have many irritable bowel syndrome patients looking forward to the holidays rather than fearing them.
The treatment center based in Seattle, Washington, and founded by Dr. Stephen Wangen, is the only clinic of its kind in the United States. The center aims to discover the root causes of each individual patient's symptoms and tailor a targetted treatment plan to achieve the best results possible.
Dr. Wangen is a licensed and board certified physician who trained for his doctoral degree in naturopathic medicine at the world renowned Bastyr University. He suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) himself and was able to successfully overcome his condition after discovering he had an intolerance to gluten (wheat protein).
Dr. Wangen went on to set up the successful IBS Treatment Center and is also the author of the 'The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution', which like the center, educates IBS patients about the underlying causes of their symptoms and what can be done about them.
Typically IBS is diagnosed when conventional medical tests have ruled out more serious conditions and as such is a sort of "catch-all" diagnoses for unexplained digestive symptoms. IBS patients are often given basic advice such as to eat more fibre or reduce stress and are then left to their own devices. Sometimes patients will be given drugs to control their symptoms but these simply mask the condition rather than attempting to correct what is causing it.
Many people suffering from IBS fail to achieve any measurable relief from their symptoms through their doctor or gastroenterologist. The conventional medical line is that the causes of IBS are unknown so little can be done. Dr. Wangen and colleagues at the IBS Treatment Center disagree with this assessment saying that there is a solid research base pointing to causative factors in IBS that can be effectively addressed to bring relief to patients.
At the treatment center the patient first undergoes specialized diagnostic testing that would not be carried out in a conventional medical setting. Dr. Wangen states that: "Traditional diagnostic tests are simply inadequate for detecting the majority of the causes of IBS. Resolving IBS takes considerable interaction with the patient, specialized lab tests not commonly performed, and patient-involved treatment - all of which fall outside today's typical medical practice. The IBS Treatment Center's unique approach combines highly specialized testing with extensive doctor-patient interaction resulting in a very high success rate."
Research has uncovered a number of factors that seem to consistently play a role in IBS. The main factors thought to play a role in IBS are food allergies and intolerances, and disturbances in the gut flora; that is the amount and type of micro-organisms living in the gut. Overgrowth of the wrong type of bacteria, known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO, or the presence of large amounts of yeast (Candida) or parasites can certainly trigger symptoms.
The main tests the treatment center uses are a blood test to detect food allergies/intolerances and a stool test to look for pathogenic bacteria, yeasts, and parasites. The blood test looks for raised levels of IgE and IgG antibodies to over 100 foods including common allergy culprits dairy, eggs, corn, soy, almonds, peanuts, wheat, and seafood. The center also tests patients for deficiencies of vitamins and minerals which can contribute to a host of symptoms.
Once the disgnostic testing has discovered what is contributing to a patients IBS symptoms, Dr. Wangen and his team can devise an individualized treatment plan to address these causes. They assert that once the causes of a patients IBS have been identified, the treatment is relatively straightforward. Treatment typically involves the use of an elimination diet that excludes food identified with the blood test, treatment of bacterial, yeast, and parasite infections using natural antibiotics, and the use of probiotic bacteria and vitamin/mineral supplements.
In a press release the IBS Treatment Center attributes its extremely high success to this model of identifying underlying causes and tailoring treatment to the indidual rather than simply dishing out generic advice.
So if you are one of the millions of people suffering silently with irritable bowel syndrome and dreading the fast approaching holiday season, a trip to the IBS Treatment Center could be just what the doctor ordered.
Visit the IBS Treatment Center website
Alternatively Dr. Wangen's book provides detailed information about the effective treatment of IBS and has a wealth of useful advice for patients