Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Nov 21, 2023
misc image
IBS is a digestive disorder characterized by bloating, changes in bowel habits, and abdominal pain which can be caused by digestive insufficiencies, food intolerances, or infections. Many potential treatments are available depending on the cause.

Irritable bowel syndrome  (IBS) can be classified as diarrhea-predominant, constipation-predominant, or a mixed subtype of either.  Studies show that those diagnosed with IBS usually have an altered gut microbiome, increased inflammation/ intestinal permeability, and systemic immune reactivity.

Causes of IBS:

1. Digestive Insufficiencies: Digestion imbalance and improper absorption may contribute to bowel symptoms. 

2. Gut Dysbiosis: Disruption in your normal gut bacteria are often observed in patients with IBS.

3. History of Gastrointestinal Infection: Research shows that previous gastrointestinal infection is a risk factor to develop IBS. We also have benign gut bacteria that under environmental pressures- such as overuse of antibiotics, poor diet and toxin exposure -can promote unwanted overgrowth and disrupt your gut.

4. Adverse Food Reactions: Studies have shown a correlation between certain foods and the development of symptoms. These foods often contain FODMAPs, lactose, or gluten.

5. Anxiety and stress: Lifestyle and environmental factors can affect the emergence and severity of IBS. Research shows that negative emotions, such as anxiety, play a major role in GI functioning due to the bidirectional relationship between the gut and brain axis.

6. Genetics and Vitamin Deficiency: Vitamin D deficiency and genetics have also been tied to the development of IBS.

At Signature Internal Medicine we take a root cause approach by offering further analysis with gut microbiome testing and food sensitivity testing and then formulate a personalized protocol for gut healing. Understanding the various factors that affect your gut microbiome helps to optimize the treatment regimen!

Written by Dr. Dina Diehl