IBS and Low Back Pain
While it may seem odd, there seems to be a correlation between IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and low back pain. Coincidence? I think not.
Why do you have low back pain? There could be multiple reasons, but it most likely has to do with some form of trauma in you pelvic area. Perhaps you had an accident, some vertebral issues, or it could maybe be due to pelvic floor or abdominal weakness. These are just a few reasons for low back pain. There are many causes for it. One thing is for certain: many people with low back pain also have gut or bowel issues. It could be said also, that many people with gut or bowel issues have low back pain. How you look at it and what school of thought you utilize is unimportant. What is agreed is that low back pain and gut health are indeed connected.
So, you might go to physical therapy, a chiropractor, or a massage therapist for low back pain. But what of the gut health issue? Do you think if your low back pain goes away, your gut will repair itself and go back to normal? No. It won't. Likely, the back pain is a symptom, not the problem. There can be some gut improvement after back issues have been resolved, but the damage has been done. Most of the time, the damage has been on the rise for months and commonly, YEARS.
The solution: attack your issue from both angles. Fix your back with the appropriate therapies (PT, chiropractor, massage, exercise, Pilates, yoga) and fix your gut with nutrition protocols.
How do I get my gut to repair, recover, and rejuvenate back to where it was?
Eating inflammatory foods is KILLING your gut flora. That's right, you are killing all those “good bugs” in your gut that keep everything healthy and working properly. But dumping less-than-ideal food stuffs in your gut, you are making those bugs work overtimes and eventually die off because of “work-related injuries.” Stop killing off your good bugs. Eating better is the first-half of the solution. Click HERE for my anti-inflammatory diet protocol.
The second-half of the solution is taking a quality probiotic. I would love to say we can get enough in our food supply by eating organic, probiotic-rich foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, etc.) but that is, in reality, untenable. This is why probiotic supplements are at the top of my supplement list. Poor gut health is an epidemic. It used to be something that was talked about, but now probiotics are getting in to the health care setting. Doctors are receiving education material on the microbiome AKA "our bacterial environment" and how our gut health is VITAL to our overall health.
You may be wondering what the proper dose of daily probiotic supplementation might be. The answer: a MINIMUM of 10 BILLION UNITS daily. Most people think that's crazy, but think about it: We have an all out war going on in our gut on a continual basis. We NEED billions of soldiers to fight in a war against 100 trillion enemy firing squads (bacteria), lining up our good guys and taking them out in droves.
Bottom line: if you are to take only ONE supplement, no others, make it a 10+ billion unit probiotic.
Thank you for investing in your health.
Joseph Champa, RD, CSCS