Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is commonly called IBS and it is the most common diagnosed digestion problem that people present to their doctors or naturopaths for.
Once conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease has been ruled out, which is conditions like Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease then you are usually given the label of IBS. The medical treatment of IBS includes medications like Imodium and Movicol to address the symptoms of IBS but they do not treat the cause.
If you have the following symptoms the chances are you will be diagnosed with IBS by your doctor:
Alternating Diarrhea and constipation
Irritable bowel syndrome can be uncomfortable for some people, embarrassing for others (creating too much wind!) and absolutely debilitating for others (needing to know where the toilets are wherever they go).
Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Irritable bowel syndrome has many causes, is not one condition or disease, but a collection of symptoms that can have many causes.
Identifying the cause of IBS can save a lot of time and money which could be wasted on unnecessary supplements, strange diets or years of discomfort if you do not find the cause.
This can include many different foods that are well known to cause food intolerance's including:
Wheat and other gluten containing grains
Lactose from dairy
Casein from dairy
Plus other foods that are less known to cause IBS symptoms, including:
Onions and garlic
Other non-gluten grains like rice and quinoa
Helicobacter Pylori Infection
This strange sounding infection is a bacterial infection of the stomach that can affect all aspects of your digestion, especially reflux, bloating and pain. The symptoms can come and go which makes it hard to pinpoint the exact problem.
The best way to test for Helicobacter pylori is with a stool antigen test, this is part of the CDSA test.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
This is one of the most common causes of Irritable bowel syndrome, and it occurs when you have an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine.
Most people know that they should have trillions of bacteria in their intestines, but these bacteria which have many beneficial roles in keeping you healthy should be in the large intestine, and not the small intestine.
SIBO occurs once the bacteria start to grow in the small intestine, these bacteria create the gases hydrogen and methane which cause many of the symptoms of IBS, including gas, bloating, reflux, constipation or diarrhea.
SIBO can be caused by diet, medications, stress, physical problems or other infections like Helicobacter pylori.
People often associate parasite infections with visiting exotic places in other parts of the world, but these infections are quite common everywhere now and can be easily transmitted to other people.
IBS symptoms caused by parasite or bacterial infections can also be intermittent due to the life cycle of the parasites, also symptoms will depend on how healthy you are, if you are stressed, run down or have other digestion issues the symptoms are going to be a lot worse.
While pathogenic bacteria can cause many digestion problems as well as other health issues ranging from headaches to skin conditions, having low levels of beneficial bacteria can cause many of the same symptoms.
We should have trillions of beneficial bacteria in our large intestine, but when we have low levels of our many lactobacilli species, bifiodbacteriumu or other beneficial bacteria like Eschericia coli and Enterococci this can allow pathogenic bacteria and candida to thrive.
The best way to test for low levels of beneficial bacteria is with a CDSA test.
Low Levels of Stomach Acid and Pancreatic Enzymes
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Betaine Hydrochloride and pancreatic enzymes are important for the breakdown and digestion of food in the stomach and small intestine. Low levels of these digestive enzymes can lead to poor absorption of nutrients, even if you do have a good diet you may not be able to digest these foods properly to get the valuable vitamins and minerals that they include.
The best way to test these absorption markers is with a CDSA test.
The Best Test to Identify Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There is no one test to identify all digestion problems, but the two tests that I would recommend to find out exactly what is happening with your digestion are an SIBO breath test and a Comprehensive Digestive Stool analysis.
SIBO is short for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and be easily tested at home with a special SIBO breath test collection kit. The test requires you to do a breath sample every 20 minutes for a 3 hour period to track and detect the presence of hydrogen and methane gases, these gases should not be detected in your digestion tract so a positive reading indicates SIBO.