Our Approach to IBS
Wherever possible we recommend testing to see what the underlying causes of each clients' symptoms of IBS are.
Our motto is
'"Test don't guess!"
As there are at least 5 different tests for IBS, we recommend that you first book in a consultation to discuss your specific symptoms in detail.
Once we know more about your individual case we will recommend the appropriate test for you.
What IBS tests do you recommend?
The truth is that every person’s symptoms are different and therefore the answer to this question depends very much on each individual. You see, IBS does not have any one cause. In fact, no-one actually knows what causes IBS. However, there may be some underlying causes and factors that can aggravate your symptoms.
My own clinical experience with clients experiencing digestive issues suggests that there are at least five types of IBS testing that can help you determine the causes of your particular symptoms and possibly reduce the flares associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
1. Consider a Food Intolerance test
Many IBS attacks can simply be prevented by discovering what foods you have a sensitivity to or cause your IBS symptoms to flare.
This is easier said than done, as many foods can cause delayed IgG reactions- this means you may eat a food, but not get a flare for up to 3 days after you ate the food.
Food sensitivities are not the same as food allergies and are certainly not life threatening in any way. However, they can wreak havoc with your digestion, causing pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea and fatigue.
To help uncover foods sensitivities, we may recommend running an IgG food intolerance test to try and uncover possible problem foods. We offer this test on-site with the help of a phlebotomist and we also can post a kit to you.
Food Intolerance tests can give you some very good clues and help you narrow things down. Once you have had a food intolerance test, it may be a very good idea to follow an elimination diet to test these foods.
The idea is to remove any foods that cause inflammation or may exacerbate your symptoms.
The most common offenders I see at my IBS clinic are often gluten, sugar, yeast and dairy products. However, we are all genetically different so it is important to remember that not everyone will have the same sensitivities or intolerances.
If you would like to book a consultation with a practitioner, please call us on 0345 1297996 or e-mail us at: [email protected]
2. Consider a SIBO Test
If you are experiencing bloating, wind, flatulence and burping and have had a lot of stress or food poisoning you may be suffering with a condition called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth can also be cause of diarrhea and malabsorption,
Additionally bloating, constipation, gas, fatigue have been reported.
Common signs of a SIBO infection include:
These symptoms may worse if you eat high Fodmap foods such as Onions or Garlic. If you have any of these symptoms, I highly recommend you book a SIBO test hydrogen breath test at our clinic and get tested. This test is a breath test that can be conducted at home or with our phlebotomist. If you do have Small Intetsinal Bacterial Overgrowth, you will need to take anti-bacterials and manage your diet.
3. Consider getting tested for Parasites
Parasites can be linked to symptoms such as diarrhea. nausea, wind., itching, fatigue.
If you experience gas, bloating and wind, this may be due to a parasitic infection.
Consider getting a Comprehensive Parasitology test.
4. Get tested for Candida
If you experience fatigue, sugar cravings, bloating, cravings for bread you may wish to consider getting tested for Candida. The most extensive test is a Comprehensive Parasitology stool test. This test is not available on the NHS but will detect over 60 species of Yeast
We offer Candida testing via a stool test- this is non-invasive and very easy to carry out at home.
5. Consider testing your Digestion and Absorption
Do you feel very full after eating? Do you sometimes feel that food is not being broken down, making you feel bloated, constipated and heavy?
These IBS symptoms may be due to lack of pancreatic enzymes. This can cause fermentation and putrefaction of foods in your colon leading to constipation or bloating and sometimes headaches.
The body's ability to manufacture enzymes decreases as part of the aging process. Also, genetics, stomach viruses, and stress can all wear away at the body's store of digestive enzymes.
If you carry out a comprehensive stool test you will also be able to look at the status of your digestion and absorption.
Consider booking a consultation with a health professional to book an appointment to discuss the best way forward
It is always best to take any supplement, only after consultation with a professional.
6. Consider getting tested for Adrenal Fatigue
Have you had a particularly stressful day or period at work? Have you started a new job or got a promotion? Have you recently stopped smoking?
There is no question that stress can cause many symptoms of IBS including bloating, gas, constipation and diarrheoa. There are studies that link IBS with higher stress hormones- cortisol
Did you know that your brain and gut are interconnected via the vagus nerve and your central nervous system? This means that your negative thoughts can have an effect on your gut, causing cramping, bloating and pain.
Sometimes this can happen in the evening, after you have accumulated a lot of stress.
Do you find that your IBS symptoms improve on holiday and suddenly return when you are back at work?
Then stress sounds like a possible culprit.
If stress is one of the causes of IBS, consider listening to some guidedn meditation such as Deepak Chopra
You could also consider looking at an adrenal stress index test as the latter will test your cortisol levels and if they are too high can be linked to acute stress that in the short term may cause anxiety and in the long-term may be linked to burn-out and exhaustion.
Have long walks in the park, try yoga, pilates, gentle exercise. The last thing you should do is turn to food or alcohol as this will only aggravate your symptoms.