IBS Diagnosis

What’s causing your IBS?

Dr Rangan Chatterjee has said he can make diseases disappear!

He’s certainly not some type of magician so what is he talking about?

It seems that some people who suffer from chronic conditions, such as IBS, and may have been suffering for an extended period believe that little can help them beyond easing their symptoms through drugs or being permanently on a restrictive diet such as the full low FODMAP, and then often seeing a partial improvement.

And I understand where they are coming from.

IBS is a group of symptoms, including diarrhoea or constipation, bloating and abdominal pain. Doctors call it a ‘functional gastro-intestinal disorder’ which means the GI tract doesn’t show any physical abnormalities but functions abnormaly.

An IBS diagnosis is given by a doctor using a process of exclusion, meaning that once all tests come back normal but symptoms persist, the diagnosis is given. As the underlying cause isn’t known, a conventional doctor then can only treat the symptoms using drugs or surgery or the patient is told that the condition is all in their mind or there is nothing that can be done.

Find out what’s causing your IBS

As Functional Medicine practitioners however, we aim we get to the root cause of a health problem.

For example, with IBS, we look at possible bacteria and fungal overgrowth and why this may have occurred, parasites, slow digestion, food sensitivities, gluten disorders, emotional wellbeing, carbohydrate maldigestion.

Monash University, one of the pioneers of the low FODMAP diet, say the diet should be used for 2-6 weeks and not for life. After the elimination phase, the re-introduction phase monitors your individual response to the re-introduction of a high FODMAP food. This allows the identification of specific foods that that person has a sensitivity and may be leading to IBS.

This can lead to a less restrictive diet than the full low FODMAP diet but symptoms may still unexpectedly occur as there may be an additional cause such as small intestinal overgrowth (SIBO).

A follow-up post on SIBO as a common cause of IBS will be following soon..