IBS– An Integrative Approach — I

I am beginning to prepare a lecture on Irritable Bowel Syndrome to be presented at JFK Medical Cener in Edison NJ in June.  I will be discussing various aspects of this extremely common 'condition'.  In a series of upcoming blogs I will hope to share some of my thoughts with you regarding IBS.

Although this is clearly the most common condition that I treat in my practice of Gastroenterology, my training in dealing with IBS was sorely inadequate.  I assume that the professor types at Mount Sinai did not deem it 'ineresting' or 'fascinating' enough to assign too much time and effort in discussing it.

However, once in clinical private practice, its ubiquity became clear.

IBS is the quintessential 'mind/body' condition.  It affects at least 20% of the population according to statistics.  I believe the true numbers affected are much greater.  It is all a matter of degree, after all.  Those who seek medical attention for 'nervous diarrhea' or 'abdominal cramps' during times of stress vary according to the personallity of the individual patient.

The term "integrative" has only been in usse for a few years.  It reflects the attempt to incorporate standard 'scientifically tested' treatments, including pharmaceutical drugs, with the more 'alternative', 'holistic' approaches. 

The 'integrative'' approach, in my estimation, is compatible with a "metaphysical" approach–one that incorporates a variety of modalities {pharma drugs, herbs, supplements, energy healing, meditation, yoga etc} with an underlying philosphy which recognizes the patient as a 'holisitic' being, having physical, emotional and spiritual components.

In response to a criticism that metaphysics is too esoteric or irrelevant to daily living, I would insist just the opposite.  Understanding the  nature  of reality allows one to approach the world and its challenges with the correct perspective.   A pragmatic attitude incorporates all types of healing modalities with an emphasis of continually evaluating what works for that unique patient.

At this time, medical science by itself is inadequate to heal the individual patient.  IBS requires an integrative approach to healing.

The meta-physician seeks to understand their patients by understanding the nature of reality.  Once a deeper understanding is achieved, the " integrative"  approach is a natural outcome.

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