What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is an extremely common disorder affecting around 30-45 million Americans—with the majority being women. It is the number one gastrointestinal diagnosis. IBS is considered a functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID). This means the gastrointestinal tract looks normal (without pathology), but it doesn’t work properly. IBS includes a combination of abdominal pain and irregular bowel habits which can alternate between diarrhea and constipation. IBS can be very uncomfortable, embarrassing, and can significantly alter quality of life. People who develop IBS are three times more likely to call in sick to work or school which can take a toll on a person’s well-being.
Causes of IBS
The cause of IBS is often multifactorial in nature. However, SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) is now considered the leading cause. In fact, it is estimated that SIBO is the cause of approximately 60-80% of IBS cases. Food poisoning (acute gastroenteritis) is another very common cause of IBS. It is estimated two-thirds of IBS is caused by food poisoning and referred to as post-infectious IBS. Both post-infectious IBS and SIBO are now known to be the same condition, arising from the same etiology.
Symptoms of IBS
The most common symptoms people develop with IBS include:
- Straining during defication
- Stool urgency
- Incomplete feeling after a bowel movement
- Passing mucus
- GERD/Acid Reflux
- Gas and bloating/distention
- Abdominal pain
- Unrelated GI symptoms such as urinary or sexual complications
Functional Medical Testing can Help Diagnose IBS
Our clinic has the ability to run multiple functional medical tests which could pinpoint what is causing your IBS symptoms which include SIBO breath testing, DNA based comprehensive stool testing, food sensitivity testing, bloodwork, and more. After an examination and testing, we can determine what treatments are best. Call or email our office to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive diagnostic work up regarding your digestive symptoms.