How Do I Know I Have IBS?

Greetings! Thanks for coming back to check out the series on IBS. We’re going to talk about the signs and symptoms of IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The most common sign I would see in a patient or when a patient presents with a symptom will be abdominal pain or cramping. That can occur anywhere in the lower abdominal region.

Don’t get confused with the pain of diverticulitis and IBS. Diverticulitis in my opinion occurs a little bit more on the left side here. So, if the bowel runs across like this and comes down and goes out like that, we’re looking at an area or spot right around here. So, if you’ve got a pain in one particular part of the gut, and it’s just a very low grade dull kind of a pain, particularly if you’re in your 50s or 60s like me, it can also be a diverticulitis kind of pain. This pain can come and go. This pain is particularly prevalent in people who tend to hurry up with their bowel motions. They force their bowel motions. They could have a little bit of stress. Sympathetic dominance. Bit of a dry bowel. Not consuming enough water.

Especially common to find diverticulitis in people who drink a lot of coffee or a lot of alcohol. People who have a dehydrated bowel. I find it very common in thyroid patients who tend to be very quick and irritated kind of people.

The pain with IBS is a different kind of pain. It’s accompanied often by irregular stools. Constipation, diarrhea, cramping in the gut recurring. If you’ve had it for over three months on a very regular basis, it’s considered to be IBS. It’s important if you’ve got any of these signs and symptoms that you talk to a healthcare professional about it, particularly if you’ve got things like rectal bleeding or bad hemorrhoids, or a lot of mucus in the stool, if you’ve got weight loss associated with it or if the pain wakes you up at night, then you need to see a GP urgently or talk to somebody like me about it so you can get properly assessed.

I believe I’m a responsible naturopath because I work very much with gastroenterologists and medical doctors. I really believe that it’s important to get the bowel assessed professionally, especially if a stool test is going to pick up high levels of inflammation, and there’s a bit of bleeding, you’ve got a low iron count, you’ve got weight loss, weakness, you definitely need checking out. Prevention is definitely a smart idea when it comes to digestive problems.

Remember in a previous video we said there were three kinds of IBS. IBSD: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diarrhea, IBSC: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Constipation, or mixed, where you can have them both. It’s not uncommon to see mixed patients in the clinic who for a few days will have a normal functioning bowel, then for one or two days it’ll be quite loose. Or they could pass out sheep pellets. Then they may skip a day.

I’ll never forget when a patient came to see me a long time ago, maybe 20 years ago and I asked her how often she was passing a motion. She said, “About once every 14 days.” I said, “Well, what did your GP say about that?” “He said it was quite okay if that was my pattern, that’s normal to have a bowel motion every two weeks and that was okay for me.” My immediate reply was, “Well, how often do you put your garbage can out? Once every three months?” “No, every week.” I said, “Well, imagine all the crap built up in your gut. What happens to it all? How much are you eating? Where’s it all going?”

That made her quite horrified. That patient went straight off to a colon therapist. Sometimes these patients (hope you’re not watching this video as you’re eating your breakfast, if so, turn it off). Sometimes these kind of patients will pass out a stool that’s two-foot long. Literally 24 inches of bowel motion will come out when they get a colonic and we clean them out.

It’s incredible how many people are constipated. It really is. Particularly with my American clients. I would say about 50 percent of people I see in my online clinic, through Skype, have actually got quite major constipation. They’ll have a motion every two or three days. That’s not unusual for a lot of people. That tells me a few things: They’re not walking enough, they’re not drinking enough, there’s too much coffee, tea and alcohol, they’ve got the wrong food choices, and there’s a high element of stress there as well. Those are quite apparent when we talk about these kind of issues with our clients.

Let’s go back to signs and symptoms. Constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramping. Some people have spasms or shooting or darting pains up their rectum or in the gut. Pattern that will go on for three months. Sometimes these problems can go on for years. Get it assessed, get it checked out. If in doubt, get a comprehensive stool test done. Stay tuned, we’ve got a few more videos coming yet up on IBS. Tests and diagnosis for IBS. If you haven’t got my free Candida report, please click on the link down below. See you in the next video.