Best Lab Tests to Help Treat Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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So you’ve been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Now what?? As someone who has IBS, I’ve experienced first hand how debilitating it can be, and how confusing the diagnostic process is. I want to share with you some things that I wish I would have known back when I got my diagnosis, that would have saved me years of excruciating pain and suffering. I have now seen thousands of patients who also have this diagnosis live a legendary life.

Why is Irritable Bowel Syndrome a Functional Bowel Movement Disorder?

Irritable bowel syndrome is classified as a chronic functional bowel movement disorder because it is diagnosed by the symptoms that you are experiencing. These are typically abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and changes in bowel movements, often diarrhea or constipation1. Other digestive diseases that can be seen by colonoscopy or confirmed by lab tests are often excluded before IBS is diagnosed.

Why Can’t Labs Tell Me That I Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

The labs that most conventional doctors use at this moment in time don’t give a definitive diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. This is because it is a complex interplay of all the processes in our body.

It is most often a reaction to stress in the body, whether emotional or physical, that creates an imbalance in the immune, nervous and hormonal systems. This compounds and affects the natural digestive processes of the gut, causing inflammation, irritation, dysbiosis and lack of digestive factors that all contribute to and aggravate our symptoms2.

The big point here is that it is NOT just one thing causing IBS, and to treat it you need to have a MULTIFACTORIAL approach or it just won’t work.

Why should I test for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Since irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic, long term disease, being proactive in this way helps to stay on top of things and avoid the frustration and suffering of living with uncomfortable symptoms.

It is important to do tests to rule out other conditions; when the diagnosis is clear, it is easier to direct and guide treatment and to track improvements. For my health as well, I have noticed that it is vital to have this tracking system over time in order to gain a good understanding of what is going on inside your system, year to year.

Are There Functional Tests for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Yes, there are things that can be tested, but again, it is a whole-body approach. So as a Naturopathic Doctor I can see that there are imbalances in the whole body.

Do Functional Disorders Involve the Entire Environment of the Body?

As a Naturopathic Doctor, we look at the body as a complete environment, an ecosystem. I have expertise in digestive disorders, specifically irritable bowel syndrome. I am also extremely well versed in hormonal problems such as hypothyroid, estrogen dominance, nervous system conditions like anxiety and depression, and immune system problems like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, celiac disease, cancer, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and I have treated all successfully.

If I only knew about the gut and digestive system, I wouldn’t be able to treat a FUNCTIONAL digestive system disorder because functional means that the whole entire body is involved. The ecosystem needs rebalancing.

Stress Hormone Testing Cortisol and ACTH 

Research demonstrates that people with irritable bowel syndrome, mainly women, with onset at a younger age3, will have it for the greater part of their lives. They typically also have an imbalance in their nervous system and stress response.

Lab tests help to treat your Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Stress markers of cortisol in the blood can be tested and show a difference between men and women as well as between healthy and unhealthy subjects4. However, this is a costly test and is not common protocol for irritable bowel syndrome.

Salivary or urine cortisol markers can also be used to measure this, and they are my markers of choice. Research demonstrates that there is a significant difference in cortisol (stress hormone) markers in the morning and evening, and in general there was a higher spike in the a.m. and lower in the evening. The pattern of circadian rhythm night and day curve was still maintained5.

These tests can be purchased on

Sleep is often something that is a complaint for women with IBS and there seems to be a difference between the type, whether it be IBS-D (diarrhea predominant) or IBS-C (constipation predominant)6. Sleep is something that normally balances our regulatory systems as it helps to reset the immune, nervous and hormonal systems.

I recommend wearing an eye mask to bed at night to help support natural melatonin production, without having to take a supplement. I’ve created the Beauty Sleep Brow & Lash Kit that uses Castor Oil applied around the eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows, covered by a sleep mask. This has a relaxing effect on the system and improves natural melatonin levels, helping you to get a good night’s sleep. You will note over time, visible differences in sleep quality with using a mask7. Get your own Queen of the Thrones® Beauty Sleep Brow & Lash Kit™ and improve your sleep.

Inflammation Testing in IBS 

Inflammation is a key component in IBS. Inflammation may be sourced from food sensitivities, allergies and intolerances, or choices of food, such as fermented foods that have high levels of histamine and act as an irritant to the gut. Inflammation is a root cause of all diseases and when there is imbalance in any system there is always inflammation.

Ferritin, the storage molecule for iron can also be a key indicator of acute inflammation. It is important to test in combination with a complete blood count (CBC) as well as an iron panel to make sure you rule out any other reasons for an elevated level of Ferritin.

In my practice there are certain key markers that I have noted are indicative inflammation. Firstly, high sensitivity C reactive protein (HS-CRP). This marker is not often tested, however, levels have been noted to be higher in those with irritable bowel syndrome as compared to the healthy population8.

Cholesterol has also been one of the markers of inflammation that I use to track progress in patients. It is linked to inflammatory processes in the body and I have seen clear indications post therapeutic cleansing interventions with my patients, where even if cholesterol is only moderately higher, it always decreases from the pre-testing phase9. I always test these levels in my IBS patients because I want to see how they are adapting to their protocols and where they are at the present state in time.

A complete blood count (CBC) is always important to do as well, because it demonstrates a variety of markers. With regards to inflammation, eosinophils are a marker of allergy and when they are elevated it’s an indicator that there is elevated histamines in the body10. It’s most commonly correlated to parasite infection, which is something to be considered in irritable bowel syndrome, since the onset of IBS can be due to a gastrointestinal infection11.

In my opinion, food sensitivity testing is in a class of its own. It can demonstrate inflammatory processes in the gut as well as immune reactivity. When aiming to fix an irritable bowel, it’s important to understand that there are so many things that can be irritating it.

Food is the biggest irritator and since we eat food every day, it’s very important to address this to reduce inflammation.

Food sensitivity testing help to discover IBS

There are different tests for IBS, the food sensitivity testing in this lab in the US is one of the most recommended to measures your IgG reactivity levels.

Can You Test for Dysbiosis and The Microbiome?

You absolutely can, and uric acid (a key indicator of gout) is an excellent marker to use for dysbiosis or an unhealthy microbiome12. Uric acid is a good indicator of microbiome health because it shows improper metabolism of protein, typically due to unhealthy gut bugs.

Another my tests is the Organic Acids Test (OAT), which tracks overgrowth of yeasts as well as possible clostridium infections which aids in the support of patients with IBS.

There are also recent novel tests that will actually classify the types of healthy v.s. pathogenic microbes in your microbiome. This research is in its infancy.

What Should You Test? My Dream List

Here is my dream list, which is basically a full workup of a patient to rule out other sources of pain in the intestine:

  • CBC
  • Serum Electrolytes
  • Liver Enzymes, ALT, AST, ALP GGT
  • Urobilinogen, direct and indirect
  • Blood Lipids/Cholesterol
  • Albumin
  • eGFR and Creatinine
  • HS-CRP
  • Uric acid and urea
  • Iron panel including Ferritin
  • TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Antibodies for Thyroid
  • Dutch Hormone Test
  • Food Sensitivity Testing
  • OAT Test

What to Do While You’re Waiting to Get Your Tests Done? 

Start working on a solution!

My two first protocols for all patients is to start a Castor Oil Pack, which immediately begins to work on the stress component of their condition. It will reduce inflammation, help the body to cleanse, get the bowels moving and significantly reduce pain in the gut (I’ve used it more times than I can count for acute pain in my situation and it hasn’t failed). The Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack Bundle™ also helps you get a great night’s sleep.  

In addition, I encourage patients to wear an eye mask to bed. As mentioned before, this will help to increase the body’s natural melatonin production, improving quality of sleep. Get your Queen of the Thrones® Beauty Sleep Eye Kit™ to improve your sleep.

This is the basic start for all of my patients from the get go, because if we can start to reduce the stress, address the inflammation, cleanse, poop and sleep (these are common problems that every single person who walks into my practice shares) I can actually start getting a clearer picture of what is going on.

Peek After You Poo

The other pièce de résistance is that I ask my patients to start peeking at their poo. I want a detailed account moving forward. Because let’s face it, lab tests start to get quite expensive. For the full panel above you could be looking at anywhere between $1500-$2500 per shot, so why not learn what your poo is saying about you? It is an easy daily at-home test, totally free!
Use Queen of the Thrones® Eau De Throne™ the ‘After You Poo Parfum™’ to get into the habit of peeking after you poo and allow the blend of organic essential oils to ensure that you will never be embarrassed again for the smell you leave behind!

Learn about your gut health with Queen of The Thrones® 50 Shades of Poo Ebook

Every visit, with every single patient, we have this discussion and you would be shocked at how much it guides treatment. So much so, that I’ve compiled my personal experience, clinical experience and research so that you have access to the same tools as my patients. For a better understanding of what your poo says about you, download my free e-book ’50 Shades of Poo’

Start today! Don’t wait for tomorrow to do what you can do today. This is your health, your life, your body and it’s time for you to know and understand what is going on.

Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media, through email and like us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about how you can OWN your throne!


1 Bandar Mohammed Bardisi,1 Abdulaziz Kamal H. Halawani,1 Hassan Kamal H. Halawani,1 Aseel Hassan Alharbi,1 Nesma Saleh Turkostany,1 Taraji Saeed Alrehaili,1 Aisha Ahmad Radin,1 and Nasser Moqbil Alkhuzea1 Efficiency of diet change in irritable bowel syndrome. J Family Med Prim Care. 2018 Sep-Oct; 7(5): 946–951.PMID: 30598938

2 Emanuele Sinagra, Gaetano Cristian Morreale, Ghazaleh Mohammadian, Giorgio Fusco, Valentina Guarnotta, Giovanni Tomasello, Francesco Cappello, Francesca Rossi, Georgios Amvrosiadis, and Dario Raimondo New therapeutic perspectives in irritable bowel syndrome: Targeting low-grade inflammation, immuno-neuroendocrine axis, motility, secretion and beyond. World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep 28; 23(36): 6593–6627.PMID: 29085207

3 Ju Yup Lee and Kyung Sik Park. Gender Difference in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Korean J Gastroenterol. 2018 Oct 25;72(4):163-169. doi: 10.4166/kjg.2018.72.4.163.

4 Elizabeth J. Videlock,a Wendy Shih,b Mopelola Adeyemo,a Swapna Mahurkar-Joshi,a Angela P. Presson,c Christos Polytarchou,a Melissa Alberto,a Dimitrios Iliopoulos,a Emeran A. Mayer,a and Lin Changa,* The effect of sex and irritable bowel syndrome on HPA axis response and peripheral glucocorticoid receptor expression.Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016 Jul; 69: 67–76.PMID: 27038676

5 Patacchioli FR1, Angelucci L, Dellerba G, Monnazzi P, Leri O. Actual stress, psychopathology and salivary cortisol levels in the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). J Endocrinol Invest. 2001 Mar;24(3):173-7.

6 Robert L. Burr, MSEE, PhD, Research Professor,a Monica E. Jarrett, PhD, Professor,a Kevin C. Cain, PhD, Research Scientist,b Sang-Eun Jun, MS, Doctoral Candidate,a and Margaret M. Heitkemper, PhD, Professora. Catecholamine and Cortisol Levels during Sleep in Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2009 Nov; 21(11): 1148–1e97.PMID: 19573081

7 Rong-fang Hu,1 Xiao-ying Jiang,1 Yi-ming Zeng,2 Xiao-yang Chen,2 and You-hua Zhang3 Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Crit Care. 2010; 14(2): R66.PMID: 20398302

8 Keren Hod, MSc,1,2 Tamar Ringel-Kulka, MD MPH,3 Christopher F. Martin, MSPH,2 Nitsan Maharshak, MD,4 and Yehuda Ringel, MD*,2 High Sensitive C – Reactive Protein as a Marker for Inflammation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.J Clin Gastroenterol. 2016 Mar; 50(3): 227–232.PMID: 25930973

9 Tall AR1, Yvan-Charvet L2. Cholesterol, inflammation and innate immunity. Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 Feb;15(2):104-16. doi: 10.1038/nri3793.

10 Church MK1. Allergy, Histamine and Antihistamines. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2017;241:321-331. doi: 10.1007/164_2016_85.

11 Wouters MM1, Van Wanrooy S1, Nguyen A2, Dooley J2, Aguilera-Lizarraga J1, Van Brabant W1, Garcia-Perez JE2, Van Oudenhove L1, Van Ranst M3, Verhaegen J4, Liston A2, Boeckxstaens G1 Psychological comorbidity increases the risk for postinfectious IBS partly by enhanced susceptibility to develop infectious gastroenteritis. Gut. 2016 Aug;65(8):1279-88. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2015-309460. Epub 2015 Jun 12.

12 Zhuang Guo,1,* Jiachao Zhang,1,* Zhanli Wang,3,* Kay Ying Ang,2,* Shi Huang,4 Qiangchuan Hou,1 Xiaoquan Su,4 Jianmin Qiao,1 Yi Zheng,1 Lifeng Wang,1 Eileen Koh,2 Ho Danliang,2 Jian Xu,4 Yuan Kun Lee,a,2 and Heping Zhangb,1 Intestinal Microbiota Distinguish Gout Patients from Healthy Humans Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 20602.PMID: 26852926

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones™ will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at We want to make sure we are always serving Our Queendom at the highest level.

Castor Oil Packs and Constipation | How to Get You Regular

Get You Regular

I remember my mother always being constipated. She would hyper focus on food and what she should be eating. Sometimes it would help, most of the time it wouldn’t. This is the situation that most people find themselves in. You are trying to get all your fiber and fluids in, yet you’re still not going to the bathroom. You aren’t having those amazing bowel movements as you should. What gives?

Your poo is much more complicated than just the food that you eat. That is just the start of getting things going. The gut is also highly regulated via hormonal and nervous system pathways. In fact, if you didn’t know it, the gut is known as the second brain1. It not only relies on the brain to tell it what to do, but it is the only organ that can work independently. Meaning you can take it out of the body and it can function completely on its own. This system is called the enteric nervous system and it dictates what goes on in the gut. How interesting is that! There are only a few ways to engage its action. The easiest is the infamous Castor Oil Pack, and this will be our focus in this article.

The Issue of Compliance with Castor Oil Packs

If you’ve been prescribed Castor Oil Packs, you are probably cringing right now. You know all too well the expectation that your practitioner had for you to do them, but they are just too much of a hassle and too messy to do. I know exactly what you’re feeling because I’ve been there too.

That’s what stopped me for years from doing the Castor Oil Pack. It was something that I was told to do for years by not one, but many people… doctors, health food store owners, people who had years and years of natural health experts. I wouldn’t listen. Only because I was lazy and didn’t have the time. I know you are feeling that way too, and that’s ok! It’s human nature, after all, to do that which is of the least effort.

Pooping Problems

I was seriously suffering hardcore with gut issues. I’d go from diarrhea to constipation, to major bloating and gas. Like many of you, I was in a constant state of crap in my guts.

I would be told that I had microbiome issues, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), food allergies, anxiety, depression, hormonal dysregulation, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and fatty liver. You name it, I was told that I had it, and above all, I had MAJOR pooping problems.

Dr. Marisol ND. Queen of The Thrones® recommends Castor Oil Packs™ to alleviate constipation

When You’re Doing Everything ‘Right’ But Still Feel Like Crap

I was addressing all of these things with my naturopath but it didn’t make sense because here I was, doing all the ‘right’ things but still feeling like crap. I was taking good quality supplements, probiotics, digestive enzymes, magnesium, I would even go as far as laxatives from time to time because my constipation would get so bad. I was eating the right foods and exercising, but for some reason, it wasn’t fitting the bill.

I remember vividly, the worst 10 days where I didn’t go poo once. I was literally beside myself, I felt soooo horrible in my own skin. I remember searching out for a way to manually extract my poo!

My First Castor Oil Pack

After weeks of constipation, I became super sick and decided that I was finally going to try this treatment that EVERYONE had told me to do. I made myself my own castor oil pack and tried it.

Wow, was my response. It changed my world from the first moment that I put it on my body. I was already feeling better, more relaxed and well in my body. I felt. For a long time, it was like I just wasn’t feeling anything, I didn’t feel present in my system. I know it sounds weird but I was dealing with so much discomfort, that I felt completely disconnected from my body.

You see, it’s easier to look for an escape. It’s no surprise that when you’re dealing with an irritable bowel, anxiety, and depression are usually a result. Some say it is the cause, my belief is it goes deeper than that.

Historical Use of Castor Oil Packs

Castor Oil Packs ended up being my saving grace. I’m not surprised, as I began my research and found that this practice dates back to biblical times. It is mentioned in the ancient Chinese and Indian medical texts as well as practiced by the ancient Mediterranean and Egyptian cultures.

Castor Oil Packs are not the new kids on the block, rather, they are the most important tool that fundamentally supports all other treatments. No treatment is like the Castor Oil Pack and the beauty of it is that now it’s easy, and it can be done in the comfort of your home.

Innovative Castor Oil Pack Design

Necessity is the instigator of the invention. I know myself and I’m pretty sure you know yourself too. When something is difficult, time-consuming, or a plain old hassle, it takes a superhuman effort to get it done. When I was told to do the Castor Oil Pack, I would look at the process and snark, “There is no way that I’m going to do that, forget it! I’m busy, I’ve got too much on the go.”

It took me hitting rock bottom, feeling like I was “never gonna get better”. It took years of naturopathic school, to finally believe that it was good for every condition. It took me grabbing the bull by its horns and creating a pack that made the process simple, easy and less messy, otherwise, I was never going to keep it up.

The Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack™ was born. Simply apply oil to the cotton compress side and tie it onto the body over the liver. Get your very own Castor Oil Pack™ Bundle now!

Queen of The Thrones® Organic Castor Oil™

How Castor Oil Packs Alleviate Constipation?

  1. Castor Oil Packs Help you Move the Smooth Muscle of your Body.

    Smooth muscle is only in select parts of the body, notably the digestive system/gut, including the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. It is in the uterus as well. The other muscles of our body that you’re familiar with, like the biceps and triceps are made of what is called striated muscle. Smooth muscle works via signals of PG3— what is known as an eicosanoid. You are likely familiar with it because when you take fish oils to get your omega 3s, those are also eicosanoids. In a nut shell, they are messengers in the body (like carrier pigeons) that tell certain body parts to do something. When you take fish oils, you tell your body to reduce inflammation.

    When you do a Castor Oil Pack, you absorb castor oil through the skin that tells the smooth muscle of the intestine to move2. Movement in the intestine is known as peristalsis. This is a rhythmic movement, like a dance that propels the contents of the intestine down so it can be eliminated. In the stomach it mixes things, in the intestine, it moves things around to absorb and then to eliminate what we don’t need. The nice thing with the castor oil pack is that it regulates this dance. They will make you go to the bathroom and have an excellent bowel movement.

    Studies show Castor Oil Packs works as well as laxatives without the uncomfortable gas, bloating, and harsh urgency and patients feel more satisfied and fully evacuated3. This one thing that Castor Oil Packs do is incredibly important.

    **Please note that Castor Oil Packs are not recommended if you are pregnant or may be pregnant because of the uterus also being smooth muscle 4 5 6**

  2. Castor oil is an excellent tool to break down biofilm.

    Biofilm is a protective barrier created by bacteria on mucous membranes. You probably know of these gut bugs as probiotics, which is what we call them when they are beneficial for the body.

    When they are not good for our health, I have coined them “conbiotics”. Probiotics help us because they create nutrients for our body like B vitamins. The conbiotics on the other hand, use up our bodies’ resources, they don’t make our vitamins, they create byproducts and gases that actually slow down peristalsis, making us constipated.

    The more virulent conbiotics are the worst because of protective biofilm that they can create to stop us from killing them. In Lyme disease, as an example, the bacteria Borrelia is transmitted via ticks. It is known for creating a destructive biofilm that is very difficult to break down. People who are dealing with Lyme disease should absolutely be doing Castor Oil Packs, as they are one of the tools that will help them to reset their microbiome.

    The research shows that castor oil, compared to other chemical agents to break down biofilm, outperforms in vivo. We need to have a healthy microbiome to have good bowel movements!

  3. Castor Oil Packs Reduce Stress.

    Stress does not allow you to have healthy bowel movements because it tenses up the parts of the body that need to be relaxed to work.

    The intestines and bowels are regulated and working well in a relaxed state. You can take all the fluids, fiber, probiotics and digestive enzymes you want but if your body doesn’t know how to switch into the relaxed state for peristalsis and relaxation of the lower sphincter, you are a duck out of luck. For me, stress was severely impacting my bowels and regularity.

    Castor Oil Packs work via the nervous system by stimulating the nerves in the skin. This only works when you wear the pack. This is probably the most important action. Improving the microbiome and getting the smooth muscle to function won’t matter if your lower sphincter can’t relax enough to let go! The topical application of a Castor Oil Pack is exactly for that, to “LET GO”.

  4. Castor Oil Packs help to Cleanse and Preserve Glutathione.

    We all know that cleansing is important, and there is one molecule known as glutathione that stands out among all of the antioxidants. It cleans and protects the body, and helps to detox heavy metals.

    It is well known that heavy metals impact our bodies in a variety of ways, inhibiting the immune system, therefore aiding and abetting to an unhealthy microbiome. They impact our hormonal system and detrimentally affect the nervous system. Glutathione is well known to be an antioxidant that in this day and age is in lower concentrations in our bodies because of the physiological demand due to industrialized pollution.

    There are very few ways to get glutathione. It is found in whey protein (which I never recommend since it is dairy based and for those that have an irritable bowel it is just plain torture), rooibos tea, (well known for its antioxidant effects) or oral supplementation (the jury is out on whether or not glutathione is absorbed well via supplements).

    Supplementing with magnesium and NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) may help as they are precursors to glutathione. The other way is via IV therapy, known as a Glutathione Push. Recent research demonstrated that castor oil improves the recycling of glutathione in the lenses of rats, greater than even a solution of glutathione. This is very impressive, Castor Oil Packs improve antioxidant status.

  5. Castor Oil Packs Reduce Inflammation.

    When you are inflamed in your intestines, it becomes very difficult to go to the bathroom. Castor Oil Packs reduce inflammation15 16, allowing for smooth passage of stools out of the body.
    It’s incredible that this therapy can be such aid for those that suffer from constipation.

    Constipation contributes to more serious conditions and diseases and if something is not done, your body can be severely damaged in the long term. A system that can’t eliminate waste backs up, and the back up is the cause of many problems.

    No different than when you garbage removal goes on strike or the sewer back ups, that is always bad news. Now you have the tools at your disposal to make it all better!

Time to act.



1 Gershon, Michael D. The Second Brain. HarperCollins World, 1999.

2 Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184. Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395

3 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

4 Gao J1, Sun N, Wang F.[Effects of castor oil-diet on the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 in pregnant rats].[Article in Chinese] Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi. 1999 Mar;34(3):147-9.

5 Gao J1, Sun N, Wang F, Hao N.[Effect of castor oil-diet on the initiation of labor of pregnant rat].[Article in Chinese] Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. 1998 Oct;20(5):367-70.

6 Kelly AJ1, Kavanagh J, Thomas J. Castor oil, bath and/or enema for cervical priming and induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jul 24;(7):CD003099. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003099.pub2.

7 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

8 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

9 Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.

10 Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

11 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. ( Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction)

12 Jan AT, Azam M, Siddiqui K, Ali A, Choi I, Haq QM. Heavy Metals and Human Health: Mechanistic Insight into Toxicity and Counter Defense System of Antioxidants. Int J Mol Sci. 2015;16(12):29592-630. Published 2015 Dec 10. doi:10.3390/ijms161226183

13 Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

14 Kennedy D and Keaton D. Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor oil: A Systematic Review. CCNM. Presentation 2010 AANP

15 Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

16 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones® nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones® will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at We want to make sure we are always serving Our Queendom at the highest level.

The First 3 Things To Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The first three things to do if you've been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

How stress, poor sleep, and too much sugar is messing with your bowel movements!

Bowel movements, defecation, going poo… the #1 most important process of the human body, and not the #2! If you’re one of the 14-20% of the world population with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), that’s approximately one BILLION people1. And it is hypothesized that those who have gotten the diagnosis are only the tip of the iceberg, meaning that there are so many more people that have it but haven’t been diagnosed yet. You know all too well how it can negatively affect your life. Here are the first 3 things you need to do to take control of what is happening to yourbody. It has to do with 3 “s” words, and shit isn’t one of them. Stools, stress and sleep.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – What is it?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic, long term, recurring functional condition, meaning that when you are tested via labs or colonoscopy, everything looks normal. There seems to be no reason for your symptoms, nevertheless you have them and they are debilitating.

The Frustration of an Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis 

This is extremely frustrating to hear from your doctor, especially after you have been suffering with these symptoms that have had a detrimental impact on all aspects of your life. From limiting your social life for fear of an adverse bowel movement, to affecting your work life by causing you to spend too much time in the bathroom or taking more sick days than the norm. Not to mention huge psychological impact on your well being, living with this ever growing problem.

Risk Factors for Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

The most noted risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome are being a women, of young age, and having a preceding gut infection of some sort2. The risk is actually four times higher for those who have had an infectious gut condition3.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

The most common symptoms of IBS include a combination of recurring:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Distension, bloating and gas
  • Abnormal bowel movements – diarrhea and/or constipation

The Categories of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It is classified in three categories – constipation, diarrhea or an alternation between both.

  • IBS-C: Predominantly constipation
  • IBS-D: Predominantly diarrhea
  • IBS-M: Mixed, alternating between constipation and diarrhea
  • IBS-U: Unclassified

The classification is based upon the Bristol Stool Scale (see below), designating the form of bowel movements.

Bristol Stool Scale for Bowel Movements

My Experience As a Naturopathic Doctor with IBS-M 

I have suffered with mixed type irritable bowel syndrome for the greater part of my life. In my youth I was constipated, mostly due to food choices and a home life that was incredibly stressful. The child of immigrants, with very little family or social support, we were poor and trying to succeed in a new world, which added an unbelievable burden to a family.  After an episode of food poisoning in my early 20’s I began to experience alternating constipation and diarrhea, in effect the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome mixed (IBS-M). I didn’t get the diagnosis until about a decade later and suffered in silence.

You Think your Bowel Movements are Normal, But They’re Not

I didn’t go to the doctor, mostly because I thought my bowel movements were normal. Both of my parents had chronic bowel problems but were never diagnosed. Looking back now, the signs were very clear. My father had IBS-D, predominantly diarrhea and my mother IBS-C, predominantly constipation.

Dr. Google Can’t Tell You Everything About Irritable Bowel Syndrome

I went back to school to become a naturopathic doctor after being diagnosed and told, “You have IBS, sorry for your luck, there really isn’t anything you can do.” I had Dr. Googled it and became enlightened, realizing that this was an epidemic in my family. I soon found out that it was an epidemic in the world as well! I wanted to change that and help people, just like yourself, and in the process ‘fix’ myself and my family. Much like what you’re probably trying to do right now.

My goal is to fix this, to create the platform to really help those that are suffering. To get the proper information to you, so that you can be empowered to live your best life, the legendary life you deserve. Together we can do it. Please share this article with your friends and those that you know are suffering.

The Things I Had to Do to Survive IBS – Warning: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

I lived with worries of not being able to go to the bathroom, mechanically (with my hand yes) trying to get the poo out. Gosh I can’t believe that I am sharing that. This is super embarrassing, but after sitting on the toilet for hours, feeling like I have to go and straining and I can’t, you do anything to get it out.

I would avoid social situations all together, preferring to hang out at home, close to the bathroom. I was worried I would have an accident at any given point in time. This was very hard for me, especially because I’m such an outgoing social person. I like my alone time, but being forced to spend time at home wasn’t pleasant. I even got into the habit of carrying a spare pair of underwear in my bag everywhere I went, ‘Just in case!’. It was devastating. Not a way to live at all. I’m so deeply saddened as I write this, reliving the emotions that I went through in that time.

My Parents Also Had IBS But Weren’t Diagnosed 

I know both of my parents spent more time dependent on the nearest bathroom than not. I realized that they weren’t as social as they aged because this was also a huge pain point for them. It’s sad that they spent their entire life chained to the bathroom, not understanding what was wrong, and not knowing what to do about it.


Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Genetic? 

It is possible. There is a link to early life exposure to stress affecting the bodies natural response to stress. So, your exposure to stress in utero or fetal programming4 as well as  experiences as a young child can pre-program you into a maladaptive, unhealthy response to stress, changing the way that your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) functions5. These are the master organs that balance the regulation systems of your body, most responsible for the way your body deals with stress.

In a nutshell, if your mother was dealing with stress, or she was just a stress-head like mine was (and my grandmother, and grandmother before that – may they all rest in peace) while she was pregnant with you or if high stress was the norm in your household, it is possible that it set you up to have a weaker ability to adapt to stressors. Because remember, everything is about practice. If your stress response was over practiced in an unhealthy way in this formative time in your life, this could definitely be a precursor to irritable bowel syndrome and…


The Regulatory Systems Impacted In Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

When you are under stress, whether it be emotional or physical stress, the body does not have the ability to differentiate6. Two processes occur in the body to try and maintain balance. The inflammatory arm of the immune system activates to try and burn off the stressor. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (a combination of the hormonal and nervous system7) also activates to turn off less important mechanisms that don’t deal with immediate life right now.

These three regulatory systems of the body, the immune, nervous and hormonal system’s goal in health is to keep everything in balance, everything functioning well. But under stress, they shut down non-vital functions for preservation of life. Therefore there’s dysregulation in these systems with IBS8. We also see an elevation of glucocorticoids and inflammatory markers.

So don’t be surprised if you find yourself with multiple conditions on top of your IBS. For me, I had both irritable bowel syndrome as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). These are often conditions that respond to an elevation of the bodies’ immune inflammatory messengers and the neurohormonal glucocorticoids.

Hormone Problems and IBS

Is this a coincidence then, that I, like many who have IBS, also have PCOS? No it is not, because the body can only balance so much. In PCOS there are elevated levels of leptin, a hormone that affects food intake, energy balance and fat tissue stores but is also pro-inflammatory to the intestinal tract. Research shows that with irritable bowel syndrome there is also this elevated level of leptin in the intestine9.

When there is stress, many of our non-vital systems like being being fertile, having regular periods, or having a healthy metabolism go into preservation mode, because the infinite intelligence of our bodies doesn’t want to use up resources because it has no idea how long the stressor will last.

Another co-existing hormonal problem that is common with IBS type symptoms, like constipation, is hypothyroid10.

Immune System Problems and IBS

The immune system is regulated by the MICROBIOME. The ever important home of billions of bugs that live on our mucosal membrane and skin.

Healthy, friendly probiotics help to improve the mucosal immune system11, whereas conbiotics™, as I like to call them, or pathogenic bacteria cause total dysfunction of the immune system12.

This leads you susceptible to constantly getting sick. Overreacting to foods as your gut’s reaction to foods is based on the immune system. It is well known that people with IBS react to many foods such as lactose13, gluten14 and other components of wheat to name a few. This is a complex subject on its own and you can discover more about it reading ‘How Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances are Messing with Your IBS’.

Nervous System Problems and IBS

Google IBS and you will soon find many links that discuss the coexistence of depression and anxiety with IBS, but also as a coexisting factor with most chronic conditions. Many say that it may be in response to the condition, but it very well may be the cause of the condition, (is it the chicken or the egg, which came first?) as stress significantly alters the bodies’ regulatory homeostatic mechanisms15.

Is Stress the Cause of IBS?

Stress is a root cause of many conditions and chronic diseases. It is likely that it is a root cause of IBS, as the overlap of anxiety, depression, hormonal disturbances and immune variations are all linked to irritable bowel syndrome.

Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

It’s no surprise that at present the majority of treatments and medicines for irritable bowel syndrome are tools that mediate the functions of these three regulatory systems of the immune, nervous and hormonal systems, as the gut is the main hub for all three.

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have been used for IBS, as well as antibiotics such as Rifaximin, as a way to improve the gut microbiome16.

My Choice for Treatment 

When I was diagnosed, I was already doing all the supplements, I had done rounds of antibiotics, I wasn’t interested in taking anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants because I didn’t feel that I was deficient in them. I felt better supported if I would take multivitamins, a B-complex and other vitamins and minerals known to be low in people with anxiety, which for me was also a coexisting problem. The problem was I wasn’t getting any better.

Fix the FOUNDATION, Don’t Palliate the Problem

So I choose to look at things from a different, more foundational perspective, and this is how I got relief of my symptoms. Not by looking at what I could take to fix the problem, but what I could do and practice that would prepare my body to be in the best shape and target the regulation of the 3 systems that weren’t in balance. The immune, hormonal and nervous systems of my body. This was my 3 step plan to set the foundation for my healing of irritable bowel syndrome, and what become the foundational plan for all of my patients in clinical practice where I have treated thousands, improved their irritable bowel syndrome and healed their guts.

The 3 steps to alleviate IBS

  1. Know Your Stools

    Your stools say everything about you. It’s no surprise that irritable bowel syndrome is classified based on the form according to the Bristol Stool Scale and Frequency.

    After years of living with IBS, inspecting my stools, then becoming a naturopathic doctor I realized that there was so much more to learn from your stools than just a diagnosis. I found out that stools could tell you how your hormonal system, immune system and nervous system was working.

    They could also tell you key nutrient deficiencies that were implicated in problems with those systems, like magnesium being low in hormonal problems and zinc deficiency in nervous system problems, as an example. They tell about B-vitamins and other necessities to keep the foundation of our bodies functioning in harmony.

    I discovered 11 factors of our stools, I call them the Golden Nuggets about your poo. They can tell you about how your digestion is working and so much more. It’s a wealth of information to the extent that if I sat with a patient, I would know exactly what I needed to do just by what they told be about their stools.

    This is the most important place to start, because as Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” It’s time for you to know better. Download my free guide called the 50 Shades of Poo that is the first step in understanding what your poo says about you. This will set you up with an excellent practice so you can take control of your irritable bowel syndrome.

  2. Address Your Stress.

    Stress plays such a key role in IBS and the problem is we are constantly bombarded with stress. Massages and acupuncture are great ways to balance our stress levels, but we can only do them from time to time because cost is prohibitive and we are so busy, it’s hard to go to an appointment.

    I was told for years to do a Castor Oil Pack. A legendary health practice that has been in existence since biblical times and practiced by all systems and cultures of medicine. Indian, Chinese, Greek, Mediterranean, Caribbean, etc.

    This tool is predominantly used to practice the pause, or the relaxed state17. It is the staple of my clinical practice, the very first prescription before anything else. Because in the relaxed state you can heal. Your gut microbiota is healthier, your inflammation is down, you cleanse better and your bowels move (these are also all the things the Castor Oil Pack does, independently of helping you to practice the pause).

    This is the tool that was the MISSING LINK for me in my treatment, as I was doing everything else ‘right’. A healthy diet, good quality supplements, and regular exercise… but once I did this my world changed.

  3. Fix Your Sleep.

    Sleep resets the body and it undeniably helps with cleansing and calming, so that the nervous, hormonal and immune systems have a fighting chance.

    One way to improve your sleep is simply by wearing an eye mask. Like the Castor Oil Pack™ placed on the liver, the eye mask stimulates the pituitary gland to produce melatonin naturally18. This is a supplement-free way to help your body sleep and it’s amazing how a simple strategy can help to improve the bodies’ ability to heal overnight.

    The Queen of the Thrones® Beauty Sleep Brow & Lash Kit™ contains an eye mask as well as a 100ml Cosmetic Castor Oil and cosmetic brush for application of castor oil to the eyelash and eyebrow areas.

    So there you have it. Those are the first three things that need to be done once you know you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. Had I known about these at the beginning of my journey, I would have had a much easier time. My hope is that you take these and let them help you to make a difference in your life. Because you don’t need to suffer. You need to learn and do what will help you to get your best body balance.

If you want to learn more about the re-setting your gut and how to become your best ‘digestive self’, order my book “Oh Sh*t, The 3 Stress-Less Steps to Connect, Clear and Calm Digestion”.

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