Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. In fact, studies estimate that 38-96 million Americans suffer from IBS, although only 5 to 7% have been diagnosed. Symptoms of IBS include frequent diarrhea, constipation—or both—gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.
IBS is a group of symptoms, including abdominal pain or discomfort and changes in bowel movement patterns. Doctors call IBS a “functional gastrointestinal disorder.” This means that the GI tract behaves doesn’t function properly, but does not show any physical damage.
In reality, IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning you’ve had extensive lab testing, studies, and procedures done, but everything comes back normal, and doctors are unable to identify a diagnosable condition that would explain your symptoms. Because of this, conventional medicine focuses on managing the symptoms of the disease, usually with potent immunosuppressive medications and invasive surgeries.
#1 Cause is Stress – This is because your brain and your gut are connected by your central nervous system via the vagus nerve. When you are stressed, your body’s stress response can cause your colon to contract too much or too little (causing constipation or diarrhea) in the same way that stress can cause your heart rate to increase and your blood pressure to rise.
Interestingly, the connection shared between your gut and your brain is actually a two-way connection. Your brain sends signals to your gut, but your gut produces key neurotransmitters that your brain uses to regulate mood. In fact your gut produces 95% of your serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep. This means that gut issues can impact your serotonin levels, causing you to actually experience more stress, which can in turn affect your IBS.
Other causes include Food allergens or sensitivities, Parasites, Yeast Overgrowth and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.
Source – adapted from www.amymeyersmd.com
NOTE – Content is not considered medical advice. Please see a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes.