Why IBS is a BS diagnosis: Bold statement, we know!
IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. While there is a “criteria” to diagnose someone with IBS, this diagnosis is essentially given when conventional labs are unable to find answers to your digestive symptoms (i.e bloating, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, etc).
Now, before we get too deep, we need to clarify. We aren’t all against the IBS diagnosis itself, as there is some good to it. By the time you are diagnosed with IBS, your doctor should have exhausted all other tests to exclude any chronic conditions such as cancer, polyps, IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) like Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn's Disease, etc. Knowing this can greatly impact your treatment plan and goals around care.
The criteria to diagnose someone with IBS is the Rome Criteria and is as follows, “These criteria include belly pain and discomfort averaging at least one day a week in the last three months. This must also occur with at least two of the following: Pain and discomfort related to defecation, a change in the frequency of defecation, or a change in stool consistency.” …pretty vague right?!
Time and time again we have clients coming to us who have been told by their doctor they have IBS, and unfortunately they’re not given much of an action plan to help manage their symptoms.
Sound familiar? If so, you’ve probably been on the search for answers for a long time – you’ve gone to doctor after doctor, you’ve created a long list of foods that may or may not cause a reaction, and you’ve maybe even had a colonoscopy. You probably feel like you are at the end of your rope and this is just something you will have to deal with for the rest of your life.
Essentially, IBS is not a cause, but rather a description of a collection of symptoms (i.e. bloating, constipation, diarrhea, stomach aches, etc). Based on these symptoms, you may be prescribed medication to help manage. These can be helpful for some so they can continue on with daily tasks and feel better, but the issue lies in that once you stop these medications, those symptoms come right back. Essentially the medication is not a long-term solution to actually fix the problem - the medication is instead used as a “band-aid” approach to cover up symptoms temporarily.
Symptoms are our body's way of telling us that something is wrong underneath the surface. Simply masking these (with medication) does not help us find long-term solutions; however, medication can be helpful to give you temporary relief. If the “root cause” of your IBS symptoms is not discovered, the hidden cause of your IBS could potentially lead to further issues down the road. We ideally want to uncover exactly WHY you have constipation, exactly WHY you have diarrhea, exactly WHY you have stomach pain, or exactly WHY you have bloating.
And that’s exactly what we do. It’s time to not just manage your symptoms, but actually find answers and the cause (or “root cause”) of your IBS symptoms and what imbalance(s) is truly causing your symptoms so you can fix the problem for good.
Here’s how we can help! It's time to find real answers.
We use the GI Map by Diagnostic Solutions in our practice to dig deeper and not leave you on the never ending search for what foods to avoid or eliminate from your diet. There are a multitude of findings from the GI Map that can show us exactly what is causing your gut issues like bloating, constipation, diarrhea or stomach aches. Some of these are:
H. Pylori: a bacteria that burrows into the lining of your stomach and causes a wide array of symptoms like: low stomach acid, food intolerances, constipation and/or diarrhea, bloat, gas, abdominal pain, and more. Overgrowth of H. pylori can also cause a lot of downstream effects on the gut, making it easier for other pathogens and other overgrowth of bacteria to occur.
Dysbiosis: imbalance of good and bad bacteria. Different strains of harmful bacteria within the gut can cause constipation and/or diarrhea, abdominal cramping, food sensitivities, histamine production, fatigue, gas, bloat, and more!
Candida: yeast overgrowth. Candida is able to overgrow when the rest of the microbiome is unstable. This infection can further gut issues like constipation/diarrhea, gas, bloat, and even spread systemically and impact joints and muscles causing pain and stiffness, as well as the vaginal microbiome leading to recurrent UTI’s.
Parasites: These, like all other overgrowths, can be detrimental to your gut and a cause of your “IBS” symptoms. They can lead to many different gut symptoms, as well as impact your mental health and mood.
Poor intestinal health: things like low enzyme production, poor gut immune response, fat malabsorption, and more can cause a wide array of digestive issues. Many providers skip over these vital markers for your gut’s overall health and wellbeing.
As you can see, many of these pathogens and bacteria cause the exact same symptoms that your “IBS” is causing. So whatever you do, if you are told that you have IBS, please don’t settle! You absolutely deserve real answers and we can help you find those with specialized testing and individualized care. Finding out you have IBS is not the end of the road for you, we promise.
Contact us today if you are ready to find the cause of your IBS and heal from within - this way, we can eliminate those IBS symptoms for good.
Ready to get your life back? I’d love to chat with you! Learn about our Functional Nutrition Coaching services or contact us at email@example.com.