Did you know that something as simple as your diet can be causing several of your health issues? Many people come to me with serious stomach issues and my first instinct is to construct a food sensitivity test. A plethora of these patients have test results of borderline Celiac Disease, and once they omit gluten from their diets, their symptoms are alleviated significantly. So before you read on, consider reading this article on gluten sensitivity and how it can affect your body. However, there can also be many other factors that can cause this health issue and for that, read on to see how we can help.
Do You Have IBS?
We hear a lot about IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In 2012, the FDA approved Linzess for IBS with constipation; in 2015 the FDA approved Viberzi for IBS with diarrhea. We see advertisements on TV about these all the time and news programs often feature doctors who discuss IBS.
Really, what is IBS? It is typically a group of intestinal symptoms that occur together. These symptoms vary from person to person in both severity and duration. IBS can be divided into either the constipation or the diarrhea type. Symptoms include abdominal pain and cramping, gas and bloating. Often people have phases when they are symptom free, but the condition is really a chronic one. IBS shouldn’t be confused with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohns’ Disease, or Ulcerative Colitis.
Causes are not specifically known. Studies have shown positive associations with proton pump inhibitors, NSAIDS, and antibiotics by affecting the integrity of the intestinal lining and the microflora or the “good” bacteria of the gut. Stress and hormones can also be factors when determining causes.
If a person has abdominal pain which is relieved by defecation, a change in bowel habits and appearance, IBS should be strongly considered. It is a diagnosis of exclusion.
As naturopaths, we take a detailed history. IBS can mimic other conditions such as candidiasis, a disruption of the gut flora, pancreatic insufficiency, and even hormones. Therefore, careful diagnostic testing is encouraged.
To aid you, we can-
- Test for food sensitivities
- Order you a stool test
- Order blood work
These tests help to uncover problems that may be contributing to IBS including pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and yeast issues. With this information, an individual treatment plan can be developed. See the info graphic below for dietary action.
Sometimes symptoms are relieved just by giving up gluten and dairy, but if you have tried this and haven’t had any relief, contact us today.