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Treat your IBS naturally with vitamin D: Research

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: IBS, vitamin D, natural remedies

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(NaturalNews) A preliminary review of individual reports strongly suggest that high-dose vitamin D may be one of the most effective treatment yet discovered for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS, also known as spastic colon, is a common disease with no known cause or cure. The disease is characterized by alternating periods of remission and flareups. Symptom flareups tend to be dominated either by diarrhea or constipation, but they can include either, as well as abdominal discomfort, pain and bloating. Many patients manage IBS through a combination of pharmaceutical and alternative therapies, but no therapy is consistently effective for all people.

Some of the strongest scientific evidence for the effectiveness of vitamin D treatments comes from a study conducted by researchers from the University of Sheffield, England, and published in the journal BMJ Case Reports in December 2012.

The paper begins by reporting the case of a 41-year-old woman who had suffered from "severe, diarrhea-predominant IBS" for 25 years, and who had received an official diagnosis approximately 20 years prior to the study. She had undergone treatments with anti-spasmodic drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, and anti-microbial drugs, but none had any significant effect on her symptoms. Dietary therapies, including avoiding lactose and gluten, had provided more reliable symptom relief, but had not stopped her from having regular flareups. Likewise, she gained only minimal relief from other alternative treatments including colonic irrigation, counseling, hypnotherapy and the use of other supplements including aloe vera, caprylic acid, garlic oil, peppermint tea and probiotics.

Through social media, the woman learned that other sufferers head effectively used vitamin D3 as an IBS treatment.

"The patient now takes 2000-4000 IU vitamin D3 daily," the researchers wrote. "Dosage varies according to season, 2000 IU in summer and 3-4000 IU in winter. Since commencing this supplementation regime, the subject experienced significant improvement in symptoms and now experiences near normal bowel habits. In 3 years of supplementation, relapses only occur if supplementation is ceased."

Vitamin D supplementation also produced an end to her ongoing depression and anxiety problems, the researchers reported.

Abundant anecdotal support

Based on these remarkable results, the researchers decided to investigate similar reports. They searched the Internet for websites and forums where IBS patients reported their use of vitamin D. The researchers identified 37 separate IBS patients who reported the use of vitamin D. In 70 percent of these cases, the patients reported that vitamin D supplementation had led to improvements in their condition.

One patient said, "I... have had IBS for about 20 years... in August 2009...I began taking 3000 IU of Vitamin D... surely but slowly, I stopped having the crazy urgency to go, and began to have normal bowel movements... I then began taking 5000 IU of vitamin D a day... and since then ... I feel I have turned the tide."

Another said, "When my prescription [for vitamin D] ran out my doctor told me to take over the counter vitamins once a day again... The longer I was off the high dose vitamin D the sicker I got... the day after I started the high dose vitamin D, I felt better quickly."

According to IBS researcher Margherita T. Cantorna of Penn State University, IBS can actually cause vitamin D deficiency. As such, she recommends that all IBS patients have their vitamin D levels tested even if they are not considering vitamin D therapy.

Because vitamin D is fat-soluble and might be hazardous at the extremely high doses used for IBS therapy, Cantorna also recommends that patients refrain from self-treating, and instead consult their doctors to be issued a vitamin D megadose prescription.

(Natural News Science)

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