In America, 10-15% of the population has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). That is a lot of the people with poor gut health. In which I would say that percentage is even higher at this point.
There is a discussion about is IBS an actual condition or is it a symptom of another root cause? I dove into this topic a bit, in which you can read about it here.
More research is being done, in which there are ways to actually test for Irritable Bowel Syndrome! The IBS-Smart isn’t the end all be all, but it can at least give people answers. I still believe you should at least have the SIBO breathe test done along with a stool test to ensure there isn’t another root cause.
For those of struggling with IBS and/or IBS-like symptoms this is what you should know.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
It is a gastrointestinal disorder, in which you can experience diarrhea, constipation, or a combo. The common symptoms are:
- Excessive Gas
- Stomach Discomfort
- Stomach Pain/Cramping
These are the criteria of symptoms for IBS, however there are additional ones such as fatigue, brain fog, skin changes, and so on. More often times than not points to a root cause.
What are the different types of IBS?
- IBS-D: This is IBS associated with diarrhea and common symptoms are stomach pain and cramps, frequent diarrhea, gas, bloating, and urgency.
- IBS-C: This is IBS associated with constipation and common symptoms are infrequent stools, stomach pain and cramping, unable to completely go to the bathroom, bloating, and gas.
- IBS-M: This is IBS with both diarrhea and constipation, in which symptoms are a combination of those above.
Depending on the form of IBS, this can give you an idea of what type of SIBO could also be involved. If you are IBS-D, it is often associated with hydrogen dominant SIBO. If you have IBS-C, it is often associated with methane dominant SIBO. However, it isn’t cut and dry and ALWAYS get tested!
Is there a way to test for IBS?
For a long time, doctors would give this diagnosis when they didn’t know what was going on. However, with the IBS-Smart test, it can point in the direction of what bacteria triggered this reaction.
More often times than not, having food poisoning can trigger bacteria to remain in the body leading to antibodies. The test looks for CdtB antibodies, which can indicate your symptoms coming from food poisoning.
Food poisoning can also cause other issues in the body leading to these symptoms as well. Some individuals get bacterial overgrowth, microbiome imbalances, parasites, and so on. Therefore, I wouldn’t say this test is the end all be all, but it can at least help you get answers.
How do I treat IBS?
This is very individualized based on what your symptoms are. I always recommend that you find a practitioner, who while perform multiple tests to get the full picture. This can include:
- Stool Tests
- Food Sensitivity Tests
- Yeast Overgrowth (often a stool test)
- SIBO Breathe Tests
- Parasites (often a stool test)
- H. Pylori
- Low Stomach Acid (a blog on this very soon)
- Macronutrient Imbalances
- Micronutrient Imbalances (most common are deficiencies in B12, Magnesium, Folate, and Iron)
The overall thing to do is dig deeper in what, when, and how you began having these symptoms. I thought I was doomed to have these issues for the rest of my life. However, through testing and finding the right practitioner I got answers and have begun healing.
You can check out my healing journey so far here. I’d love it if you’d share this with anyone struggling with IBS. Thank you so much for reading!
**This information is not meant as medical or nutritional advice. Always check with your qualified healthcare professional before incorporating new supplements or nutritional changes into your routine. A Primal Health Coach (PHC) is trained to evaluate nutritional needs and make recommendations of dietary changes and nutritional supplements. A PHC is unable to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition. I cannot guarantee any specific result from recommendations as we are all bio-individually different. If you are under the care of a healthcare provider, it is important that you contact them and alert them to any changes in your lifestyle in regards to nutrition and supplements. A health coach may be a beneficial addition to more traditional care, and it may also alter your need for medication, so it is important you always keep your physician informed of changes in your nutritional program.