Top 5 Things You Need to Know When Diagnosed with IBS

IBS Symptoms

Being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a very frustrating process. You’ve gone through a laundry list of diagnostic tests, different possible diagnoses, and multiple specialists. Not to mention the uncomfortable IBS symptoms you’ve endured during your journey to find an answer – bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, or both.

You might have even lost hope that any solution might come at all.

But, when the diagnosis finally comes, in the form of IBS, it can be very disappointing.

You expect a treatment, you expect action, you expect relief!

Yet, you’re met with nothing more than a label.  A label stating that you have a group of symptoms, which you already knew before you were diagnosed.

The problem is most doctors can’t tell you the root cause of your IBS or any specific treatments to help cure you — so you feel like you’re back to square one.

Yes, irritable bowel syndrome can be confusing for both patients and doctors. This is because there are different subtypes, routes of treatment, and even different hidden causes.

To help ease your frustration, we’ve put together the top 5 things you need to know about your IBS symptoms and diagnosis that your doctor may not have told you.

1. The Rome IV Diagnostic Criteria is Flawed Because it Doesn’t Take Into Account All IBS Symptoms

The Rome IV diagnostic criteria is not set in stone – hence why they are on their 4th revision of it.

More and more research is being done on IBS and when new statistics are unveiled, they have to update the diagnostic criteria to include yet another measure.

Irritable bowel syndrome is not a single disease with a single cause. There are no biomarkers for this disease —  it’s all based on the patient’s symptoms.

The Rome Criteria states that to be diagnosed with IBS all you need is abdominal pain related to defecation and a change in stool pattern for at least the past 3 months.

The criteria doesn’t take into account bloating, which is one of the most common IBS symptoms.

This broad criterion puts a lot of people under the IBS label — which gives some doctors the easy way out to say, “Oh well, you have IBS.” This is where it becomes frustrating because oftentimes the ambiguity leads doctors to stop being proactive in finding the cause of IBS symptoms. But only when you find the cause of your IBS can you find true relief.

2. Treatments Targeting IBS Symptoms are Ineffective

Since the root cause of IBS is unknown, the treatments only target the symptoms. These treatments can be very costly and are known to be temporary fixes with only minimal efficacy.

Do any of the following suggested treatments sound familiar?

IBS Symptoms

  • Avoid high gas foods
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take a laxative, fiber supplement, or anti-diarrheal
  • Exercise regularly
  • Try antidepressants, antispasmodics, or pain medications

The treatments listed above are conventional IBS treatments. If you notice these treatments target just the symptoms – intestinal motility and pain.

Surprisingly, some of the prescribed medications for your IBS symptoms have side effects that actually cause abdominal pain, nausea, and constipation. This only adds to your long list of IBS symptoms.

If you have a fire in your house and you extinguish just the outer flames – does the fire ever burn out?

No, that’s because you need to put out the heart of the fire. And, the same goes for irritable bowel syndrome.

3. Your IBS Symptoms May be Caused by Bacteria

Your intestines are full of bacteria– which your body needs to stay healthy. These gut microbiotas maintain homeostasis throughout your body by:

  • Fighting infections initiated by other disease-causing bacterias
  • Improving the gut’s immune system
  • Digesting and absorbing nutrients
  • Acidifying the colon and promoting healthy bowel movements

When bacteria grow in the wrong place, they cause all the digestive issues related to IBS.

Bacteria in the small intestine give off gasses, which cause symptoms of bloating, abdominal discomfort and pain, constipation, diarrhea, or both.

Different types of bacteria produce different types of gas. Research shows that IBS patients experiencing constipation have a higher level of methane during exhalation. As for diarrhea-predominant patients, they show higher levels of hydrogen during exhalation.

A recent study shows 84% of patients diagnosed with IBS have an overgrowth of gut bacteria in their small intestines. After treating this imbalance of gut bacteria, 75% of patients reported improvements in IBS symptoms.

Has your doctor tested you for small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)? This could be the root cause of your IBS symptoms.

4. The Gut-Brain Connection Plays a Key Role in IBS

The science behind “trusting your gut” and having “butterflies in your stomach” is revealed through the gut-brain connection.

Your central nervous system – which includes your brain and spinal cord – has a complex pathway to send signals to your enteric nervous system.

Your enteric nervous system controls your digestive system – gut motility, secretion of fluids, and blood flow.

The enteric nervous system is called the “little brain” because it handles so much responsibility on its own – housing more nerve endings than your spinal cord.

So, if any dysfunction along this pathway is disrupted you can guarantee it upsets the function of your digestion and your mood. Especially since the gut-brain connection is a two-way street.

Not only does the brain send signals to your gut – but your gut also sends signals to your brain. Proving true with IBS patients who often experience anxiety and depression.

Your gut contains 95% of your body’s neurotransmitters for serotonin. Serotonin is the happy chemical that contributes to well-being and happiness.

When you are stressed or anxious the mind sends signals to your gut to enact the fight or flight response in your body which then leads to IBS-type symptoms.

This interpersonal relationship between our mind and gut is the reason promoting less stress in your life is important in staying healthy.

Healthy gut = healthy mind!

5. How to Heal IBS Symptoms Naturally

No one lives a stress-free life but reducing stress is one of the best things you can do to improve your IBS symptoms. So, explore different ways to reduce the stress levels in your life.

Try yoga, meditation, exercise, or even go on a walk.

Anything that gets those serotonin neurotransmitters firing. Support your gut-brain connection from both sides.

When it comes to finding a solution to gas and bloating, Atrantil is a supplement that doesn’t just mask symptoms – it actually works to improve underlying causes.

Atrantil helps get rid of bacteria in the small intestine – relieving you of any bloating and abdominal discomfort. This then supports your digestive system and improves motility. Essentially, Atrantil helps to improve symptoms of bloating and abdominal discomfort with/without diarrhea, constipation or both.

Try Atrantil for gas and bloating to find relief that lasts.