182: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that is very curable. Most people often experience this because of bad diet, wrong lifestyle and stress. There are conventional medicines to cure irritable bowel syndrome, but my guest, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg, is a staunch advocate of healing IBS through a natural approach.

Conventional Background

Like a lot of Naturopathic Doctors who came from a Conventional Medicine background, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg is no different. He describes himself as a science-minded student who initially planned to get a Ph.D. degree and become a researcher.

Dr. Joshua Goldenberg acquired his undergraduate degree in Biology and Genetics from the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, he eventually found work outside Pennsylvania doing molecular work in a laboratory.


However, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg wasn't happy being cooped up in a basement laboratory most of the time. Much as he was fascinated by the science of it all, he felt an intense yearning to do something that allowed him to interact with people.

Hence, after deciding not to pursue a Ph.D. degree, he saved enough money and flew to Mexico instead. Travelling around Central America for a year, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg took advantage of this time to figure out what he wanted to do.

Ending up in Guatemala, Dr. Goldenberg met this one person who he considered his oracle. He confided in this person that he was passionate about science, but the art was missing. Because of this, that person told him that he should look into going to Bastyr University and become a Naturopath.

“I found an internet cafe and researched. It was a marriage of science and the heart,” recalls Dr. Joshua Goldenberg. “So I booked a flight home, and within months after touring several other schools, I did end up studying at Bastyr University.”

Career Shift

Dr. Joshua Goldenberg admits that the first year at Bastyr University was hard but challenging. After graduating from Bastyr University, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg eventually found work as a Naturopath Doctor at a family practice clinic.

During his tenure at the clinic, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg noticed that majority of the patients who were treated for healing their gut health had massive changes. Because the response to natural healing was very positive, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg eventually established his clinic which focused on gut health.

Probiotics Research

Dr. Joshua Goldenberg is likewise a researcher. His papers primarily focus on evidence-based practice, irritable bowel syndrome, probiotics, and research methodology.

“We statistically combine research studies and find the truth. What blew me away was the findings on Pediatric Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea,” said Dr. Joshua Goldenberg. “Twenty percent of kids develop diarrhea. And we studied how to protect the kids' guts through probiotics. It cuts the risk in half.”

He believes that not everyone needs to be taking probiotics since there is a risk to develop blood infection. According to Dr. Joshua Goldenberg, taking probiotics depends on the health situation of the individual.

“I saw how powerful natural medicine could be. Personally, I don't feel we need pills to stay well,” Dr. Goldenberg said. “The goal should be getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, good diet and strengthen spiritual mindset.”

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), is a condition wherein a bacteria stays longer and multiplies in the small intestine. Typically, the stomach muscle and small intestine should be able to push the food from your stomach through the small intestine and into your colon.

When this muscle action happens, bacteria are usually swept out of the small intestine. However, when SIBO occurs, we tend to experience symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and cramping.

There are some health conditions associated with SIBO, one of them being Crohn's disease. According to studies, 60 to 70% of patients have SIBO, and contrasting studies are looking into whether antibiotics or probiotics should be used as treatment.

However, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg says it can be cured naturally. One way is to avoid fermented foods. Other treatments include taking herbal tinctures or supplements and being conscious of what time you eat.


FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. It is a collection of short-chain carbohydrates found in certain foods that contribute to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders.

A low FODMAP diet is usually recommended to those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. What we eat really does play a big part in healing from IBS naturally.

“A low-FODMAP diet comprises specific foods healthy for you. GI doctors are beginning to use it for everything. It is most effective for SIBO and IBS,” said Dr. Joshua Goldenberg. “It is also used for many GI complaints. It is a hard diet to do, and it is best to do it with the guidance of a medical professional.”

Ongoing Research And Training

Researching more about irritable bowel syndrome and gut health is Dr. Joshua Goldenberg's biggest passion. He believes there's a massive amount of medical research out there. Hence, it is difficult for doctors to stay updated with the latest stuff.

Consequently, educating health care providers, coaches and doctors is the primary reason why Dr. Joshua Goldenberg put up his website. He says his site aims to serve as a vehicle for medical professionals, coaches and healthcare practitioners stay up to date on the best available research.

Furthermore, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg says that a lot of research done by outstanding scientists are total garbage. This is because there is a bias between Conventional and Natural medicine. Consequently, there is a need to help providers find studies they can trust.

“It is important to find the right studies especially for Integrated Medicine,” said Dr. Joshua Goldenberg. “There is a need to be better at evidence-based medicine than their conventional peers. That is why I created this website. It teaches them how to evaluate the research themselves.”

Dr. Journal Club

Dr. Joshua Goldenberg is a researcher, teacher, registered naturopathic doctor and founder of Dr. Journal Club, LLC. He is most passionate about the interplay of evidence and clinical practice.

Dr. Goldenberg is an active researcher with numerous publications in high impact scientific journals such as JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine and The Cochrane Library. His research focus includes irritable bowel syndrome, probiotics, evidence-informed practice, and research methodology.

He is currently Research Investigator at the Bastyr University Research Institute and Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Technology Sydney. He has presented nationally and internationally on evidence-based medicine as well as probiotics and research methodology. His probiotics work has been highlighted by the BBC, The New York Times, The Seattle Times, Prevention Magazine, and Fox News.

Dr. Goldenberg is a passionate educator and currently is faculty for the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine's Interprofessional Fellowship in Integrative Health and Medicine, where he teaches critical evaluation of the literature and evidence-informed practice. He is past adjunct faculty at Bastyr University, his alma mater, in which he enrolled after receiving honors and distinction in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania. He also guest lectures widely.

As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Joshua Goldenberg focuses on integrative approaches to irritable bowel syndrome as well as other gastrointestinal complaints working in concert with patients' conventional gastroenterologists. He is the current president of the Gastrointestinal Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

In 2014 Dr. Joshua Goldenberg created the medical education website Dr. Journal Club to share his passion for the interplay of evidence and clinical practice with the larger integrative medicine community.

Get Connected With Dr. Joshua Goldenberg:

Goldenberg Center

Dr. Journal Club

Twitter – Goldenberg

Facebook – Goldenberg

Twitter – Dr. Journal Club

Facebook – Dr. Journal Club

Recommended Readings by Dr. Joshua Goldenberg

The Power Of Habit  by Charles Duhigg

Elimination Diet 101Jennifer Vasche Lehner

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Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine


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