Is it time to end those frantic bathroom dashes for good?
If you’re one of the 45 million Americans suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, you know the condition can be as unpredictable as winter weather.
Symptoms like pain, bloating and diarrhea can come on suddenly and stay with you for hours.
And if you’re tired of riding the prescription pill carousel, taking everything from heavy-duty stomach meds to antidepressants to control your IBS, some British researchers may have the news you’ve been waiting for.
Because they’ve discovered that the key to managing your IBS symptoms — and maybe even getting rid of them — is one simple vitamin you can pick up anywhere.
Problem #1: They don’t know what causes it. You’ll hear a lot about how stress, anxiety and certain foods can bring on flare-ups. But ask your typical doc what’s really causing your IBS, and expect a blank stare.
Problem #2: There are actually three different types of IBS. And that makes diagnosing it a challenge. You can have IBS with constipation (IBS-C), IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D), or IBS with alternating constipation and diarrhea! Symptoms can vary quite a bit from patient to patient.
Problem #3: The mainstream doesn’t have any good meds to treat IBS. You’ve probably learned this the hard way. You end up on an anti-diarrheal drug that gives you constipation, or vice-versa. That’s one reason so many IBS patients flip between symptoms.
Doctors even prescribe antidepressants on the theory that the drugs might work on something in your brain that affects intestinal control. Talk about flying blind!
But the good news is that scientists from the University of Sheffield may have discovered a safe and lasting cure for IBS — and it’s as simple as popping a quality vitamin D supplement every day.
You see, a few years ago the research team reported a case study on a middle-aged woman who had suffered with severe IBS-D for 25 years. She tried everything — antibiotics, antidepressants and other drugs. She cut the typical triggers out of her diet, went gluten-free, lactose-free, tried probiotics, colonic irrigation, and even hypnotherapy.
Sounds familiar, right?
But when she started using high dose vitamin D3 supplements, her symptoms improved quickly and significantly. After three years of near normal bowel habits, her only relapses occurred when she cut back on the supplements.
Researchers were so impressed that they went online to see if other people with IBS were talking about vitamin D. They were shocked to find dozens of IBS patients who reported major relief with D3 doses as high as 10,000 IU daily.
Now, for their newest research, the Sheffield researchers analyzed blood tests from 51 IBS patients and found that more than 80 percent of them were vitamin D deficient. This is the first real study to test this link.
For the team’s next study, it plans to recruit IBS patients and give them high-dose D versus a placebo. But one of the researchers is way ahead of them. She’s already treated her own treatment-resistant IBS with D supplements and she says her symptoms have “dramatically improved.”
Other IBS patients shouldn’t wait either, because there’s no downside to using vitamin D supplements. And it’s been proven to provide protection against cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and other health hazards.
And there’s no need to shy away from higher doses of this vitamin either. When you take a short walk in the sunlight on a summer afternoon, your body will naturally generate 10,000 IUs or more of D3 — and that’s more than you’ll find in most supplements.
“Is there a link between IBS and vitamin D deficiency?” Kathleen Lees, December 25, 2015, Science World Report, scienceworldreport.com