Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome services offered in Portland, OR

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common problem that causes bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea or constipation. Digestive system specialist Ilana Gurevich ND, LAC, MSOM, of Open Wellness PDX, uses natural methods to treat patients with IBS. Dr. Gurevich is a board-certified naturopathic physician and acupuncturist who uses treatments such as neural therapy, ozone therapy, and Chinese medicine to treat IBS. To find out how you could benefit from natural IBS remedies, call the office in Portland, Oregon, or book an appointment online today.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q&A

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder affecting the lower intestinal tract. It causes symptoms that include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea

IBS can cause immense discomfort and distress. However, it doesn’t result in permanent harm to your small or large intestine. Unlike the similarly-named inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), IBS doesn’t lead to severe disease or cause complications.

Up to 20% of adults in the United States have IBS symptoms. It occurs more often in women, and half the people who have IBS develop it before the age of 35. In some cases, IBS becomes disabling. It may affect you so severely that you’re unable to work, go to social events, or travel even a short distance.

What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

IBS has several causes. They often relate to problems with the small and large intestine and problems with the epithelium (colon lining). Common IBS symptoms include:

  • Bowel contents moving too quickly (causing diarrhea)
  • Bowel contents moving too slowly (causing constipation)
  • Certain food triggers causing pain
  • Stress causing worsening digestive symptoms 
  • Bacterial infections, like gastroenteritis leading to post-infectious IBS
  • Changes in the gut microbiome (healthy bacteria)
  • Abdominal bloating, gas, and pain
  • Fatigue 

Abnormal levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter chemical) in the gastrointestinal tract can also trigger IBS.

How does naturopathic gastroenterology help with IBS?

When using a naturopathic approach to treating irritable bowel syndrome, Dr. Gurevich first identifies and addresses your IBS triggers and underlying causes. By doing so, she reduces your discomfort and the frequency of your IBS episodes and may eliminate the recurrence of IBS symptoms altogether.

Naturopathic treatment for IBS involves developing a detailed understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, emotional, psychological, environmental, and lifestyle. Potential IBS treatments include:

  • Herbal medicines
  • Supplements
  • Chinese medicine
  • Neural therapy
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Pharmaceuticals, when indicated

Dr. Gurevich also manages associated health problems, like gallbladder disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and intestinal permeability (leaky gut). Leaky gut occurs when your gut lining is inflamed and becomes porous. This process may let particles of food and toxins through the endothelium (colon lining) and lead to an immune reaction to the foods. 

Conventional treatments for IBS don’t look for the underlying cause, and might cause side effects, so trying natural therapies avoids these issues. Some patients do best by combining conventional medications and naturopathic treatment. Dr. Gurevich can help with any side effects caused by conventional treatments.

To find out how naturopathic treatment could relieve your irritable bowel syndrome, call Open Wellness PDX today, or book an appointment online.