Do Gut Bacteria Cause Ibs
The bacteria and other microbes in your gut are strongly linked to IBS symptoms .
While we cant yet prove beyond doubt that your gut bacteria are causing your IBS symptoms, countless studies have shown that people with IBS symptoms are far more likely to have dysbiosis than people with no IBS symptoms.
If youd like to learn more about the inextricable link between IBS symptoms and dysbiosis, check out our blog Irritable bowel syndrome: how can the NHS help?
Dysbiosis is an imbalance of the communities of bacteria and other microbes that live in your gut. There are over 1000 different types of them, and in an ideal world, they all live together in harmony, each one doing important work to keep you healthy.
Your collection of gut microbesknown as your microbiomeis as unique as your fingerprint. While two very different microbiomes can both be healthy, theres one thing that all the best microbiomes have in common: diversity.
A lack of diversity is the hallmark of dysbiosis . And if youve got IBS symptoms, youre very likely to have dysbiosis. In a study conducted in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Spain, on patients between 17 and 76 years old, 73% of IBS patients had dysbiosis, while only 16% of healthy individuals had dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis comes in many forms. Lets take a look at some of the different ways your microbiome can get off track.
How Does Ibs Affect My Body
In people with IBS, the colon muscle tends to contract more than in people without the condition. These contractions cause cramps and pain. People with IBS also tend to have a lower pain tolerance. Research has also suggested that people with IBS may have excess bacteria in the GI tract, contributing to symptoms.
Ibs And Other Conditions
Other conditions can also produce similar symptoms to IBS. For example:
- Celiac disease is a digestive disorder triggered by gluten. This is a protein found in barley, rye, and wheat. In addition to other symptoms, celiac disease can cause vomiting, weight loss, and foul-smelling stool. It may also lead to anemia, bone or joint pain, seizures, and rash.
- Diverticulosis doesnt always produce noticeable symptoms, other than bloating. However, diverticulosis can turn into diverticulitis which means these areas of the colon can get infected and inflamed causing abdominal pain, a change in bowel habits, fever, chills and even bloody stools.
- Endometriosis and IBS share many symptoms, especially pelvic pain. Endometriosis occurs when hormone-responsive tissue that is supposed to be inside the uterus, somehow becomes attached to other areas of the body, most often the intestines. It can result in abdominal cramping, painful periods, painful intercourse, and bleeding between periods along with many other symptoms depending on the location of the abnormal endometrial tissue.
- Heartburn tends to cause a burning sensation behind the breastbone, usually after meals, when lying down, or bending over.
- Dyspepsia can cause discomfort in the upper abdomen, sometimes after eating, but not related to using the bathroom.
- Lactose intolerance means your body cant tolerate lactose, the sugar found in milk. According to the
Also Check: Turmeric For Diarrhea
How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosed
There is no test that confirms the diagnosis of IBS. A doctor can usually diagnose IBS from the typical symptoms.
Your doctor will check that there is nothing else going on. Usually this will include an examination of your tummy and back passage and some simple tests.
- Full blood count – to rule out lack of iron in the blood , which is associated with various gut disorders.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein – which can show if there is inflammation in the body .
- A blood test for coeliac disease.
- In women, a blood test to rule out cancer of the ovary, called CA 125.
- A stool test to look for a protein called faecal calprotectin. This may be present if you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but is not present in IBS. A stool test may also be used to check whether you have any bleeding from your bowel.
More complicated tests such as gastroscopy or colonoscopy are not usually needed. However, they may be done if symptoms are not typical, or if you develop symptoms of IBS in later life when other conditions need to be ruled out.
Is This Ibs The Answer: Yes
Recurring abdominal pain at least once a week in the last three months. The pain is associated with at least two of these criteria:
The pain is related to bowel movements
The bowel movements occur more or less often than usual
The stool is different than usual
When making an IBS diagnosis with this criteria, doctors also include the length of time a person has had symptoms before IBS was diagnosed – in this case at least six months.
Also Check: Sudden Diarrhea And Chills Treatment
I Get Terribly Embarrassed At Work Because I Cant Stop Burping And Farting How Can I Make It Stop
Excess belching can be the result of eating too quickly, drinking too quickly or drinking too many fizzy drinks. It can also be caused by nervousness, which makes people swallow a lot. The bicarbonate in saliva reacts with stomach acid to make CO2, which is then belched.
Excess farting may be due to eating too much fibre , or certain vegetables whose carbohydrate cant be digested by the human gut .
Extra-smelly farts are sometimes due to having too much fat in the diet. Fats may be broken down in the large bowel by bacteria, which produce volatile, unpleasant fatty acids.
Q: What Else Can Ibs Be Mistaken For
Dr John O’Donohue says…
Symptoms of IBS could be due to other things as well. So we want to make sure that were not dealing with Crohns Disease or Colitis, particularly if youve got mouth ulcers, painful joints or rashes on the skin.
We want to make sure its not coeliac disease. We do a blood test for that.
We also want to make sure its not an intolerance to lactose and fructose. And we can do a very simple breath test for that.
In women particularly whove got bloating and feeling that their tummy is getting bigger, we want to make sure its not an ovarian cyst. So we do an ultrasound looking for that.
And lastly but not least, we want to make sure its not due to bowel cancer. So particularly if youve got bleeding, or weight loss and youve got a family history or somebody with bowel cancer, you would need a colonoscopy to look at that one.
Don’t Miss: Probiotics Ulcerative Colitis
Looking At The Overlooked
After hearing her story, Bonlie wasnt sure if the woman had an infection or if everything was due to her irritable bowel. But as her symptoms were so significant, and her diet so limited, he decided to test her for diseases that, in his experience, other doctors often overlooked. He suspected she might have Lyme disease. It wasnt something she would have picked up in Mexico infection with Borrelia burgdorferi the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is quite rare there. But she certainly could have gotten it in Maryland. And many of his other patients had it. He also looked for other infections that were often not considered ehrlichia, Bartonella, tularemia, Epstein-Barr. He gave her some supplements that he thought might be helpful.
What did that mean? How should he interpret this test that was positive for a recent infection with Brucella, in a patient who didnt drink any dairy, ate little meat, hadnt been out of the country for several years and had been having these symptoms for decades? Bonlie sent the sample back to the lab to measure how many antibodies were present. When the level came back very high, Bonlie was convinced. He recommended that she take two antibiotics doxycycline and rifampin for a total of six weeks to treat the infection.
Do I Have Ibs Or Something Else No Self
Youve been struggling with bloating and other belly issues, so you think to yourself, do I have IBS?
What you should really be asking yourself is: Do I have IBS or something else?. An accurate diagnosis of your digestive issues is critical for being able to have effective treatment.
It’s not a surprise that IBS can be difficult to deal with. IBS symptoms can range from feeling bloated and uncomfortable in your stomach, to having diarrhea or constipation.
The good news is that IBS doesn’t have to rule your life. In this post, Ill walk you through steps to ensure that you have an accurate diagnosis so that you can partner with a healthcare professional to resolve your symptoms.
Recommended Reading: When I Eat Salad I Get Diarrhea
Speak To An Expert Free Gut Health Consultation
There are three main types of large intestinal dysbiosis:
They can, and often do, exist together. All of our Gut Health Tests reveal your levels of beneficial microbes, and whether or not your potentially pathogenic microbes are in check. They also analyse how diverse your microbiome is by looking at your levels of specific species and types of bacteria.
Almost all of us today have some level of dysbiosis . If you want to get great gut health, check out our Gut Health Program: a 12-week course guided by Registered Nutritional Therapists and Functional Medicine Practitioners.
What Is Ibs Treatment
No specific therapy works for everyone, but most people with IBS can find a treatment that works for them. Your healthcare provider will personalize your IBS treatment plan for your needs. Typical treatment options include dietary and lifestyle changes. A dietitian can help you create a diet that fits your life.
Many people find that with these changes, symptoms improve:
- Increase fiber in your diet eat more fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts.
- Add supplemental fiber to your diet, such as Metamucil® or Citrucel®.
- Drink plenty of water eight 8-ounce glasses per day.
- Avoid caffeine .
- Limit cheese and milk. Lactose intolerance is more common in people with IBS. Make sure to get calcium from other sources, such as broccoli, spinach, salmon or supplements.
- Try the low FODMAP diet, an eating plan that can help improve symptoms.
- Try relaxation techniques.
- Eat smaller meals more often.
- Record the foods you eat so you can figure out which foods trigger IBS flare-ups. Common triggers are red peppers, green onions, red wine, wheat and cows milk.
What happens if medications dont work?
In some cases, symptoms dont respond to medical treatment. Your provider may refer you for mental health therapies. Some patients find relief through:
Read Also: How Long Can Ibs Attacks Last
Key Takeaways: Ibs Or Something Else
The most important thing to take away from this post is to have an accurate diagnosis of what is causing your symptoms. You cannot get the best interventions that will actually work without an accurate diagnosis – many different conditions share similar symptoms but need very different treatment plans.
Is It Ibs Or Cancer
Some types of cancer can cause a few of the same symptoms as IBS. Diagnostic testing can rule these out. Unlike IBS, colon cancer can cause rectal bleeding, bloody stools, and marked weight loss.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer include appetite loss and lack of energy. Women with ovarian cancer may notice their clothes feeling tight due to increased abdominal girth.
Such symptoms dont normally show up until the advanced stages, which makes early detection even more critical.
Don’t Miss: Side Effects Of Baking Soda For Heartburn
How To Cure Ibs In One Day
For some, what triggers IBS can be resolved in a single day. If your IBS is triggered by something simple, this checklist may help cure your IBS in one day.
Dont be fooled by anyone telling you to take honey for IBS. Weve debunked that remedy.
Unfortunately, most peoples IBS symptoms wont resolve in one day. But these are easy first steps to determine whether you need to see a doctor.
How Is Ibs Diagnosed Symptoms & Criteria
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder that impacts the large intestine, whose common symptoms include abdominal discomfort, abdominal bloating, and abnormal bowel habits.
How do you know you have IBS? Rome criteria dictate that, in order to diagnose IBS, a patient has to exhibit recurring abdominal pain for six or more months, as well as 2 of the following 3 symptoms:
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, around 12% of people suffer from IBS in North America. It is more common in women and people under the age of 50.
In this article, we cover how to diagnose IBS as well as symptoms and treatments.
Need to talk to a provider about an IBS diagnosis? Schedule a free phone consultation with a provider at PrimeHealth today.
You May Like: Tums Leave Bad Taste In Mouth
Easing Bloating And Cramping
IBS can cause bloating or cramps after eating. There are some things you can do which will ease any bloating or cramping you may have. These include:
- eating small but regular meals
- eating oats regularly
- avoiding foods that are hard to digest such as cauliflower and Brussels sprouts
- exercising regularly
Accurate Diagnosis Of Ibs
When it comes to first being diagnosed with IBS, it is very important to know that IBS is diagnosed by ruling out other things that share similar symptoms. There is not a specific test or lab marker for IBS, your doctor will come to that conclusion by ruling other things out .
Expert tip: I recommend asking what your doctor has been ruled out to come to the conclusion that you have IBS.
Celiac disease is always crucial to rule out anytime there are GI issues. People think Celiac only happens as children or only involves diarrhea and so if someone is 30 and has constipation they dont suspect celiac…but that isnt always the case. And as such, it doesn’t always get ruled out by doctors. Good news: there is precise testing for celiac disease .
Note: if you suspect that you might have celiac disease, please dont immediately eliminate gluten. Accurate testing for celiac disease depends on being able to measure your bodys reaction to gluten. If youre not eating gluten, you cannot measure a reaction to it and therefore cannot have an accurate diagnosis.
If you’re wondering how long gluten stays in your system after eating it, check out How Long Does Gluten Stay in Your System After Eating It.
Going gluten-free might actually help your IBS…but once again for the seats in the back youll want to have an accurate diagnosis before beginning your interventions. Will Going Gluten-Free Help My IBS? A GI Dietitian Explains.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Read Also: What Can I Take For Diarrhea While Pregnant
What Dietary Changes Can Help
Some people with IBS find that certain foods can trigger symptoms or make symptoms worse. See the separate leaflet called IBS Diet Sheet for more details.
IBS Management Options
Each treatment option for IBS has various benefits, risks and consequences. In collaboration with health.org.uk, we’ve put together a summary decision aid that encourages patients and doctors to discuss and assess what’s available.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Help
- Exercise. Regular exercise is known to help to ease symptoms.
- Managing stress levels. Stress and other emotional factors may trigger symptoms in some people. So, anything that can reduce your level of stress or emotional upset may help.
- Keeping a symptom diary. It may help to keep a food and lifestyle diary for 2-4 weeks to monitor symptoms and activities. Note everything that you eat and drink, times that you were stressed, and when you took any formal exercise. This may identify triggers, such as a food, alcohol, or emotional stresses, and may show if exercise helps to ease or to prevent symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Does Peanut Butter Cause Heartburn
Types Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There are 2 main types of irritable bowel syndrome: IBS-C and IBS-D.
Diarrhea Right After Eating
Frequent bouts of diarrhea are a common IBS symptom. This symptom is also common with inflammatory bowel disease , a group of conditions that cause inflammation of the intestines. It is also seen in celiac disease, which is an immune reaction to a protein found in wheat and other grains.
The simple act of eating can cause contractions in your intestines. This can lead to diarrhea.
A couple of other conditions could also cause this symptom. These conditions are less common. If you have a sudden, immediate diarrhea right after eating, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may want to consider:
- Bile acid malabsorption, when too much bile acid reaches your large intestine
- Dumping syndrome, when food moves too quickly from your stomach to the small intestine
These conditions are relatively rare. It is still possible that diarrhea after eating is a symptom of your IBS. Still, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about other possibilities.
Also Check: Yogurt And H Pylori