In the film ‘Along Came Polly’, Ben Stiller’s character turns IBS into comedy genius. To someone unfamiliar with IBS, Stiller’s character sweating profusely and writhing in discomfort is incredibly funny. But for someone suffering genuinely from IBS, it’s absolutely no laughing matter. A whole array of various drugs and treatments are traditionally used to treat IBS. They range from following the FODMAP diet to low doses of traditional anti-depressants such as SSRIs. But now, people are beginning to ponder the benefits of CBD Oil and IBS. So can CBD oil help and if so, how exactly?
The website abouttibs.org describes abdominal pain as a key feature of IBS. In addition to this, it describes the fluctuating behavior of the bowel in IBS which can cause symptoms as varied as diarrhea to constipation and back again. Often it includes a mix of the two which can involve a lot of bloating and abdominal pain. Also, there is that terrible feeling of having gone to the toilet but feeling like you haven’t finished.
But what causes IBS?
The official answer is that the causes of IBS are still unknown. But what is clear is that the IBS itself involves a lot of inflammation of the digestive system. Besides changing to an anti-inflammatory diet, one of the mainstream treatments for IBS is to ‘reduce stress’. As I have mentioned in previous articles, I believe that stress and inflammation are part of an interdependent cycle. The inflammation causes stress hormones to release. The stress causes muscle tension in the body which causes more inflammation. Inflammation is often caused by a buildup of toxins that are normally flushed via the liver but have hit a ‘roadblock’ due to tension or inflammation or a combination of both. From aboutibs.org:
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not completely understood. There are possible factors like genetics and prior adverse life experiences (e.g., infection, trauma) that can predispose someone to get IBS.
The symptoms appear to result from disturbances in colonic motility (muscle contractions) and increased sensitivity to food, gas, or stool in the bowel.
Finally, there is a tendency for the bowel to be overly reactive to various factors, which can amplify or bring about the symptoms. Examples include: eating, stress, emotional arousal, GI infections, menstrual period, or gaseous distension.
How does diet help in IBS?
When we talk about inflammatory foods, we often are speaking about foods that are high in sugar. Sugar heats the blood causing it to thicken. This makes the transportation of blood, oxygen and other compounds more restricted. When the correct distribution of such compounds occurs, stress hormones such as cortisol are released into the blood. This causes the body to tense up which further restricts distribution. High cholesterol foods, create a buildup of plaque on the artery walls. Again this reduces distribution and increases pressure in the system and particularly pressure on the heart. Isolates and highly processed foods lack their enzyme counterparts which assist with their digestion. Without them, the body struggles to flush them and they can build up as toxins in areas of tension.
Any other food that contains toxins such as pesticides, fungicides, artificial colors, flavors, etc. all contains toxins that build up. So cutting out this kind of food and focusing on fresh, organic anti-inflammatory foods is usually the first step in treating IBS. But according to aboutibs.org, it’s not all about the food:
There are a variety of factors that affect IBS, and diet is just one of these. If other factors, such as stressors or hormonal changes, are more active on a particular day, then dietary triggers are more likely to push your symptoms “over the edge.”
There is no evidence that digestion of food is different in those with IBS compared to those without IBS. Diet, food and eating do not cause IBS.
However, muscles and nerves are over-reactive in IBS. This can cause the bowel to over-respond to stimuli.
Even a normal event such as the act of eating itself, and not a particular food, may aggravate symptoms at times. Eating releases hormones that stimulate the gut.
Any kind of detoxification involves getting into the inflammation, tension cycle and releasing it. For instance, when clean food is eaten, the inflammation is released. The oxygen and flood flow correctly and the muscle tension is relaxed as a result. This further releases the toxin build-ups within the body. Whilst this can lead to an upfront liver and blood toxicity, with plenty of water, the toxins are flushed, the inflammation decreases and ultimately the muscles begin to relax, opening the channels further. Stretching exercises such as yoga or Pilates as well as meditation can help the muscles relax opening up the channels which release toxins and ultimately reduces inflammation. So when it comes to detox if you approach it from multiple angles this is best.
CBD Oil and IBS
CBD oil seems to help break this inflammation-stress cycle. When cortisol and other stress hormones are high, a lot of this muscle tension is created in the body. Our bodies naturally release cannabinoids to counter this bodily tension, but taking CBD oil can give a lot more weight to this process. Since it helps our muscles relax strongly, the body can resume its distribution of blood, oxygen and other compounds. When the flow resumes, the toxins are released to be flushed and the inflammation in those areas that have been created by the trapped toxins is reduced.
In all of this process and cycling, it is difficult to say exactly what will help IBS since the causes of IBS are still officially unknown. But any IBS sufferer can instinctively know what is happening within their body. Pain and bloating are caused by trapped winds. Trapped winds are caused by a blockage in distribution which ultimately is caused by tension in the intestinal system. Inflammation from trapped toxins further aggravates the issue of tension.
So whilst we cannot say that CBD oil will help, there is a good chance that it can help relieve the symptoms of IBS as part of an overall plan. Anyone who has read my articles will know that I am a fan of a multi-pronged approach to any problem rather than taking CBD as a miracle cure-all. There are enough testimonials out there to know that CBD oil does help in many cases. Some of these testimonials are related to actual cannabis though. There is some talk about THC in relieving IBS. So like most things, you may have to do some trial and error in experimenting with this.
Of course, as always I have to say that you should check in with your doctor before trying CBD oil for your IBS. But as always I will also say that you should also check to make sure that your doctor isn’t in cahoots with big pharma and that they are putting your wellbeing above their own. Also, check the legality of CBD oil in your area before purchasing or taking CBD oil.
This article is a collection of ideas by the author. It does not constitute facts or advice in any form. Please consult a medical professional and check the legality in your area before purchasing or taking CBD products.
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