Cayce Health Database
OVERVIEW OF IRRITABLE BOWEL
WHAT IS IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional
disorder of the intestines. Doctors refer to IBS as a functional
disorder because there is no sign of disease when the colon is examined.
However, doctors believe that people with IBS experience abnormal patterns
of colonic movement. The IBS colon is highly sensitive, overreacting
to any stimuli such as gas, stress, or eating high-fat or fiber-rich foods.
People with IBS usually have crampy abdominal pain
with painful constipation or diarrhea. In some people, constipation
and diarrhea alternate. Sometimes people with IBS pass mucus with their
Although abdominal pain and cramps are among the most
common IBS symptoms, pain or discomfort alone does not suggest IBS. However,
when a bowel movement or the passage of gas temporarily relieves pain
and cramps, a doctor may suspect IBS. IBS is frequently diagnosed
after doctors exclude more serious intestinal diseases through a detailed
medical history and complete physical examination.
There is no standard medical treatment for IBS. Treatment
depends on the severity, nature, and frequency of a patient's symptoms,
and may range from lifestyle and dietary changes to antidepressants and
Through the years, IBS has been called by many
names -- colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, spastic bowel, and functional
bowel disease. Most of these terms are inaccurate. Colitis, for instance,
means inflammation of the large intestine (colon). IBS, however, does
not cause inflammation and should not be confused with ulcerative colitis,
which is a more serious disorder.
The cause of IBS is not known, and as yet there
is no cure. Often IBS is just a mild annoyance, but for some people
it can be disabling. They may be afraid to go to social events,
to go out to a job, or to travel even short distances.
EDGAR CAYCE'S PERSPECTIVE OF IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
Because the diagnostic category of "irritable bowel
syndrome" did not exist during Edgar Cayce's lifetime, there are no readings
which use that term. Generally the term "colitis" was used to cover
the full range of intestinal complaints involving the large bowel (colon).
However, the symptoms and general description of IBS is evident in numerous
readings which provide a basis for a therapeutic regimen.
For example, reading 800-1 emphasizes the "functional"
nature of the irritation in colon as "reflexes and sympathetic conditions."
Pressures on nerve centers along the spine which influence the intestinal
system are cited as the primary causative factors disturbing not only
the colon, but the whole of the digestive system. Spinal manipulation
(osteopathic treatment) to relieve the nerve pressure was recommended
as was often the case for bowel problems. As was also typical, a
balanced, alkaline-reacting diet and colonic irrigations were prescribed.
Note the psychological aspects of the problem which are described as "worriments
in the mental."
These conditions, as we find, are from the lack
of the proper functioning of organs as related to the eliminations and
their coordinating in the activity of these disturbances with other functional
conditions of the body...
No organic disturbance. Little functioning
disturbance, unless there are those periods when the body is under excess
or acute excitement ...
As to the stomach itself, here we find a sympathetic
condition from the activities from the gastric flow, as well as at times
a regurgitation from the duodenum from the repressions in the liver area
that make for the awareness of a fullness at times across the abdomen,
especially over the lower portion of the spleen area. These are
only reflexes and sympathetic conditions.
The organs disturbed, then, are those of the hepatic
circulation, or the liver and its concurrent activity with the pancreas,
spleen, gall duct, eliminations through the system; the activities of
the spleen, the kidneys, and the eliminations through the canals that
make for drainages in the system in the pelvic organs and jejunum and
colon and those activities throughout - that are indicated as showing
sympathetic and functional disturbance...
Then, be mindful of the diet. To be sure,
this should be in the form of blood building; with the proper vibrations
and radiations and the revivifying of the functioning of the organs themselves.
So we would have rather, then, an alkalin-reacting diet. Not that
the body is to set itself in the position that the diet becomes the RULE,
but knowing in which direction the foods should act - and those things
that will aid most in correcting the influences in the body - the body
should take what is necessary. The alkalin-reacting foods in the
main, though, would be the better...
Necessary that we at times eliminate through the
alimentary canal by the use of colonic irrigations. These should
not be taken too often, but in the first two or three take sufficient
that we remove the mucous that is indicated as an accumulation in the
ascending colon in the present. Three, then, would be taken in about
two weeks; then a month or six weeks apart should be sufficient - if the
diet is carried in such a way as to make for body-building...
(Q) Dr. Riley D. Moore for the osteopathic treatments - would
he be alright?
(A) Yes, he would be very good; VERY good. Make the manipulations
or adjustments in the lumbar, COORDINATING the others with same.
Do these, and we will bring those conditions for
the body so that its outlook upon life, the whole of the perspective will
be raised. For with torpidity in self and worriments in the mental,
these are hand in hand with great irritation - and close down the horizon
even of hope.
(Q) I have diarrhea all the time. Will this treatment take
care of this?
(A) When we remove the irritations as indicated in the caecum
area, we overcome these conditions by removing the mucous, that is as
an accumulation - causing irritations to the flow. As the pressures
are taken off the lumbar and 9th dorsal, these will materially aid also.
The case of 5609 presents another example of functional
bowel disease which Edgar Cayce linked to nerve pressures that hindered
peristalsis in the intestines. As with the previous example, spinal
manipulation, colonic irrigation, and balanced diet were the primary therapies
(Q) Can you define any improvement in colitis condition?
(A) There is not as much congestion in the inner portions of
colon, and there is a DEFINITE change in those portions or regions where
prolapsus, in a form, has been existent. Hence the changes that
have been necessary, for PERIODS of treatments in these directions and
periods of rest; for as long as there is the tendency for areas within
the colon proper, where impulses from the nerve centers and the activities
are hindered from such in their normal action, through the action of the
intestine, or the peristaltic movement, there must be conditions recurrent
where there would be troubles, from the activities within this area, at
times causing sour stomach, belching or the like, the tendency for the
folds within the lower portion or area of the intestine itself - but this
is gradually being eliminated, and as the general condition improves so
must this also improve. Do not become over anxious, that this may
be expected to be eradicated or eliminated entirely at once - but, as
it has been long in forming, or conditions accumulating as to cause disorders,
so must it be a development or normal growth that would build for normalcy
in its activity. Much easier to destroy than to build up!
Follow then, those suggestions in these directions,
as for the [colonic] irrigations occasionally, the mindfulness of the
diet and of the activities of the body...
(Q) What causes pain and sometimes cramps in solar plexus region
to the left?
(A) That area in the descending colon that makes for that portion
that has been suffering under prolapsus...
(Q) What is occasional pain I get in right side?
(A) Pressure on the colon, through CAECUM area, from the LACK
of dilation in transverse and descending colon...
(Q) What causes nausea occasionally, and what shall I take to
(A) Take the treatments that have been outlined - and it'll remedy
(Q) Why have stools been loose, almost to diarrhea?
(A) At TIMES these are produced by the character of the foods
that have been taken, and TOO much relaxation in those of the area as
(Q) Has the activity of the sphincter muscle improved?
(A) Considerable! (5609-4)
In several readings on functional bowel disease, the
Cayce readings note that pressure on spinal nerve centers impede nerves
impulse to the musculature supporting the colon. The colon sags
(prolapse) impeding circulation and peristalsis. Usually, spinal
manipulation and abdominal massage are emphasized in such cases to help
the colon to return to a normal anatomical and functional state.
In the NERVOUS SYSTEM, or SYSTEMS, we find rather
what may have been, must have been (from the conditions), that of the
primary or first causes; for there are evidences of there having been
in the lower dorsal area those of the form of lesions that made for the
tendency of the DROPPING of the whole of the DIGESTIVE organism.
Hence a prolapsus in the colon area (ascending) made for that which was
of the nature of colitis in its form, or congestion of the muco-membrane,
and an indication of engorgement in the intestine itself. This produced
by pressure in the solar plexus center, see - in the 10th and 11th dorsal
area, or lower portion of the solar plexus center; that is, from the cerebro-spinal
connection - see? This, then, brought about first that tendency
of the lack of impulse for peristaltic movement of fecal matter through
the matter, and the clogging up of the system in the area. Following
this with engorgements, or tendencies to force or produce through the
lymph circulation that of an excess of matter to reduce or carry out the
disorders produced a form of laziness, or slackness, in the wall of the
intestines or colon itself. Hence a specific condition of two natures
existed. One has been greatly relieved by the removing of the pressure
in the cerebro-spinal area, so that this does not occur so often; yet
there are those tendencies still left in the nervous system - see?
By the whole plexus, or the whole ganglia, not being fully awakened through
the stimuli of impulse in the area to carry on its functioning, when overtaxation
mentally, physically, or FOODS of the value that do not digest properly,
producing improper fermentation...
Digestive system rather that that may be termed
NERVOUS indigestion, occurs at times. The body should never EAT
when excited, and especially never when mad; for these, with such a sympathetic
condition, will produce disorders that make for bad reactions in the system...
(Q) Did a treatment I had for colitis 3 or 4 years ago have
a real and lasting beneficial effect?
(A) As has been indicated, the greater portion has been removed;
yet those tendencies that exist in and through the prolapsus in ascending
colon, and those arising from those pressures as existed in the cerebrospinal
system, have NOT entirely been removed. Hence the necessity of application
of some PHYSICAL as well as MENTAL treatments for the body. (2095-1)
Another common variation on the causes of functional
bowel disease as described by Edgar Cayce trace the condition to the after
effects of intestinal flu or other infectious agent which settle in the
intestine. Often, readings with this etiology discuss disturbances
to the circulation (especially the lymphatic circulation) which produces
irritation to the nerve impulses governing peristalsis. Here are
a couple of examples in which flu after effects were a primary causative
In the colon area, as indicated, here we have had
the tendencies for portions where the organ itself is attended with the
activities of the circulation along the sides or areas from which the
movements of same receive the impulses to the nerve forces for eliminations
through these channels. These have had those activities, as we find,
apparently from what may be termed intestinal flu; that affected directly
these portions of the lymph and emunctory circulation through same...
(Q) The soreness in the entire abdominal cavity and pit of stomach,
with the great amount of flatulency (distress whether eating or not)?
(A) As indicated, this is an effect from the COLON area - where
there has been - or is indicated from here - the effect of intestinal
As we find, there are disturbing conditions which
prevent the better physical functioning in this body. These arise
primarily from the after effects of flu, intestinal flu which has caused
a colon irritation - or fecal forces not being eliminated from the body.
In addition to the standard treatments described previously,
cases linked to intestinal flu were usually treated with a medicine containing
ginseng. Although the ingredients varied somewhat depending upon
the individual, ginger root and lactated pepsin were often included in
The psychological dimension of functional bowel disease
is prominent in the Cayce readings. Often, negative mental patterns
were cited as contributing to the physical pathology in the alimentary
canal. Thus, a positive attitude toward the healing process was
an essential first step.
As we find, conditions are such that as to responses
- which there may be from suggested applications - much will depend upon
the attitude of mind of the body.
And, while there would soon be considerable response,
unless that gained in the physical is also magnified and manifested in
the mental and spiritual, there will be a reverting to old disturbances...
But as we find, if there is the use of these applications,
the body may find response. Then it will depend upon the mental
attitude as to whether the body will keep that response...
(Q) Reoccurring spastic colitis?
(A) Lack of the proper activity, as indicated, through the peristaltic
movement in the alimentary canal. (3040-1)
EDGAR CAYCE'S THERAPEUTIC MODEL
Regardless of the cause of the irritation to the bowel,
the Cayce treatment recommendations are consistent in emphasizing the
need to address the whole digestive system as well as the colon itself.
In other words, improving assimilation, elimination, and circulation throughout
the entire alimentary canal is helpful in supporting the healing of the
colon. Here are some basic therapeutic modalities which are emphasized
in the Cayce readings on functional bowel disease:
- DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet is intended to improve assimilation
and elimination. The diet focuses heavily on keeping a proper
alkaline/acid balance while avoiding foods which produce toxicity
and drain the system. Essentially, the diet consists mainly
of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates
("junk food"). Certain food combinations are emphasized.
A variety of dietary supplements including elm water, yellow saffron
tea, and small amounts of olive oil are often helpful for improving
digestion and promoting healing of the intestines.
- INTERNAL CLEANSING: Hydrotherapy includes drinking six to eight
glasses of pure water daily, colonic irrigation, castor oil packs,
and a cleansing diet of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- SPINAL MANIPULATION AND MASSAGE: Osteopathic or chiropractic treatment
is recommended to relieve any pressures that may be hindering assimilation,
elimination, and circulation. If osteopathic or chiropractic
treatment is not available, the use of an electric vibrator along
the spine may be helpful. Massage can provide relaxation while
also improving systemic functioning.
- MEDICINE: A specific herbal formulation combining ginseng, ginger,
lactated pepsin and stillingia is recommended, and may be particularly
helpful for individuals with a history of intestinal flu.
- SYMPTOMATIC RELIEF: A variety of therapies intended to provide
symptomatic relief are suggested in the Cayce readings. For
symptomatic relief of abdominal pain, the use of grapes in the diet
and in abdominal packs may be helpful. Charcoal tablets used
as a dietary supplement can provide symptomatic relief from flatulence
and acute gastric bloating. For persons experiencing diarrhea,
an herbal remedy based on alum root is suggested. Beef juice
taken as a medicine is recommended for persons who experience general
fatigue and debilitation. Alternating various laxatives is a
standard Cayce strategy for relieving acute constipation.
- ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: The mental and emotional aspects of healing
are frequently discussed the Cayce readings. Particularly, an
attitude of desiring and expecting to be healed is important.
A positive mental and emotional attitude and can be created and maintained
by focusing on a high purpose (ideal) for being healed.
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis
or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional
for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health