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IBS and Probiotics:

A Gastroenterologist's Perspective

 

by Dr. Steven M. Faber

As a gastroenterologist specializing in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for almost 20 years, I have seen thousands of people suffering with varying degrees of IBS with many different symptoms and presentations. My clear observation has been the need for more education and understanding for the patient who is experiencing IBS and as a result suffering a decreased quality of life. So many people after a normal medical and gastroenterology workup and evaluation including colonoscopy are told to “try Metamucil” and “Not to worry, everything is fine, get on with your life.” These people are left wondering, if everything is fine then why do I still hurt? Why do I still have diarrhea or constipation, gas and bloating? Why can’t I finish a meal at a restaurant without having urgency during the meal? Why am I still tired all of the time? Why can’t I attend religious services without being embarrassed by the noises coming from my intestines? Why can’t I exercise and feel good like I used to? These are all common questions that frequently are not answered. Unfortunately, these questions are rarely addressed or answered to the patient’s full satisfaction. It is these patients that I have embraced over the years and helped to not only get better control of their symptoms, but to understand why they are symptomatic and an explanation of some of the underlying causes. In our fast-paced medical and GI practices, little time is available to go into the depth needed to understand IBS and how to better to control IBS symptoms. Educating a patient with IBS and engaging in the necessary “hand holding” we can put the patient in charge again of their life, with a positive attitude, improved symptoms, resulting in an improved quality of life.

 

This is the goal of my video presentation. If I can empower the IBS sufferer with knowledge and understanding and inform them of all their options of treatment and symptom improvement, then hopefully the overall picture will improve. The video reviews the many medications available, as well as how the use of Probiotics may help to correct or improve significantly the most common IBS symptoms. They can then present this information to their physician, hopefully resulting in improvement of symptoms and quality of life.

 

I have been treating my IBS patients with Probiotics since 1998, when I was first introduced to the concept of dysbiosis, defined as imbalance in intestinal gut flora/bacteria and how Probiotics could “put back in balance” the gastrointestinal milieu, which frequently resulted in improvement of the classical IBS symptoms. Probiotics are defined as bacteria that have “significant health benefits.” I have published medical papers, and abstracts on this subject at some of the yearly national and international GI specialists meetings in an attempt to get the attention of my peers and colleagues regarding the role of Probiotics in IBS and GI diseases. Almost ten years later this simple and often times significantly effective therapeutic intervention is not routinely used or understood by the medical profession.


If you decide to watch the video, I suggest you take notes. The video is approximately one hour in length, so try to find some quiet time without interruptions. You owe it to yourself. 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

 

The material presented in this video does not intend to prescribe treatment or provide diagnosis that only a physician should perform. It represents a simplified overview of IBS and all the many manifestations it can take, as well as, several options for treatment that frequently are not offered or used in many medical practices today. These treatment options, however carry the potential for helping a multitude of people who have been suffering for years with classic, IBS symptoms.