I want to talk about irritable bowel syndrome this week, also known as IBS. Gut issues are very intricately associated with hypothyroidism. But they are a beast of their own and require focused interventions.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
IBS refers to a group of symptoms that occur together. These include pain in the stomach that comes with changes in frequency of bowel movement (i.e. diarrhea, constipation) or changes in consistency of stool (soft, loose stool or hard stools). Excess bloating and excess gas are also symptoms of IBS.
The good thing about IBS is that it doesn’t come with any physical damage to the gut or digestive tract. Not any that you can visibly see anyways. Physical manifestations, like damaged villi, occur in other digestive conditions, like Celiac’s disease.
What Causes IBS?
The cause of IBS is gut dysbiosis or an imbalance in the good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Bacteria, good bacteria, in the gut are absolutely essential. They:
- Help make poop
- Protect your gut lining from bad bacteria and other pathogens
- Help support your immune system (have you ever heard that a huge part of your immune system is in your gut?)
- And make a variety of nutrients, including vitamin K and B vitamins
When these bacteria get out of balance, so does your gut health and your ability to have regular, healthy, painless poops.
Now, you’re probably wondering what increases your chances of gut dysbiosis.
Here are some of the most common causes:
- History of antibiotic use
- Heavy metals found in our food and environment
- Artificial sweeteners
- Gut inflammation
How to Treat IBS
The best way to treat IBS is through diet. There’s no question about it. If you have ever heard about the FODMAP diet, you’re on the right track!
But there’s much more to IBS than just cutting out foods that cause symptoms.
It’s important to address gut dysbiosis and gut inflammation, which will restore good gut function. This also means being able to enjoy onions, garlic, and watermelon without symptoms.
If you’ve tried the FODMAP diet or other interventions without luck, let’s talk! Schedule a free information call to learn more about how I help my clients heal their gut.