If you’ve been suffering from stomach problems for several months, your doctors don’t know what to do, plus you're looking to take your life back this article is for you.
…first, let’s get right to the heart of this article.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
The bullet point version is…
It’s a condition where a patient’s tests for every other possible stomach and gut disease comes back negative. And when that happens they call what is going on IBS.
It’s a frustrating condition that doesn't go away on its own where a person suffers from several bowel problems. Including pain, constipation, chronic diarrhea, and more.
It’s officially diagnosed when your digestive symptoms last for at least three months, and symptoms appear at a frequency of at least three days each month.
What about the longer explanation?
Irritable bowel syndrome (also called ‘IBS’) is a common condition that affects over 10% of the population in the United States, and twice as many women as men.
It’s not considered an official disease by the medical community.
However, it can cause PAIN, mess up your bowels, and make eating your favourite foods an absolute nightmare.
There are also three different types of irritable bowel syndrome to be aware of. The types of IBS are called IBS-D (diarrhea), IBS-C (constipation), and IBS-M (mixed type).
Each type is named after the primary stomach problems associated with it. Either constipation, diarrhea, or both at the same time.
Lastly, what makes having irritable bowel syndrome uniquely frustrating is IBS is very difficult to diagnose because of the following two reasons:
1) It causes no visible structural problems such as bowel obstruction in your gut.
2) There are no tests that a doctor can run that will tell you if you have irritable bowel syndrome or not.
Which means if you're an IBS sufferer…to your primary care doctor it looks like there is nothing physically wrong with you when you show up to a doctors appointment.
This “invisibility” factor of IBS leads many doctors to be skeptical of patients, or wrongly accuse them of having psychological problems instead of physical ones. Often leaving IBS sufferers feeling angry, isolated, afraid, and confused.
That’s what IBS is.
So… what causes irritable bowel syndrome?
Because IBS is so frustrating to diagnosis people who have it often want to know what could have caused it.
Here are the top two causes that account for 80% of the IBS cases we see in our clinic:
1. LEAKY GUT
Also called intestinal permeability, leaky gut is the #1 single biggest cause of IBS we see in our clinic. In fact, I can't think of a single patient that has had IBS and did not also have leaky gut.
What is leaky gut disease?
Leaky gut disease is where the stuff in your gut from the food you've eaten leaks into your blood. This causes toxins that normally gets filtered out through your poop and urine to travel throughout your body.
Which causes chronic low grade inflammation, and an ‘oil spill’ of health problems including irritable bowel syndrome to occur.
2. ALLERGIES AND FOOD SENSITIVITIES
Allergies and food sensitivities are the second most common cause of irritable bowel syndrome we see in our clinic.
Food sensitivities and allergies often catch people by surprise because in most cases foods a person could handle no problem the day before suddenly start to trigger IBS out of the blue.
The longer you have IBS the more sensitive your gut becomes. Which makes you sensitive to more foods until your gut starts acting like an angry uncle. Raging at everything.
Left untreated your gut can become so sensitive that even water can cause you to experience IBS symptoms such as severe stomach pain.
There are 4 lesser IBS causes that I think are worth going over:
1) HORMONAL IMBALANCES
Hormone imbalances cause your entire body to react in several negative ways including unwanted weight gain. One of those negative ways is developing irritable bowel syndrome.
2) MALFUNCTIONING NERVES
Malfunctioning nerves in the gut can cause the muscles in your gut that help manage your urge (and ability) to produce bowel movements to stop working properly.
One of the most hidden causes of IBS is a parasite infection. Studies show parasites can live within your intestines for YEARS without causing you any symptoms, only to start causing havoc without warning.
Parasites can cause IBS because most of the time parasites prefer to live within your gut.
If you think a parasite infection couldn't happen to you, know that some health experts estimate up to HALF of the population are currently infected by a parasite.
The reason the number is so high is because there’s a lot of ways to get infected by a parasite: including through food, water, and from insect bites.
So, if you like camping, or braved one of those suspicious truck stop sandwiches in the last couple of years your IBS could have been caused by a parasite.
4) GENETIC FACTORS
Having family members who have IBS increases your chance of developing IBS. If your parents or siblings have IBS it could be genetic.
What IBS is Not: Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It's worth mentioning that as you continue to seek knowledge about IBS you should avoid making this common mistake:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome should not be confused with a similarly named condition called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (also called IBD).
IBD is only used to describe full blown digestive diseases such as Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis. Which are diseases caused by inflammation of the bowel, or autoimmune reactions that affect the gut.
Ok, I think I have IBS, what are the symptoms?
There are no tests that will tell you if you have irritable bowel syndrome.
However, an official IBS diagnosis is made when you suffer from at least 2 of the following symptoms if they last for at least 3 months, and appear at a frequency of at least 3 days a month.
Here are 12 irritable bowel syndrome symptoms to look out for:
Constipation means having less than three bowel movements a week.
When constipation is your #1 biggest symptom we call it IBS- C.
2) DIARRHEA AFTER EATING
Diarrhea means having watery stools, and feeling an uncontrollable urge to poop several times per day. It will feel as if your ability to “hold it” no longer works. And it may make you afraid to stray too far from a toilet.
When diarrhea after eating is your #1 biggest symptom we call it IBS- D.
3) CHANGES IN HOW YOUR POOP LOOKS
Normal poop has a certain texture and color. If the texture and color of your stool suddenly changes it could be because of IBS.
4) BLOATING AFTER EATING
It's normal for your stomach to be larger by the end of the day than it is in the morning. It's not normal to suffer bloating at all times of the day. If you’re constantly bloated you’re experiencing a symptom of IBS.
5) IBS GAS
Everyone passes gas. However, if you find yourself “farting uncontrollably” during the day (sorry for the mental image) it could be a sign of IBS.
6) EXCESSIVE BURPING
Excessive burping is a sign of IBS, and can make it hard to exercise, or keep food down. If you find yourself burping uncontrollably (especially if you haven’t eaten a meal in the last couple of hours) you could have IBS.
7) STOMACH PAIN
IBS pain often starts off dull, but can quickly become a stabbing pain that leaves you unable to move, or even forces you to visit the emergency room.
When I had IBS pain in my 20’s it forced me to go to the emergency room quite a few times. It was so intense I almost passed out. If you're experiencing chronic stomach pain it could be IBS.
8) FEELING LIKE YOU'RE GOING TO VOMIT AFTER EATING
Feeling nausea after eating is a telltale sign of IBS. IBS causes your gut to become more sensitive to food which can cause nausea.
9) HEARTBURN, ACID REFLUX, OR LARYNGOPHARYNGEAL REFLUX
Heartburn, acid reflux, or laryngopharyngeal reflux can occur as your sensitive stomach caused by IBS tries to digest and absorb food.
If you're experiencing any type of reflux IBS could be the main cause.
10) SUDDEN CHANGE IN APPETITE
Because IBS changes how you digest food, experiencing a sudden change in appetite is also a symptom of IBS.
This includes both excessive hunger due to a lack of nutrients being absorbed, or a complete loss of appetite.
11) CONSTANT UNPLEASANT TASTE IN YOUR MOUTH
One symptom of longterm IBS is an unpleasant taste in your mouth caused by bile that “comes up” due to various forms of reflux.
12) CHRONIC FATIGUE
Energy comes from eating and sleeping. When you have IBS it affects how much food you’re absorbing and your quality of sleep.
Ok, I think I have IBS.
How dangerous is it to ignore?
Left untreated IBS symptoms tend to get worse the longer you have the condition.
IBS leaves sufferers fatigued, unable to eat normally, and without the nutrients required to recover properly from day to day life.
However, with that said IBS is not considered to be dangerous by the medical community. Irritable bowel syndrome does not increase the risk of colon cancer, diverticulitis, or other gut disorders.
Though, while IBS might not be dangerous…the symptoms it causes can destroy your quality of life, cause you to be fired from your job, and render you unable to leave your house.
Last words: How do I fix irritable bowel syndrome?
Very few doctors know how to properly treat IBS.
So, scheduling an appointment to fix irritable bowel syndrome with your general care provider usually ends up being pointless.
There is no surgery, over-the-counter, or prescription medication that will fix your irritable bowel syndrome.
On the contrary, both over-the-counter (and prescription medication) such as proton pump inhibitors, or NSAIDs will make your IBS worse with long term use.
So what should you do?
Luckily there is a 100% all natural way to fix irritable bowel syndrome. And we've been helping patients accomplish this for the last 30 years.
So, what we recommend to repair your lBS condition is to use a specific combination of diet changes, and supplements outlined in our “3 Step Protocol”.
It’s designed to help you understand what foods to avoid with IBS, plus help you repair your gut.
Click the link below to request a free PDF showing you how to do it.
[Enter your email below to fix your irritable bowel syndrome today]
P.S. Please don't be intimidated by the name “3 Step Protocol”. It's actually quite simple to follow.
The 3 steps are to first eliminate your symptoms to get you IBS relief fast, then lower your inflammation, and lastly rebuild your gut.
What the protocol involves is following a simple irritable bowel syndrome diet that eliminates certain “trigger foods”, while simultaneously adding beneficial supplements such as probiotics to get rid of IBS.
P.P.S. What about fiber for treating IBS?
Every health article on fibre talks about how good it is for you, and how the health of your gut depends on fibre.
However, for many people the truth is eating less fibre will drastically improve IBS symptoms especially if constipation (or IBS-C) is your main problem.
So, adding more fiber to your diet most likely won’t improve your IBS symptoms.
We explain it more in our free PDF guide showing you how to repair IBS which you can download above.
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