Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder. It is called a “functional” disorder because the nerves and muscles of the intestinal tract are dysfunctioning. Functional disorders are a group of medical conditions which are due to changes to the functioning of the systems of the body rather than due to a disease affecting the structure of the body. Therefore, the doctor cannot find any abnormalities on tests in your bowels. The diagnosis is through your symptom pattern (with history and physical exam) over time.

Symptoms include pain in your abdomen with IBS and changes in your bowel movements (diarrhea, constipation or both).  Furthermore, other symptoms include bloating, nausea, headaches, mucus in the stool and an incomplete feeling with bowel movement. Indeed, IBS can cause discomfort and it can severely affect your quality of life. Symptoms can range from mildly annoying to disabling. It may impact a person’s life in many ways at home and work. 

Read on to find out How Chiropractic Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome through Adjustments and Nutrition.


Cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 In IBS, the normally rhythmic muscular contractions of the digestive tract become irregular and uncoordinated. This interferes with the normal movement of food and waste material, and leads to the accumulation of mucus and toxins in the intestine.  So the normally rhythmic muscular contractions of the digestive tract become irregular and uncoordinated.  Next, this leads to accumulation of mucus/toxins in your intestines.  The end result is pain, distension and constipation.  IBS may involve the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth through the colon.  Lastly, the definitive cause of IBS is unknown. 


More on Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Research suggests symptoms of IBS are found in 10% to 22% of adults.  However,  only 14% to 50% of these adults do go to their doctor for help.  Scientists have grouped IBS into 2 groups:

(1) Abdominal pain that seems to be related to meals and stress

(2) Bowel habit complaints, and usually constipation is the main complaint, but diarrhea may be the next complaint. And abdominal pain is not the chief complaint. Some studies describe a typical IBS person maybe often “depressed or stressed”.


Lifestyle Factors to Consider in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Firstly, lifestyle factors such as stress and diet (e.g. food allergies) are probably common causes. Malnutrition may result because nutrients often are not absorbed properly. Secondly, the overuse of antibiotics, antacids, or laxatives, which disturb the normal bacterial microflora of the bowel, may also be a factor.  Thirdly, IBS patients can have an active, productive life if they change their diets, get regular exercise and replace depleted nutrients. 


Supplementation Recommendations for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 Essential Fatty Acids (Flaxseed oil and Primrose oil)- necessary for intestinal lining

L-Glutamine– protects the villi (finger-like projection absorbs food and increases the surface area) of the intestines.

Vitamin B complex– important for proper muscle function in G.I. tract

Vitamin B12– lozenges can be used. Needed for proper digestion and anemia prevention.

Acidophilus– to restore normal bacteria in your gut

Fiber– for healing and cleansing.  Wheat bran may not be tolerated; instead try oat bran, and flaxseeds, psyllium seeds.

Free form amino acid complex (free form are predigested/already separated)– helps heal the mucous membranes of the intestines

Garlic– Rids toxins from colon

Multivitamin and Mineral Complex– replenishes nutrients lost through diarrhea or not absorbed

N-Acetylglucosamine– (There are several forms of glucosamine, including glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetyl glucosamine.)- an important component of your intestinal lining that protects it from digestive enzymes and other damaging substances passing through the intestines. N-acetylglucosamine prevents leaky gut syndrome.

Proteolytic enzymes with Pancreatin– for protein digestion and to prevent leaky gut syndrome. Also helps with inflammation

Quercetin– an antioxidant; helps manage allergic response to foods

Calcium and MagnesiumHelps the nervous system when under stress and prevention of colon cancer

Shark Cartilage-  Combats cancer cells

Herbs- Milk Thistle extract (for liver), licorice, red clover burdock root, Peppermint (for upset stomach), skullcap and valerian root (for intestinal function), balm, chamomile, fenugreek, ginger, goldenseal, marshmallow, pau d’ arco, rose hips, slippery elm

Aloe Vera– healing for digestive tract


Chiropractic Care in West Palm Beach:

According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, people with IBS are more likely to have other disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pelvic, or temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ.  And Chiropractic care is effective for all of the above!

Firstly, management includes chiropractic manipulation treatment to keep the spine and extremity (arms and legs) joints stay flexible.  Secondly, Chiropractic manipulation is always combined with soft tissue techniques at Meiri Chiropractic. Thirdly, stretching and postural exercises are very helpful. Fourthly, chiropractic adjustments to your spine help improve the relationship between the spine and nervous system, which affects the function of all the organs and systems in your body.  Fifthly, lifestyle changes/nutritional recommendations are necessary.


 Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a Chronic condition with periods of exacerbation and remission. De-Stressing /relaxation techniques and dietary factors are crucial for remission. Keeping a diary with relation to the onset of symptoms is a great tool. Frequently, Chocolate milk products and alcohol/tobacco are common triggers. Also, avoidance of animal fats, dairy/lactose, fructose, and sorbitol may help. In addition, gas-producing foods such as cabbage, cauliflower, raisins, grapes, raw onions, sprouts, coffee, red wine, and beer should be eliminated.  You can take note in your diary to determine the effect. 5-6 small meals through out the day versus two or three large meals are recommended.  Eat plenty of high fiber diet foods including fruits and vegetables, brown rice and legumes (if tolerated).  When an exacerbation occurs, eat a bland diet (e.g. vegetables/fruits in a blender). Always drink plenty of water and herbal teas.


Dr. Natalie Meiri
Dr. Natalie Meiri
How Chiropractic Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome through Adjustments and Nutrition

Long-term use of pain medication/drugs can cause gastric and renal (kidney) consequences.  In conclusion, chiropractic along with the use of a correct diet/ supplement recommendations, stress management and exercise are helpful for management of irritable bowel syndrome.

At Meiri Chiropractic we spend the time necessary to examine, diagnose and treat every neuromusculoskeletal condition and various ailments you have.  Chiropractic is a holistic and natural way to not only treat existing conditions, but to keep your body in its best working condition.  We have been offering effective chiropractic care in Palm Beach county since 2006.  Many of our patient reviews note our excellence.  Call us today at 561-253-8984 to make an appointment or to find out more about How Chiropractic Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome through Adjustments and Nutrition.

*For all the above, please check with your primary care doctor before implementation of  supplement/diet recommendations.


  • References: Prescription for Nutritional Healing (3rd edition), Phyllis A. Balch, CNC
  • References: Jame Gerber, Hand book of Preventative and Therapeutic Nutrition, 1993
  • Thomas Souza,  (2018) Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor