Digestive Health

A remarkable and little-known treatment for IBS

By Kim Crawford, M.D. Last updated: September 6, 2018
treatment for IBS

Traditional treatment for Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):

solutions to bloatingSo, you think there’s no great treatment for IBS? Hmm.

Let’s see what you think of this!

Those of you reading this have or believe they have, irritable bowel syndrome, correct?

If you’re not quite sure the medical community has labeled what they don’t know as “irritable bowel syndrome.”

I will tell you that 9 times out of 10, with a careful investigation, I can discover the cause of why someone has IBS. To point out, I’m not even a Gastroenterologist! I just use my brain before handing out a prescription for a drug of any sort. To explain, IBS is either chronic constipation or alternating constipation and diarrhea or just episodic diarrhea. Traditional treatment includes fiber supplements (bloating!) and drugs.

The results are such that patients generally still have symptoms they are always battling, foods they are always questioning, and they’re sighing they have to “live with it.” To me, this is the real problem with “traditional medicine”- the type of medicine I used to practice as an Internist.

Personally, I want all of my patients to feel absolutely great, and that includes you, too. So that’s why you rarely hear me tell you that traditional drugs are the way to go. However, this article will surprise you in many ways. I am going to discuss the use of a drug that is not absorbed and when obtained in a pure, compounded form, is totally non-toxic. Stay tuned.

What about IBS treatment for non-chronic-diarrhea ?

If you have either chronic constipation or alternating constipation and diarrhea, I have discussed what you need to get your GI tract back in shape. In the article where I explain immediate constipation relief and chronic constipation relief, I go into the steps to, first, detox your GI tract, which is a no-muss-no-fuss detox; merely sublingual sprays. Then, steps 2 and 3 contain prebiotics and probiotics. This is also a “how to relieve bloating” tip.

If you’re a female, you need to understand that progesterone deficiency will cause a slowdown of the GI tract and cause some constipation. Markedly, progesterone or often pregnenolone (we have) will fix this. Just ask me if you have questions. If you are depressed or have other signs of serotonin (a happy neurotransmitter) deficiency such as sugar cravings, just know that serotonin deficiency can show up in your GI tract as chronic constipation and no other symptom! Indeed, using 5-HTP to increase serotonin will fix that like magic. However, that is not the magic I’m talking about in this article.

What AM I talking about?

Specifically, I’m now talking to those of you with that out-of-nowhere-run-to-the-bathroom diarrhea. Don’t worry, though, because I won’t tell. I know it’s embarrassing for you. Further, I’m sure some doctors have convinced you that you’re “high strung” or some other garbage like that. I hope no one has given you a prescription for “benzos” like Xanax and if so, please wean off. It’s time to “step-away-from-the-Lomotil”, too.

treatment for IBSI would like you to clean up your GI tract as I outlined above before I start the explanation about your diarrhea and the magic cure.

Years of the all-American diet with some antibiotics thrown in have made your GI tract a toxic mess (just like everyone’s).

It just can’t function properly and do its job in many areas (immune function, mood, weight control, brain health) until you go through the stages above.

Do please trust me on this! Additionally, let me tell you a likely reason you have diarrhea.

Up to a third of those diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-diarrheal type) are thought to have bile acid malabsorption (BAM). Bile Acid Malabsorption (BAM) is a cause of chronic secretory (watery) diarrhea. Bile acids are made in the liver, secreted by the gallbladder and are supposed to (harmlessly) aid in fat absorption. There are three types of physiologic reasons for BAM.

Causes of BAM

Type 1: Bile acid malabsorption, secondary to ileal resection, or ileal inflammation. A common cause of ileal (small intestinal) issues is having Crohn’s disease.

Type 2: Idiopathic / primary bile acid malabsorption. In the absence of any known GI tract disease or injury, the malabsorption is characterized as Type 2 BAM, otherwise known as idiopathic or primary BAM.

Type 3: BAM- secondary to a variety of gastrointestinal diseases. These include the following: post-cholecystectomy, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, chronic pancreatitis, post radiation and even celiac disease.

Researchers have been trying to understand further what might be behind this bile acid malabsorption problem. One possible culprit is an ileal hormone called FGF19. This hormone is basically responsible for controlling bile acid production. It might be that low levels of this hormone are causing excessive amounts of bile acids which then spill over into the large intestine.

Some researchers are investigating whether an idiopathic form of BAM (I-BAM) is the reason behind some cases of IBS, particularly for people who experience diarrhea immediately after eating or people who have had their gallbladders removed. Another frequent complaint is having loose, watery stools.

In fact, the current estimate is that around 30% of people who suffer from IBS-diarrheal type actually have BAM. However, in my opinion, this estimate is low, and research is ongoing to determine whether or not most cases of IBS-diarrheal type are actually Type 2 BAM cases.

Here’s the good news!

If your gastrointestinal tract feels like it is something you want to rip out of your body, worry no more. In fact, the answer is an inert, non-absorbed drug made obsolete by statin drugs called cholestyramine. This resin-binder which was originally used to bind cholesterol actually binds bile salts and sends them out in the “wash” before they get a chance to cause diarrhea. In my opinion, cholestyramine is the most effective treatment for IBS (diarrheal-type) that exists. But I’m not going to recommend the commercial types of questran you might have read about perhaps on IBS forums. Why? The answer is because questran and questran-light contain seriously yukky things.

From drugs.com: “Questran (Cholestyramine for Oral Suspension USP) contains the following inactive ingredients: acacia, citric acid, D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Yellow No. 6, flavor (natural and artificial Orange), polysorbate 80, propylene glycol alginate and sucrose. Questran LIGHT (Cholestyramine for Oral Suspension USP, Light) contains the following inactive ingredients: aspartame, citric acid, colloidal silicon dioxide, D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Red No. 40, flavor (natural and artificial Orange), maltodextrin, propylene glycol alginate and xanthan gum.”


Almost worth having diarrhea? No, I know it isn’t. But isn’t it a shame something that works like magic-and I do mean magic- contains all of those toxic substances?

Where Can You Find The Treatment?

I looked left and right for blogs, chat rooms and all types of sources where people with IBS search for any, and I mean any, sort of good treatment for IBS. I found a couple of places where the drugs were discussed, but nowhere did I find a discussion of where the pure resin could be obtained. Imagine a cholestyramine resin that could bind up those nasty diarrhea-causing bile salts and cure your symptoms without flooding your body with toxins. Sounds great, right? Well, guess what? I found a compounding pharmacy that will take a phoned in prescription from your doctor, your credit card (or your doctor’s credit card) and will ship this pure and amazing treatment for IBS right to your door! So, how’s that for great?  Of course, I have no financial incentive whatsoever to tell you about them.

Now, remember, your doctor probably hasn’t heard of this and if he/she has-bravo! Overall, it’s rare they have heard of the pure form, and you just need to be your own advocate here. In addition, you need to review the side effects and interactions. The commercial brands contain 9 grams of medication rather than the 4 grams per serving of pure resin. To point out, that’s 5 grams of pure “junk!”

How much should You Use?

When you get the “pure stuff” (info coming!) your dose will start out as 1/4 of one dose daily. To explain, they send you a scoop with a black line, and you just need to eyeball this. If 1/4 doesn’t quite do it, take 1/2 and if 1/2 doesn’t do it, take the whole 4 grams. To clarify, this dosage is not a lot, especially when you think about the commercially made products being a whopping 9 grams. Some people need more than this as it’s all very individualized.

You might need 1, 2, 3 and rarely 4 scoops per day to control your diarrhea totally. Just go up slowly, and you’ll find what is perfect for you. I have tasted this, and it’s the most palatable (and still works) when mixed with no-sugar apple juice or no-sugar cranberry juice. You can also add a packet of stevia. The commercial stuff tastes pretty gross to me. If you give this a try let me know, O.K.?

I’m going to give you the name of the compounding pharmacy and their number but please do NOT call them unless you are someone who can write prescriptions or they will get super mad at me. If you call, you will be told to have your doctor call. Please honor this or I will NOT be giving out phone numbers again anytime soon. The name of the pharmacy is Apothicare, and their contact number is 844-804-4445. For those of you who thought there wasn’t a good treatment for IBS, let me prove you wrong. Indeed, this works!


  1. Suffered from “ibs” for almost 30 years.
    I cut out wheat, corn and corn syrups, sugar and milk.
    Absolutely love the fact I can go anywhere anytime and don’t have to worry about knowing the path to every bathroom before I even leave the house.
    I enjoy a soda maybe once a month while out eating but wheat and milk are gone forever.
    The pain in my veins (fibromyalgia) my inflammation levels has decreased exponentially.
    Not to mention the weight I am losing and that I am way more active.
    Just thought I would share.

    • Thank you for sharing Tonja=you might want to read my fibromyalgia blogs-I am getting 100% relief for people who follow my protocol.

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