What is IBS?

Jul 27, 2019

This article was originally published in April 2015, but we’re reviving it with a little facelift! Keep reading to learn about IBS, and my original reason for founding GMGH.

IBS = Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

God I hate that name.

It’s like when you’re having a bad day and someone comments, “Well, you sure are grumpy today.” That just makes me more grumpy.

Perhaps I should back up. IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder – as in, people with IBS have a digestive system that doesn’t work properly. IBS is a catch-all diagnosis for anyone with digestive issues who doesn’t have another disease (Crohn’s, celiac’s, etc.). Common symptoms are abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, & constipation.

So now imagine: here I am, feeling pretty miserable – irritable, if you will – and some doctor tells me I have irritable bowel syndrome. Gee, thanks.

To make matters worse, very little is known about the cause of IBS, and there is no one easy cure. IBS acts differently for everyone, and everybody responds differently to treatments. Because of this variability, and because I hate the name so much, this will probably be the only time you hear me talk about IBS (on the blog or in real life). I prefer to just talk about digestive issues, and to focus on the solution rather than the problem.

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Speaking of solutions, there are about a million different ones. It can get confusing & overwhelming quickly. I treat my digestive problems with a combination of medication and diet. I’ll go into detail about meds in a later post, but my main focus here is to share the diet I’ve found that works for me, and help other people with digestive problems live a normal life and still eat delicious foods!

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If you’re just getting started, read all about FODMAPs and the low FODMAP diet, and read my post about getting started on the low FODMAP diet!

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for all the great recipes and tips! I also hate “IBS” because it is not a condition but rather a group of related symptoms one might or might not have in total…basically a lazy way for the western medical community to get suffering people on pharmaceuticals and treat chronic symptoms forever (or not treat them at all). I only write because I would also think I have “IBS” except for the amazing doctors and researchers here in Portland, Oregon who have determined how to treat SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). Have you heard of it? You can be tested for it, be treated with natural or non-natural antibiotics and go on to freedom from the chronic, never ending gut problems (minding any intolerances/allergies you discover thru an elimination diet). Mine was reactivated by a food poisoning incident, and so I am back on the low fodmap for a bit after taking allicin (natural garlic antibiotics), berberine and neem for a month). I would just recommend anyone diagnosed with “general dyspepsia” or some other unsatisfyingly vague diagnosis to research SIBO and see if it rings true.

    Reply
    • Thanks Angela, excellent point! I haven’t talked about it much here on the blog, but I was tested for and diagnosed with SIBO originally. There’s still not a ton of research out there on SIBO vs IBS (so it’s good to hear you found doctors who are knowledgeable about it!), but definitely people with sensitive guts (or “IBS” if you will) are more susceptible to bacteria overgrowth. I’ve experienced a few acute flare-ups in my life (once when I was diagnosed and once before), but following the low FODMAP diet has kept my gut relatively healthy since then! In the end it doesn’t really matter as long as we find a lifestyle that makes us feel healthy, right? Good luck on your journey and I hope my tips and recipes can be of help! Glad to hear any other knowledge you have – it’s great to learn from one another! ❤️

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