I get lots of enquiries from people, mainly women, who are having real struggles with digestive and gut disorders/diseases, and this one came through this week:
‘Hi Linda. I went on holiday to Thailand last year, and got an upset stomach. Since then I’ve had bloating, pain and irregular bowels. I’ve been to see my GP and he tells me I’ve probably got IBS.’
When I hear stories like this, I can feel the frustration, and the downright stupidness and lack of vision in our healthcare system. I could honestly scream!!!
Well of course this poor lady is well on her way to getting IBS. The No.1 cause of IBS is a gut infection!
She should have been put on a multi-species probiotic immediately she came back from her holiday, well even before she went to Thailand, as well as other protective natural anti-microbials. If anyone is going to the Far East, Asia, India, Africa, South America and the Caribbean, and they have a sensitive stomach to begin with, I ALWAYS recommend that a week before they go on holiday they begin taking probiotics and anti-microbials, and take them whilst on holiday.
So what do you think is now going to happen to this lady that’s on her way to developing IBS, that is going to affect all aspects of her life – family, work and social? Well if she takes the conventional health service (GP/Gastro) route, it’s highly unlikely her symptoms will improve. In fact, before too long, she will be on cocktail of medication, potentially causing other health issues.
It truly makes my blood boil that so many people, millions of people are being consigned to a life of utter misery because they are not getting simple advice on bowel hygiene and how to protect their bowel when going to foreign climes.
I try to do my bit – education, awareness, carrying out consultations and colonic treatments in my clinic, recommending the Just For Tummies supplements, when appropriate, alongside my colleagues in the natural health professions, but sometimes the problem seems so huge, and it’s a growing problem, make no mistake about that.
Until we get the health service to understand the HUGE link between gut infections and the increased risk of getting IBS, I fear little will change, but how do we get NICE to recommend probiotics after food poisoning events. I, for one, haven’t got the time to lobby them, so we just have to do it through other ways and means, but it can seem a very long, uphill struggle. I just despair sometimes, I honestly do, at the utter lack of common sense. If good bacteria is being washed out due to a gut infection causing diarrhoea, then get some probiotics back in the gut to calm down the inflammation and to help replenish and re-colonise. I haven’t got a medical degree. I haven’t got a degree of any kind, so why can’t the NHS with all its expertise see what’s happening here.
Why can’t Gastroenterologists with all their education see the connection between gut infections and dysbiosis join up the dots!? Don’t they want to see. Is it so simple that they can’t see, or it is just that they follow the NICE guidelines, and until they change, they won’t change their recommendations. Where does common sense come into this, and all the research proving that low diversity of gut bacteria can increase the risk of developing IBS.
It goes without saying that ‘red flags’ need to be eliminated and no GP or healthcare practitioner should assume that symptoms are due to a food poisoning event. After all, there are ‘red herrings’ and we must always have our red herring radar on.