IBS-Here’s What You Need To Know

updated Sept. 2022

Digestive enzymesdigestive system

Most digestion and absorption takes place in the small intestine and is regulated by pancreatic enzymes (digestive) and bile. The pancreas aids in digestion by releasing proteolytic enzymes, which help break down proteins into amino acids. Natural digestive enzymes are found in raw fruits and vegetables. Processed foods are usually devoid of digestive enzymes. Over consumption of these processed foods can lead to digestive enzyme deficiencies. This may then lead to malabsorption and or intestinal permeability syndrome (bloating, gas, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, and intestinal inflammation). To ensure proper digestion, absorption and elimination, I recommend taking pancreatic enzymes with each meal.



I always recommend people take a good optimal daily allowance multivitamin/mineral formula. Patients with IBS have depleted their stress coping chemicals and this not only leads to IBS but also prevents them from beating IBS. It is a vicious cycle that can only be broken by taking adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. The mineral magnesium, which is involved in over 300 bodily processes, is particularly important for reversing the symptoms of IBS-c. Magnesium helps relax the smooth muscle of the colon (natural laxative) allowing normal bowel movements. While a diet high in nutritious fiber is important, magnesium is even more important. A magnesium deficiency not only causes constipation but can also lead to heart disease, mitral valve prolapse (MVP), depression, anxiety, chronic muscle pain, headaches, migraines, fatigue, and many other unwanted health conditions.

Those with IBS-C (constipation) may need up to 1,000mg of magnesium each day.

While those with IBS-D (primarily diarrhea), may need less than 500mg. I recommend patients begin with 500mg of magnesium a day.

I recommend those with IBS-A and IBS-C take one Healthy Bowel Support Formula pack twice with food. Those with IBS-D (diarrhea) should take one pack a day along with 300-400mg of 5HTP.


the fibro doctor's help blog; IBS and FibromyalgiaThe human intestines are inhabited by billions of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria, which are mostly located in the colon, aid in digestion by fermenting substances that were not digested in the small intestine and by breaking down any remaining nutrients. A healthy intestinal tract contains some 2-3 lb. of bacteria and other microorganisms, such as yeast, that normally don’t cause ay health problems. However, when the intestinal tract is repetitively exposed to toxic substances (antibiotics, steroids, NSAIDs, etc.), these microorganisms begin to proliferate and create an imbalance in the bowel flora. Harmful organisms like yeast and some normally dormant bacteria, begin to overtake the good bacteria. This is known as intestinal dysbiosis.

IBS and small-intestinal bacterial overgrowth may share similar symptoms. One study showed that 78% IBS participants had small-intestinal bacterial overgrowth. To aid in digestion and prevent intestinal dysbiosis, patients with IBS should take probiotics (Lactobacillus and Biidobacterium) on a daily basis.

Please Note: For IBS-A and IBS-D-Add 300-400mg of 5HTP

5HTP-should be added in addition to taking Healthy Bowel Support Formula for optimal results in treating IBS-A and IBS-D.


To boost serotonin levels I recommend patients take, the amino acid responsible for making serotonin, known as 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP).

For patients with IBS-A (alternating between diarrhea and constipation) or IBS-D (primarily have diarrhea) should take 300-400mg a day with food along with one to two pack packs a day of the Healthy Bowel Support Formula.

This approach isn’t guaranteed to solve every case of IBS. However, in the majority of my patients, symptoms improve to such point that within a few weeks we can focus on more important topics, like “who is going to win American Idol?”

Please Note Here Is My IBS Protocol

IBS Protocol

For IBS-A (Alternating between loose BM and constipation) I recommend patients take Healthy Bowel pack twice a day and add 300mg of 5-HTP with food or at bedtime (can divide it up 100mg 3x a day with food or 200mg and 100mg or all at once at bedtime).

For IBS-D (Diarrhea)- Healthy Bowel pack once a day and add 300mg of 5-HTP with food or at bedtime (can divide it up 100mg 3x a day with food or 200mg and 100mg or all at once at bedtime).

For IBS-C (Constipation only) I recommend using one Healthy Bowel Support pack twice a day with food and if don’t start to have normal BM add 100-150mg of magnesium (preferably chelate or citrate) at dinner. Keep increasing magnesium (if needed) by one pill each night until have normal BM. If stools become loose reduce magnesium.


What if I continue to have loose bowel movements?

Low serotonin will cause loose bowel movements. Make sure you’re taking 300-400mg a day of 5HTP either at bedtime or with food.

If after two weeks of taking 300-400mg of 5HTP you continue to have daily loose bowel movements, then its time to explore the possibility that your taking to much magnesium. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. It helps the bowels move, but if you get too much, you’ll experience loose stools. If continue to loose bowel movement reduce magnesium to no more than 200mg a day. See if this helps.

If you’re taking 300-400mg of 5HTP, digestive enzymes, and one of the multivitamin/mineral formulas and continue (or start) to have loose bowel movements then decrease the amount of magnesium you’re taking. To do this, simply cut your daily dose in half. If you’re taking one of the multivitamin formula packs, take one instead of two. If you’re taking 6 of the Basic Multivitamin/Mineral tablets a day reduce to 3 a day.

What if I continue to have constipation even though I’m taking 2 Healthy Bowel Support Packs per day. Try adding 150mg of magnesium each day-keep adding additional magnesium until have normal bowel movement (recommend using magnesium chelate or citrate). If you start to have loose stools then reduce your magnesium dose.

You may also need to explore the possibility that you may have low thyroid. You read more about low thyroid on my website.

You can learn more about the Essential Therapeutics Healthy Bowel Formula by visiting EssentialTheraStore.com or calling my clinic 205-879-2383

9 replies
  1. Karen Barragan
    Karen Barragan says:

    I have several doctors for different health conditions.
    The biggest problem I encounter is either everything is blamed on fibromyalgia or a doctor won’t acknowledge my fibromyalgia. I don’t know how to get my doctors to look more thoroughly into fibromyalgia without blaming everything on fibromyalgia. It’s very frustrating. Just because I have fibromyalgia doesn’t mean every ailment should be blamed on it. Getting my doctors to listen seems to be a problem.

  2. Janice sartain
    Janice sartain says:

    I have tried to take 5HTP but I always get terrible knife pains. I do take probiotics and enzymes with each meal and good whole food multi vitamins. I also take several amino acid preparations. Is this sufficient?
    I have had Fibromyalgia for 10 years. I try to exercise regularly and eat healthy but it isn’t easy as you know. I don’t suffer as badly as some do.

    Thank you Dr. Murphree. I found your book 9 years ago and it has helped me tremendously.
    Janice, CA

  3. Tina Cain
    Tina Cain says:

    I need your help so, so bad Dr. MURPHREE! I wish I could come and see you! I have severe Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue and Fatty Liver and Axonal Peripheral Neuropathy and swollen lymph nodes on rt side of my neck and on and on! I’m on so much pain medicine and nothing helps anymore! I’m in so much pain! Please help me!! Thank you, Tina m. Cain 864.324.8904


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