Dr. W.P. Smedley is a Board Certified General Surgeon, well-trained in the care of critically ill patients.

  His interest in Anorexics and Bulimics was sparked by a member of his family developing the signs and symptoms of the condition. He knew she was raised with special care and love and must have some underlying medical reason for her symptoms. When this proved true the treatment of her condition resulted in complete recovery.

  Dr. Smedley currently has sixty-eight cases of anorexia - bulimia that have all recovered through his medical investigations.

Mom, Do I Look Fat?

The alternative look
at eating disorders:
Anorexia and Bulimia

by W.P. Smedley M.D.
is now available.
More Information

The Fat Book

Finally Answers To: Tiredness, Heartburn, Diarrhea, Irritability, Depression, Bloating

Saint Anthony's
Medical Treatment
of Gallbladder Disease

More Information

W.P. Smedley
M.D. F.A.C.S.
Is no longer
practicing. This
site remains for
information only.

   Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel is considered by many as a disorder of the small and large bowel. Digestion and absorption of the digested foods occur in the small intestine. In the large intestine, the colon, only absorption of water and electrolytes occurs.

A syndrome is a series of signs and symptoms grouped together which then describes a particular condition or disease.

The Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common intestinal disorders. The term describes, but does not define, the disorder of the small and large bowel in which crampy, abdominal pain is experienced that may occur alone or may be associated with bowel movements. Bloating, gassiness and a feeling of incomplete emptying after bowel movement may occur. Periods of constipation alternate with periods of diarrhea.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is viewed as a functional bowel disorder. This means that although the motion of the digestive tract is impaired, either speeded up or slowed down, there are no changes in the physical structure of the gut, such as inflammation or tumors to account for the symptoms. Irritable Bowel Syndrome does not lead to more serious diseases, such as colitis, Crohn's disease (regional enteritis) or cancer.

The symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) appear to be caused by increased muscle contractions or spasms in the digestive tract that either slow down the normal passage of stool, causing constipation, or increase the passage of stool, causing diarrhea.

Patients who have been told they have IBS appear to be hypersensitive to certain factors that normally stimulate intestinal contractions. These factors include:

  1. The mere act of eating (although no particular foods have been identified, to date, as the culprits.
  2. Stress
    Emotional stress is accepted as a condition which increases intestinal motility which is known to cause more frequent bowel movements.
  3. Hormonal Changes
    Low thyroid levels can cause constipation as well as hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle that can affect bowel motility.
  4. Medications
    All antidepressants are anticholinergics which cause a slowing of intestinal motility.

Keep in mind that the IBS may be a combination of several of these factors and the elimination of only one of the factors may not give a complete remission of symptoms. So, instead of a cure, a more realistic goal would be an improvement of IBS as each factor is considered, investigated, and acted upon.

The first factor to be considered is the mere act of eating. This may really be due to the eating of previously unrecognized, irritating foods. For example, an apple, considered to be a low fat food, may cause stimulation of the gallbladder due to the pectin contained in the apple. Beer is considered to be free of fats but it is made from hops and barley that make the gallbladder contract. Regular coffee, also considered low in fats, contains oils that may be seen floating on the top of the liquid. These coffee oils also can cause contraction of the gallbladder. In the decaffeination process of the coffee these oils are destroyed. That is why decaffeinated coffee is allowed on a low fat diet. The color and appearance of the coffee oils are similar to the oil on your garage floor that drips from the transmission of your car.

But what if all the usual diagnostic tests looking for the cause of IBS were reported as normal or negative? Then maybe all of the necessary diagnostic tests were not done. The upper GI series did not show an ulcer, the gallbladder ultrasound did not show gallstones or a polyp, the Pipida Scan was negative, and the colonoscopy or barium enema was negative.

IBS is considered a functional disorder of the intestines. Remember the definition of functional disorder: no physical changes can be demonstrated in the physical structure of the gut to account for the symptoms.
But the symptoms of gallbladder disease are those of bloating, gassiness, constipation alternating with diarrhea, heartburn and indigestion. If these symptoms are ignored over time the symptoms worsen to include abdominal pain.

Gallbladder disease means that the body is unable to digest fats. And fats are always attached to proteins. So the more proteins one eats the more fats are ingested.

So what if there is a functional disorder of the gallbladder? The functional disorder can only be demonstrated with the CCK study done in the erect position in the x-ray department. Although you have had countless studies in the past, have you had the CCK study?

Even without the benefit of the CCK study, a response to the Saint-Anthony Diet will show an improvement in your symptoms within a two-week period if there is an undiagnosed gallbladder problem. If you are reading this you know you have tried everything else. A diseased gallbladder with a functional disorder is not cured by the diet, but the symptoms are lessened. And since the symptoms of IBS and gallbladder disease certainly are similar, maybe, just maybe, the signs and symptoms of IBS are due in a great measure to a diseased gallbladder with a functional disorder.

Additional Information:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome | Gallbladder Disease
Gallbladder Disease in Children | Depression | Gastroparesis
Insurance & Financial Considerations | Followup Stories

Home | Parents | Questions | Therapy | Tests | Diet | Contact
Mom, do I Look fat?       The FAT BOOK