Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal disorder, likely because it acts as a catch-all diagnosis. Symptoms of IBS can include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, or both.
IBS is defined by having abdominal pain or discomfort at least 1 day per week for the past 3 months. Symptoms improve after having a bowel movement and are often associated with a change in stool frequency or appearance.
There are many possible causes of IBS: Food Intolerance, Parasite Infection, Overgrowth of Yeast or Bacteria, Digestive Insufficiency, and Stress are common causes.
If an infection may be present, it's important to do a stool test to find out what is causing the infection and treat accordingly. For overgrowth, a stool test may be able to tell if there is yeast overgrowth, but a breath test must be performed to see if bacteria is overgrown in the small intestine.
Food intolerances and digestive insufficiency can be addressed with simple testing and treatments from your holistic health provider. Keep an eye out for my upcoming blog posts on food intolerance tests and supplements for digestive support!
Lastly, stress. Ah, the infamous piece that is a part of almost everyone's lives. Remember to take time for yourself everyday, even if it's only 5 minutes. Do what you love, and do what your body needs. Sit. Breathe. Laugh. Sweat. Sleep. Move. You can't take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself first. Take time for you. Your body will thank you!