By Alane Stieglitz, ND, CNC
When I think of IBS symptoms, I feel sad, but then I feel okay.
I had to put up with the daily fear of IBS symptoms ruining my day from age ten. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, there did not seem to be a reason for my symptoms, but they were real. I did not know why I had IBS, and I wanted to know how to stop it and feel better.
At age ten, we had moved to a new neighborhood and a new school district. I did not want to move, I was happy where we were living, and it did cause me tremendous stress. After a few weeks, I felt comfortable in our new home and started to make friends. But I noticed my stomach aches did not feel better. Something felt like it changed in me as I never had IBS symptoms before.
Some fears I had growing up had to do with my social life. I was scared to eat out with friends because I did not want them to know about my severe diarrhea and the hours I spent in the bathroom. And I especially did not want to get sick in a restaurant, away from home. So, when I went out, I would just eat very bland and drink ginger ale or cola.
If there was a long trip to take in the car, I would not eat 24 hours before and during the journey, of course. I was skinny and tired due to these IBS symptoms.
Mom would take me to the doctor often about my stomach. He ran all the usual tests, upper and lower GI, barium enema, and colonoscopy, but everything returned OK.
Years later, in college, I started to learn about food and how it affects the gut. I did not want to stop eating the food I liked, but I would try almost anything to feel better and live everyday life. I did food intolerance testing, which included gluten, and to my surprise, I had severe gluten intolerance. I had no idea! All those years, eating white bread, egg noodles, crackers, pop-tarts, cakes, cookies, the list goes on and on, and it really was my diet causing my IBS symptoms. There were other foods too that tested positive, like dairy and beef but gluten was the highest.
My story gets better when I share that 48 hours it a 100% gluten-free diet; something changed, but this time it was for the better. My stomach felt calm, I had no grumbling, no rushing to the bathroom, and the fear started to disappear. In the end, it was food intolerances causing all of my IBS symptoms. Who would have known without testing?
If you are dealing with IBS, please consider this test for food intolerance
This is the stool test I also ran on myself, which taught me how to improve the overall health of my gut.
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Medical disclaimer: Our tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.