IBS — Understanding Why It Exists and Why It Is Prevelant Today

Ah once again a post on IBS. 

 To those millions whose suffer from its annoying and debilitating  symptoms there may be very little interest in why it exists, merely how to deal with it.

Still an awareness of why IBS exists and why it so prevalent might just make it a bit more bearable.

From the perspective of evolutionary biology it actually makes sense.  How did our protohuman ancestors deal with a threatening tribe or saber tooth tiger?

 When confronted with "flight or fight" experience in which our very survival might be at stake, emptying the gastrointestinal tract quickly would allow our blood supply to be directed  towards muscles needed for immediate escape or self-defense.

Vomiting and diarrhea, therefore, represent the body's wisdom. Extreme cramping abdominal pain would initiate such a sequence.  Unload the load that is not necessary.  Our body's sympathetic nervous system, powerfully activated with associated neurohormones such as serotonin are released in enormous quantities.

So, you may ask, what does this have to do with me?  I'm living a typical stress filled 21st century life but hardly facing live or death situations on a daily basis.  Right?

Well, unfortunately, our body/mind may still be reacting as if we were escaping from a rival tribe or a large predatory cat.

It may be that our daily lives, constantly bombarded by stress, still reacts as if each and everyone were a "fight or flight" encounter.  Economic and personal problems, the 24 hour news cycle with constant exposure to worldwide violence and suffering, cell phones, Black Berries, I phones, I pads etc.  

The levels of stress which we take for granted as "normal" may still take its toll on our body/minds.

Welcome to the modern world of IBS.

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