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  • Writer's pictureAnna Rathbun, NC

Irritable Bowel Symptoms & Solutions

Suzie was visiting Mendocino from Texas and happened to walk into my office looking for a restroom. She was on a wonderful road trip across the west coast and struggling with urgent trips to the restroom all day. Not a good combination.

I needed to know Kathy’s travel itinerary in order to figure out which foods she was capable of preparing or ordering out. We came up with a plan of some simple meals and snacks she could travel with and agreed on some meals she could order at a restaurant. We also added one supplement to digest food and one more to heal the irritated bowels.

By the time Kathy reached Seattle the urgency was gone and she was able to sit for a long car ride without fear. When Kathy gets home we will continue to meet by video health. We want to repair her digestive system so she can enjoy more foods and eventually use less supplements.


How do you know if you have irritable bowel? Are you familiar with that yanking feeling in your gut? Every step hurts and yanks at your tender insides. You may also suffer from any combination of constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, bloating or heartburn? Do you long for one good bowel movement in the morning?

Irritable bowel refers to a malfunction of the digestive system causing pain and bowel problems. The area between the stomach and the anus becomes inflamed, sore and sometimes infected or bleeding. The area of damage is highlighted in yellow on the image. In holistic health we focus on the symptoms to find the cause to correct the imbalance.

Most irritable bowel is both a functional and an autoimmune disease. The function of the digestive system is weak so that the body can't properly break down food. This food then leaks into the bloodstream and causes the immune system to mount an attack against the food. You eat the food again and the body creates inflammation in the intestinal tract in an attempt to attack the food which it thinks is a foreign invader.

This imbalance can cause any combination of the following diseases or symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease, crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, SIBO, dumping syndrome, leaky gut, food allergies, constipation, diarrhea.


The first step is to add more strengthening foods so that removing trigger foods will be easy and soothing. Next we work to reverse the autoimmune attack, reduce inflammation and heal the function of the gastrointestinal system. Reducing stress is a vital part of healing. Here is my 6 R system to heal the gut lining.

6 R system to heal the gut

Replenish energy with healing strengthening foods that make any food plan easy

Replace digestive juices so you can break down and digest food

Remove offending foods that are difficult to digest and cause inflammation

Reinoculate with good bacteria to help gut function

Repair the gut lining

Relax to turn on your own healing process and prevent relapse.

​ Schedule a time to talk about the plan and how it can work for you.

Stress and aging simply wears down the digestive juices needed to break food down and make healthy bowel movements resulting in loose stools. The simplest solution is to replace the digestive juices with supplements and choose very simple foods that don’t require much digestion. The next step is to get to the bottom of the problem and really repair digestive health so you can enjoy vibrant health and vibrant meals for the rest of your vibrant life.


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