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IBS—Discovering Root Causes and Natural Treatments


Today I’m going to talk to you about IBS, which stands for irritable bowel syndrome, or in my opinion, It’s BS. And why would I say that? Because certainly millions of people have IBS. Well, I’ve been practicing for over 30 years and have seen over 100,000 patient visits, treating all sorts of conditions—pain, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety, thyroid, adrenal issues, autoimmune.

But the one thing though that almost all my patients have in common is digestive issues. I’ve seen it more so lately, and it seems like almost everyone comes in with some sort of gut symptoms. Many of my patients have been to other doctors and get labeled as having IBS.

IBS Traditional Treatment

So I want to talk about what you can do to find out what’s causing it and how to correct it. So, typical scenario, you go to the doctor saying you have symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, constipation, diarrhea. Even mucus in the stool can feel miserable. 

And so you go in and your primary doctor says, all right, well why don’t you take this medication (usually acid-blocking drugs)? See if that works. 

You go back, still no better. All right, well, let’s send you to the GI doctor.

So you go to the GI doctor. What’s going on? 

Well, doc, I don’t know, I have some gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, just feel really irritable. My bowels feel irritable all the time. I don’t know what’s going on. 

All right, well, let’s do some tests. We’ll do a colonoscopy. 

Maybe they’ll do a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. So you get the results back and go in. 

So what is it? 

Oh, well you have IBS. 

Oh, what’s that Doc? 

That stands for irritable bowel syndrome.

Well, wait a minute isn’t that what I told you I had, irritable bowel? 

Right, you have irritable bowel syndrome, exactly. 

Well, what causes that? 

Well, no one really knows what causes it. 

What can I do about it? 

Well, you can get this medication for it. We have acid-blocking drugs. 

That’s the one that didn’t work.

Okay, we can do muscle relaxers or anti-anxiety pills, or you can do these pain meds or even anti-depressants. These are all common medications used for IBS. 

And that’s why I say It’s BS because IBS is not a condition, it’s simply a description of what’s going on. It would be like going to the orthopedist and you say, 

Doc, my neck hurts, it’s been really hurting a lot lately. 

They do some x-rays, maybe an MRI. 

Okay, well, you have something very serious. It’s called HNS. 

HNS, what’s that? 

Hurt neck syndrome. 

What do you mean?

You have HNS. 

Well, I know, my neck hurts. 

But this is an actual condition. Look it up online.

You go online, HNS, there are support groups. There are all kinds of blogs, websites all over the place. I’m making this up, by the way, maybe I’m not, maybe it does exist. But this is how it works. Anyway, that’s why I say it’s BS. 

Root Cause of IBS

However, IBS does exist. I know, I had it years ago, even as a kid I had all these symptoms. I was miserable. And as I got older, it even got worse. So I went through all this. I was able to get it cleared up and basically what it comes down to is finding out the root causes of IBS. 

Number one is pathogens (infections)—bacteria, yeast, parasites. And why don’t they ever test for this? It’s so rare that you can even get your doctor to order a stool test. I like to order these comprehensive stool tests, not just to check for parasites, but also yeast, bacteria, digestive enzymes, different markers of inflammation, immune health. So it gives a clear picture. 

So parasites, for instance, in one study I read almost half of the IBS patients had this parasite called Blastocystis hominis. I did other videos on that if you want to check that out. But 46% had blasto. and all the symptoms of IBS can be from this blastocystis and other parasites, the gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation.

Yeast overgrowth is also a common cause of IBS symptoms, and bacterial overgrowth (dysbiosis) as well. And when I tested myself, these are just some of approximately 20 stool test parasite pictures and everything that I did years ago when I had these issues. I wanted to get to the underlying root cause. And it took me a while to figure out and get it cleared up. But you should do a comprehensive stool test if you want to find out and figure out what’s causing your gut symptoms. 

So infections, pathogens are one. And what do you do about that? Well, depending on what it is, for parasites, there’s certain natural formulas we use and sometimes you need a prescription medication. For me, I use a series of products that I found really worked, and this was after I tried a few different prescription drugs for the parasites which did not work.

Natural Treatment for IBS

If it’s yeast, there are certain protocols for that. I use a product called Yeast Defeat™. If it’s a bacterial overgrowth, I use Microb-Balance™.  There are probiotics that I use that are effective and powerful called ProbioSupreme™SB or other of our probiotics depending on the findings. So, eliminating the cause of the infection is one thing.

Second, are deficiencies—nutrient and digestive enzyme deficiencies, so that has to be addressed and they are different types of enzyme supplements, such as GastricZyme™ or PanAbsorb™ that can be a huge help.

Third, are food allergies/sensitivities. Gluten is the most common one I see. There are other foods that are highly reactive as well. You have to find out which foods you are sensitive to. That’s a major cause of digestive issues. Two ways to do this are, you can test, there is a comprehensive gluten celiac test, food allergy and sensitivity tests. You can check upwards of 100 or more foods. 

So the typical tests doctors run for gluten, if you can get them to do that, is for just 2-3 markers for gluten sensitivity and celiac. But meanwhile, there is a particular lab test I use to check more than 20 different antibodies, which is a very comprehensive approach to find out if gluten is an issue. 

Testing Options for IBS

So another option besides testing for gluten are testing for others. A food allergy test if you can get your doctor to order that. Some of the major labs offer panels of 10 or 15 foods, and those are true allergies. Most people have sensitivities more so than allergies, so I like to test both in panels of about 100 foods or more. 

So aside from food testing, another option I came up with is a diet I call the FreeDiet® because it’s not only free of gluten but gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, nightshades, and processed foods. And you go through that, phase one is typically four weeks where you are eliminating these potentially reactive foods. And most patients, usually within the first couple of weeks are doing so much better.

And then as everything clears up, we go onto phase two, we start adding foods back one at a time. So, this is what worked for me. Because I tested positive for gluten sensitivity, and I went gluten-free but was eating all the gluten-free grains, millet, rice, corn, gluten-free pasta and bagels, everything. 

I was not feeling any better because you must eliminate the bacteria, yeast, parasites, all of those things. All of those live on, they love sugar, grains, yeast, starches. So this diet, the FreeDiet® is free of all of those. 

It really helps your gut calm down. If you want a complimentary copy of the FreeDiet® phase 1 food chart, feel free to click here to check that out. So the FreeDiet® gives your gut a rest, calms down the inflammation, allows it to heal. If you have infections, pathogens, it also is the diet you would follow for that. So it’s all-encompassing as far as to help clear up gut issues and that’s what worked for me after I finally figured it out over many years of testing and tweaking and for many of my patients since then.

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Parasites—Clearing Up Blastocystis Hominis IBS and Hashimotos

Hashimoto's Thyroid Antibodies

Today I’m going to discuss how parasites, namely one called Blastocystis Hominis (blasto), can cause IBS symptoms, skin issues, thyroid, auto-immune, and all kinds of other symptoms. Lately, I’ve been seeing so many more patients dealing with digestive issues. And the correlation between Hashimoto’s disease and various parasite-related invaders, is strong. 

I’ve been practicing for over 30 years and have seen over 100,000 patient visits. Most new patients come in complaining about fatigue, aches and pain, brain fog, anxiety, depression, and digestive issues. One thing that almost all our patients have in common is that they have a lot of gut issues. We perform a lot of stool and various blood tests

Lately, I’ve seen an increase in test results showing more patients with issues related to their thyroid and parasites, especially Blastocystis Hominis, which is the most common parasite in the United States. But can parasites cause hypothyroidism? This was a question on many of our patients minds.

Blastocystis Hominis Can Cause Many Symptoms

Blastocystis Hominis can cause gut symptoms—diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and cramps. Blastocystis Hominis can also cause hives, rashes, and affect your thyroid. When you’re fighting off a parasite like this, it can ramp up your immune system and induce autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroid condition. Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of thyroid nodules.

It’s interesting to see how something like a parasite can affect an organ like your thyroid and even cause thyroid nodules. We’re going to discuss how to discover if you have this parasite or any others, and then how to treat it. 

Blastocystis Hominis is something that I had about 15 years ago. For many years I had a lot of gut issues including IBS symptoms, abdominal pain, cramps, gas, bloating, indigestion, and fatigue as well as body aches and pains.

Discovering and Testing for Blastocystis Hominis

Through testing, I found out I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (elevated thyroid antibodies) along with an elevated rheumatoid arthritis antibody. I was feeling pretty miserable. I also found out I had a gluten sensitivity and started eating gluten-free but that didn’t help too much. 

The reason why it didn’t work as well was that I was eating more non-gluten grains like rice and gluten-free products. I was replacing my gluten-containing foods with gluten-free cookies, gluten-free bread, and gluten-free pasta instead of completely eliminating grains. 

I did a stool test on myself and found out I had not only yeast overgrowth and dysbiosis (bacterial overgrowth) but also the parasite, Blastocystis Hominis. At the time, I hadn’t heard of that specific parasite and was unaware of the problems it caused, so I was doing a lot of research about it. This was around 1993 before we even had computers in our houses. In discovering how to eliminate it, I found out there were many effective natural remedies I could use as well as some prescription drugs. I started taking the various herbs and supplements that were recommended. 

Blastocystis Hominis Treatment Options

One of the most effective natural remedies for Blastocystis Hominis was supposed to be a liquid herbal remedy that contained Gentian, a purple-colored compound. I used this product for many months, and one of my most vivid memories was spilling it and staining my white countertop, as well as my clothes repeatedly. It was just a big mess. I performed over 20 stool tests on myself over the years. At the time, the lab would send you a picture if you had a parasite. Every time I would get the test results back, it was very frustrating as it would keep coming back positive. It was very depressing and frustrating as I couldn’t seem to get rid of it. Finally, I broke down and went to an MD and asked them to prescribe the medication that the CDC possibly recommends.

Conventional Treatment Options Often Fail

I say possibly recommended because the CDC views blasto as a yeast-like compound like candida. They believe that it may or may not cause problems, and you don’t really have to treat it. As a result, treatment was very controversial. I asked the medical doctor to prescribe the medications, antibiotics, and antiprotozoal prescriptions, which was very hard for me. 

A natural health doctor having to use a prescription medication for the first time in many years was very humbling. I followed the recommended treatment protocols for a while and then got retested and the protocol wasn’t even effective at eliminating the Blastocystis Hominis. 

In the literature, it says that medication often doesn’t work, so it was even more frustrating. Many people were looking up “parasite cleanse Hashimoto disease”, “IBS and parasites”, “destroying Hashimoto’s parasites”, and others. But finding the answer took some time. Finally, I discovered a combination of things that did work and I was able to get rid of it. After all these positive tests, I finally received my first negative test. Since then, I’ve gotten tested multiple times and for the last ten years have received negative test results. 

Blastocystis Hominis and Autoimmune Conditions

I’m going to share how I and many other patients have been able to eliminate blastocystis hominis. Once I got rid of the blasto parasite and cleared up the yeast and the bacterial overgrowth, my thyroid antibodies went down to normal and Hashimoto’s disease was resolved. For over ten years now, the Hashimoto’s and rheumatoid arthritis antibodies tests I’ve had have shown normal levels. 

There are also reports in the Blastocystis Hominis Hashimoto’s literature that link Blastocystis and Hashimoto’s and other various health conditions. It was interesting to me that autoimmune conditions and most all chronic health conditions are typically caused by deficiencies, toxins, infections like parasites, yeast and bacteria, hormonal imbalance, and/or food reactions. So how did we eliminate blastocystis hominis?

How to Get Rid of Blastocystis Hominis

The first step is diet. Parasites and yeast love sugar, carbs, and yeast in your diet. If you want to eliminate these problems, you must change your diet. You not only have to eliminate gluten, but also rice and other grains. When I started and it didn’t help, it was because I was still consuming grains and rice protein. I was eating a whole lot of rice with vegetables for lunch. Like previously mentioned, all these gluten-free substitutes like gluten-free cookies, bread, pasta, etc. aren’t desirable to eat when trying to balance your gut flora. 

Parasites thrive on sugar and yeast. Since the gluten-free diet wasn’t enough, I came up with the FreeDiet®. The FreeDiet® is not only free of gluten but free of gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, nightshades, and processed foods. Cleaning up the diet is so important as you need to starve the bugs. Whether you take prescription drugs or natural remedies, if you’re still feeding them, you’re not going to get rid of them. If you want a complimentary copy of the FreeDiet® phase 1 food chart, feel free to click here and we can send you that.

The second step is to strengthen the terrain to make your gut uninhabitable to parasites, yeast, and bacteria. I had all three. I do recommend if you’re having auto-immune thyroid issues, any autoimmune, or digestive issues that you get stool testing. I like to do these comprehensive stool tests, not just test for parasites but also to check for co-infections of yeast and bacteria and leaky gut at the same time. 

It’s important to address all of these to strengthen your intestinal environment so that it’s uninhabitable to parasites. Probiotics are so important, and I use a product called ProbioSupreme™SB that can be very helpful for blastocystis hominis, as well as other parasites and yeast.

The third step is to add in products to help kill unwanted pathogens. I use a product called Yeast Defeat™ that has different herbs and compounds in it to help kill off blastocystis hominis, excess yeast, and fungus in your system. 

I also use Microb-Balance™. which is an herbal remedy containing berberine, which helps kill off excess bacterial overgrowth as well as blastocystis. 

Since then, I put together a group of five products that I call Blasto-Pack. You can click on the details section or that product and it lists the protocol.

Another thing that helped back then was this Amoeba Homeopathic remedy. At that time, I wasn’t all that familiar with homeopathic remedies and didn’t really see how they could even work because they function on a whole different principle. I took this homeopathic remedy, which then strengthens your immune system to kill off the blastocystis. When I combined all these products together with the diet, I finally got a negative result the first time I retested.

Healed for Over 10 Years 

After the protocol, it was amazing that everything was cleared up. I’m thrilled to say that after 10 years of trial and error but I was able to get rid of it. I’ve been able to share what I have learned with many patients, who I have helped get better since then. If you need help with this or similar issues, feel free to contact us and feel free to share this with someone you know, who is having any digestive, auto-immune, thyroid, or skin issues. 

3 Hidden Causes for IBS and Digestive Problems [Video]

causes for IBS

I am Dr. Tom Rofrano, from the Palm Beach Gardens, Natural Medicine Clinic. I am going to talk to you about three hidden causes of digestive issues today.

It’s one of the most common things that patients have when they come in, digestive problems. It seems like almost everyone that comes in has some abdominal pain, gas, constipation, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea. It’s just so rampant these days, and a lot of people are wondering why they have it.

They go to this doctor and that doctor and tell them all these symptoms are having. People can have them for months, if not years. And they typically will get an endoscopy, colonoscopy and just tell them, you just need to take this medication, and you have IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. This is not really a disease in and of itself. It’s just telling you what you already know, you have an irritable bowel. But there are causes. What we like to do is find out exactly what’s causing these issues so that we can then provide a solution for you to get better.

One: Food Sensitivities and Allergies

Out of the three things, number one, we see are food sensitivities or allergies that can cause digestive issues, gas, bloating, indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, all of these and more. There’s a couple of ways to find out what you can do, such as blood testing for allergies and food sensitivities. There are labs we use that can test 100 or 200 different foods.

Then second are certain types of diets, such as elimination diets. I came up with a diet I call The FreeDiet™ because it’s free of all the common allergens, gluten grains, sugar yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, nightshades, and processed foods. So it’s free of those, and it also allows you become free of digestive issues, pain, and inflammation. That’s what we can use as an alternative to testing. Those are the two different ways.

I’m going to give you an example of a story. A patient, a 35-year-old woman, recently came in and had all those symptoms I mentioned including severe abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea indigestion. She was having issues here and there all along, but nothing major. It started after a weekend of celebrating with pizza, cake, wine, beer. After that, she had severe pain and diarrhea, and she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, that’s how bad it was.

But after doing some testing and finding out what was causing it, she was sensitive to dairy, gluten, yeast; those are the three main things. Getting her off those and putting on The FreeDiet and certain supplements helped her to heal, and it completely cleared up. Now she is fine. Food allergies or sensitivities are one huge hidden cause of digestive issues.

Two: Digestive Enzyme Deficiencies

And secondly, are the digestive enzyme deficiencies. So your stomach produces a normal amount of acid and a normal amount of enzymes to break down your foods, hydrochloric acid being the main one. If you have a deficiency of this, you tend to get bloated after you eat. So your stomach will just get large and bloated. Some women tell me they feel like they’re 8 or 9 months pregnant. It’s not that they’re eating a lot, but this is what happens if it’s a lack of enzymes in the stomach. The food just sits there and kind of swells and expands, and then it even causes acid reflux to come up.

What they typically prescribe or recommend is taking acid-blocking drugs either prescription or over-the-counter, and you can feel better temporarily. However it doesn’t take away the problem, it doesn’t fix the problem or correct anything. What we do is find out if that’s a cause then we can recommend some stomach enzymes. We use a product that contains HCL and other enzymes to break down the food in the stomach so that you can then absorb and digest the food and eliminate the bloating. So enzyme deficiencies are a huge cause.

And I recently saw a woman in her sixties who was on prescription acid-blocking drugs for many years. I know if you’ve seen the news lately, all the side effects long-term they’re talking about these including dementia and osteoporosis, bone fractures and on and on from the long-term use of acid-blocking drugs. In her case, we put her on the FreeDiet, some other supplements, some stomach enzymes, Gastriczyme, I was telling about that we have here at the Natural Medicine Clinic.

Within a couple of weeks, her stomach symptoms cleared up, and she didn’t need to take the medication anymore. That’s what we do is look for just root causes to clear up the underlying problems that are being covered up with medications for symptom relief.

Third: Pathogens

And then thirdly are pathogens. Pathogens meaning, for instance, parasites, yeast or bacterial overgrowth. We just had a case recently, a 12-year-old boy who just all of a sudden started getting nausea, loss of appetite and constipation, bloating. He started losing weight, he just didn’t want to eat, and was very fatigued. After he’d been to the pediatrician and other specialists not coming up with anything, we did some more extensive lab testing and stool testing. What it turned out was that he did have a parasite. After putting him on supplements and some different herbal remedies to help clear that up and diet, he got better within a matter of a few short weeks. And he started eating normally again, the symptoms started clearing up, and he began gaining weight.

These are just some of the things that we look for what when someone comes in with digestive issues. Again, these can be sensitivities, enzyme deficiencies, pathogens, yeast, parasites or bacterial overgrowth. In each case, there are different protocols we use to clear these up.

In future entries, I can go over the others more specifically, including different protocols we use.

If you have any questions or want other topics in future talks, make the comments below or email us at and I would be happy to help you in any of those areas.

Dr. Tom Rofrano

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    Content on this website is based upon the opinions of Thomas Rofrano, D.C. and is not considered medical advice. It is designed to be a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Rofrano and his community. Dr. Rofrano encourages you to make your health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Dr. Rofrano is a chiropractic physician and offers physical and nutritional support and guidance to those seeking alternative or complementary care to traditional medicine. His care is not meant to replace that from your primary doctor and specialists but rather to help you on your path to achieving life-long vibrant health.

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