Irritable Bowel Syndrome
by Dr Frey of CountryHealth Ltd
What is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a mix of symptoms like bloating or gas, distention, constipation, diarrhea, cramping—where your bowel is just irritable.
When you look into the bowels with a camera, you don’t really see anything. There is no structural problem, no tumor or obvious cause.
What causes IBS?
The root problem is a dysfunction of your gut ecosystem which can have many causes.
If you have five people with IBS, the causes may be quite different for each person.
Food allergens or sensitivities
The first thing that can happen is that foods can irritate your bowel and digestive system.
They are called food intolerances. It’s not a true allergy like a peanut allergy or shellfish allergy, but it can cause terrible symptoms, and they are very common.
The most common thing in food that people react to is gluten. That’s the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt.
It’s a very common reaction even if you don’t have celiac disease, which is a full-blown reaction to gluten.
Even if your doctor tells you your tests for gluten antibodies or celiac are normal,
you can still have a severe reaction.
Dairy is another big problem. This can be caused by the lactose, which about 75 percent of people can’t digest.
Even if you don’t have lactose intolerance, you might have a problem with dairy as it also contains proteins (like casein and whey) that also can cause irritation and inflammation in your gut.
There are many, many other foods people can react to, including soy, corn, and eggs.
Are there any tests available?
You can either follow an elimination diet which takes most of the known food items out of your diet. After a two week “spring clean” you then introduce one food item at the time, giving it about 3-5 days to check for effects before starting another food item.
If you get a reaction, you put this item on your “NO” list, wait a few days until you feel better, and then try the next item. This approach is successful, but time consuming.
You can also have a food intolerance blood test, which checks for antibodies that your body created against food items it cannot tolerate. You can find out more at the end of this newsletter.
If you want to find out more and be guided by a doctor with a special interest in functional medicine who makes time to listen to you… make an appointment.”
The Human Microbiome
The second cause of IBS is imbalances in your gut ecosystem. You have 10 times as many bacterial cells in your gut as your own cells. You are only 10 percent human!
These bugs have to be in balance for you to be healthy. We call this the human microbiome.
If you have bad bugs growing in there or an overgrowth of yeast, or if you have parasites or worms, you can get IBS.
SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
Also, if you have bugs in the wrong spot, you can have a problem. Most of the bacteria are in your large intestine, but sometimes, they kind of move up and go into the small intestine. That’s not very good, because that should be sterile.
When you eat food that’s starchy—bread, cereal, pasta, rice, or sugary foods—the bacteria ferment the sugars in the food. The bacteria ferment the sugars in the food you eat, and you blow up. That’s why you get bloating right after meals.
That’s a very common symptom of bacterial overgrowth. We call that SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It’s very common and a very easy thing to treat.
A simple breath test can find out whether you suffer from SIBO.
Yeast overgrowth happens because of taking antibiotics, steroids, contraceptive pills, or acid-blocking drugs. It also occurs if you eat a lot of sugar, drink alcohol, or you are diabetic.
Overgrowth of yeast can be treated with an antifungal medication or herb, such as oil of oregano.
This may be needed to identify parasites or worms. At CountryHealth we can arrange innovative stool testing that not only looks for infections but imbalances in your ecosystem.
Do you have enough of the good bacteria? Do you have worms or parasites or yeast or other bad bugs?
Are you ready to find out more?
If you want to find out more and be guided by a doctor with a special interest in functional medicine who makes time to listen to you, helps you to find the most appropriate test and creates a tailored action plan, then call Woolpit Complementary or click here to make an appointment.