By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC and Russell Shein
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder characterized by general gut-related symptoms of discomfort and a less than desirable level of gut health. IBS has many different symptoms which can make it difficult to diagnose. Regardless, IBS can make day to day life difficult due to the related discomfort. While IBS does not have one main cause, it can be linked to several different causes such as parasites, stress, bacteria imbalance, poor absorption, genetics, etc. The biggest thing to be aware of when looking to help your IBS is the levels of bacteria in your gut. The gut houses all sorts of bacteria which are generally beneficial in that they help to break down the foods that our bodies cannot break down on its own. These beneficial bacteria are kept in balance with “bad” bacteria that do not really do anything beneficial for us. The problem with bacteria is when the bad bacteria overwhelm the good bacteria, it leads to something called dysbiosis. In this state, the gut is less effective in processing nutrients from food and sending waste out of the body. This causes all kinds of issues including IBS symptoms. If you struggle with gut health, you might consider a test for IBS causes in the stool since it will look at your bacteria levels along with many other items. By balancing these out and supporting your gut properly, you may be able to improve your gut health and reduce the severity of your IBS symptoms.
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Medical disclaimer: Testing 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.