IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It is known as a "functional disorder" as there are no visible signs of any disease when the bowel is examined but it doesn't work properly. There are definite signs and symptoms that a person experiences indicating that there is a change in functional quality but no visible evidence. A colonoscopy is usually conducted to rule out other diseases such as autoimmune conditions Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
The most important thing to know is......


I have helped sooooo many patients who thought that this was their "new normal" and it just isn't the case.  Everyone is different and has a different reason for their IBS which is why there is no magic pill to fix it.  Work with me to find out the cause of your signs and symptoms and let me help you fix them. Book now to start getting some relief. 
Signs and symptoms that may be connected to IBS include:
  • recurring episodes of diarrhoea or constipation, can be dominant in either or
  • may alternate between diarrhoea and constipation,
  • painful cramps,
  • bloating,
  • mucus in the stool,
  • incomplete evacuation of stools, and
  • nausea.
What is a normal stool?
Normal can be different but generally speaking a normal stool is one that is formed but not hard, contains no blood and is passed without any pains or cramps.
Additional factors to consider when it comes to the stool includes colour and smell
The colour should ideally be a dark brown colour, there is light brown or even black then this may need to be investigated further and could be connected to nutrient absorption and breakdown issues known as malabsorption, this involves the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Also connected to malabsorption is the smell, there should be no odour in the stool. If there is smell this is a sign that the digestive system is struggling to breakdown the food you are eating. Excess flatulence is also an indicator here.
A Naturopath can connect different signs and symptoms to different problems with individual macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats) and work in those areas.
Basically the stool tells A LOT about the health of the digestive tract and I use this information to tailor suit your compounded products just for your symptoms.
Causes of IBS - Frequently seen triggers include beginning after a bout of gastroenteritis and continuing long after the bacteria or virus is gone, food intolerance, poor diet, emotional stress, parasites, and medications.
Emotional stress plays a large role in IBS, strong emotions such as anxiety, stress, and depression can effect the nerves in the bowel. If there are any signs of emotional stress then these need to be addressed as part of the treatment plan. As a Naturopath I work a lot with emotional healing therapy and spend time listening to my patients and helping them through these emotions using herbs and essences to help move past the emotions that are blocking their health.
What is the main underlying cause of IBS?

Your gut bacteria

If you have the not so nice microbes in charge of your intestines then you are going to have issues. Your gut bacteria are responsible for so many functions in the body.  Two main ones that are more noticeable in women are slow metabolism due to thyroid hormones not being converted and heavy painful periods due to a reuptake of oestrogen.  These all happen in your gut and if your gut is out of balance then other systems in the body will also be out of balance. IBS is a symptom of imbalanced gut bacteria and there is a solution, it is not something you have to put up with for the rest of your life.  
What can be done?
As a Naturopath I assess each patient individually to work out a treatment plan that suits them. Then I compound products for each individual patient to get them back on track and enjoying life again.  These include herbal and nutritional medicine as well as making dietary and lifestyle changes. Rather than needing to know the location of every single toilet, everywhere they go. Gut repair and rebalance is done in stages, starting with repairing the lining and reducing inflammation, improving digestion and then onto re-balancing the microbiome. 
Risk factors of not treating IBS
Chronic constipation can lead to haemorrhoids, faecal impaction and rectal prolapse.
Chronic diarrhoea can lead to dehydration. As food is passing through the intestines more rapidly there will be a loss of water, nutrients, and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium which are essential for the function of every cell in the body.
By gaining a thorough understanding of you stool I am able to work out a treatment plan just for you and help you move towards happier days where you don't need an app on your phone to find the closest toilet.
Treatment plans include individually compounded products just for your signs and symptoms.


Appointments can be made for in our clinic as well as through our online video chat software. I help people all over the country and post their products out to them. I can help you too.

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body and reducing metabolic inflammation. Major areas for improvement include gut health, thyroid, kidney, liver, weight loss and mental health. Conditions such as fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, irritable bowel conditions, depression & anxiety. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. 

What if the solution was as simple as changing your diet and your mindset. A growing number researchers believe that it is and that you can prevent or even reverse several of our worst diseases.
As a Naturopathic Doctor and Nutritionist I wholeheartedly believe this could also be possible and that the solution isn't just another pill.  I've spent many years developing my program where I have been able to successfully help my patients reduce and even eliminate their pharma meds, lose weight (most lose 6-8 kilos in 8 weeks) and feel full of energy again and I've helped them take back their health and improve their lives and habits. I can help you too.

Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath

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