6 Signs of IBS
6 Signs of IBS
If you’re here reading this, you either have signs of IBS yourself, or you know somebody with signs of IBS. There are many possible IBS symptoms, and in this article, I’m going to focus on what I see as the 6 most common…
Constipation is common with IBS. I’ve run into many people, however, including myself years ago, who were not aware of their constipation.
So, let’s define the word constipation here:
Constipation refers the slowing down of waste in the intestines. When stool passes through the intestine slowly, water in the stool (as well as toxins of which the body had meant to dispose) gets reabsorbed into the body, and the stool gets very dry. This dry stool is difficult to pass when it does reach the end of the colon and may come out in tiny little balls resembling rabbit turds.
Think of the colon as the body’s garbage disposal. There are tons of toxins in there that are meant to pass through and out your back door. You do not want those toxins to get reabsorbed back into your body! This can cause inflammation, headache, fatigue, joint pain etc., as well as long term damage if allowed to go on indefinitely.
Sometimes constipation means passing stool every 2 days or every 10 days. But sometimes it means passing tiny rabbit turds 9 times a day.
That’s what it looked like for me. I was pooping tiny little balls every time I peed. I thought I was pooping well because it happened so often. Boy, was I mistaken! Totally constipated!
For some quick ideas to get your bowels moving, read this article:
I think we’re all familiar with diarrhea. It happens when stool passes too quickly through the intestines and therefore contains too much water. When stool passes this quickly, it’s difficult to absorb nutrients from the food we eat.
If you get diarrhea “surprises” to the point that you never know when the next one will happen, and you always know where the nearest restroom is, chances are you have some form of IBS.
I want to emphasize that these conditions are not only inconvenient, but also unhealthy. Diarrhea leaves little chance to absorb nutrients, and constipation encourages toxin absorption.
Alternating constipation and diarrhea
Constipation alternating with diarrhea is very common with IBS.
You see, IBS is not the cause of the problem, but a symptom of a problem. It’s a sign of inflammation in the gut. This inflammation can cause either constipation or diarrhea. It can even alternate between the two. The inflammation doesn’t really go away, but the signs of inflammation can change. We’ll talk about what can cause that inflammation in a later post.
Pain and cramping
Pain and cramping is another symptom of IBS. There are many possible causes for this. To avoid getting too technical in this post, let’s just say that the pain and cramping is due to gas.
Gas and bloating
Gas and bloating, very common with IBS, can be the very worst part of IBS for most people. The bloating makes a person look 6 months pregnant, and the gas can be impossible to hold in, causing embarrassing smelly clouds of stanky air to hover overhead for minutes at a time.
I feel so sorry for my past colleagues who had to sing in very close proximity to me in years past, while not reacting visibly to the stench around me.
So glad that’s in the past now!
Frequently, IBS is caused by foreign invaders (overgrown Candida, imbalanced beneficial bacteria, parasite, virus etc.) which also create intestinal permeability (leaky gut).
Leaky gut in turn leads to food sensitivities. This is when undigested food passes through the intestinal barrier and into the blood stream. The immune system reacts as though this perfectly good, but undigested, food is a foreign invader and attacks it with inflammation. So, we eventually develop antibodies to the foods which we eat the most frequently. THAT is a food sensitivity.
For more information on food sensitivities and what to do about them, check out this article:
This happened to me with eggs!
When I was fighting Candida (which causes leaky gut) I typically ate 6-8 eggs every day.
I totally gave myself an egg sensitivity!
I was constantly eating eggs. My leaky gut would let them through to my blood stream only partially digested, and my body started fighting harder and harder against this new foreign invader that just kept coming back in large quantities.
Now, my immune system thinks eggs are a horrible virus. Whenever I eat an egg (which I don’t do anymore, cuz damn!) I have constant diarrhea for 3 days and get a full-blown head cold. Inflammation overload!
If you’re reading this and thinking of times when you anxiously searched for the nearest restroom because a rumble in your tummy, or you feel way more full than you should after meals, or you fart too much and they STANK, chances are you have IBS.
And, contrary to what my gastroenterologist says, we DO know what causes IBS. I can help you figure out the cause(s) of YOUR IBS and figure out ways to calm your gut and free you from the restroom.
Schedule a FREE 30 Minute Repair Your Gut and Regain Your Energy Strategy Session with me.
We can see if we’re a fit to work together!
I want to help you leave IBS in the dust!!!