Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS for short, affects nearly 13 million Brits. 😬 What’s intriguing about this syndrome – remember it’s not a disease – is that its definition tells us more about what it’s not than what it is. IBS isn’t about your guts’ structure or shape. Nope, it can’t be diagnosed through a prodding exam, a fancy scan, or even a blood test. It’s not cancer, and it won’t sneakily transform into cancer either. Lastly, it’s not the root cause of other tummy troubles. 🚫

IBS often plays tricks on people with constipation, diarrhoea, or a mix of both, which can be as unpredictable as British weather. Gastroenterologists might tell you that IBS is their most common diagnosis, and quite rightly so. However, IBS can sometimes mimic the infamous Celiac disease, so savvy doctors make sure to rule out this sneaky culprit. 🔍

So, if you’ve been labelled with IBS and Celiac disease isn’t your partner in crime, what does the IBS diagnosis truly reveal? Well, not much, really. It doesn’t spill the beans on where IBS originates. People often blame stress as the prime suspect, and many IBS sufferers remember being told they had “nervous stomachs” as kids or still feel those nerves today. 😟 Often, IBS is merely a symptom of a misbehaving digestive system.

The crucial takeaway is that IBS is a multi-faceted puzzle, unique to each person. Practitioners of alternative therapies cast a wider net when hunting for IBS culprits. 🎣


First on the list of suspects to investigate are food intolerances and sensitivities. It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for some, especially those who’ve had skin-prick tests that only check for life-threatening allergic reactions. But there’s more to the story. Our immune system can develop other beefs with food, producing inflammatory signals that trigger havoc or generating immune complexes that give your tissues a real talking-to. We’re talking about IgG antibodies in your blood. 🤷‍♀️


Food sensitivity tests aren’t flawless, but if you spot more than 5-6 positive foods on your IgG test, you’ve got a gut wall issue that needs fixing. Another method is the elimination-challenge diet. It’s like playing a game of Cluedo with your meals: Colonel Mustard in the dining room with the cheese. Eliminate common allergenic foods and your personal troublemakers, then reintroduce them one by one to see what sets off your gut’s alarm bells. 🔍🍔

Finding your gut’s unique sensitivities to food is the golden ticket to reducing symptoms and, dare I say, curing IBS. Remember, everyone’s different, and what’s delightful to one gut might be an explosive disaster for another. 🍔🍕🍟

Let’s dive into the intricate world of gut health from a functional perspective. Imagine a bustling city of trillions of bacteria living in your gut, weighing in at a staggering 3-4 pounds. These little guys play crucial roles in your life, balancing your immune system, directing the flow of your gut, and even helping you absorb nutrients. It’s like a never-ending party down there, and without them, you wouldn’t last long. 🎉🦠

For some IBS folks, these bacterial residents might be causing trouble. Sometimes, these bacteria decide to move into places they don’t belong, like the small intestine, a condition charmingly called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO. It’s like an unwanted house guest that refuses to leave. SIBO is diagnosed with a simple breath test. Symptoms include bloating, gas, and an unfriendly relationship with sugar, fibre, and carbs. SIBO can also bring along other uninvited guests like diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and even fibromyalgia. 💨🍞🍪

The treatment for SIBO is surprisingly straightforward, involving natural antimicrobials or even a dose of antibiotics. Yes, antibiotics can be friends in this case, not foes. The priority is to kick out the rogue bacteria and replenish the good guys. Harmony restored. 🌿💊


Another potential IBS accomplice is gut dysbiosis, an imbalance of your good and bad gut bacteria. Even the healthiest bacterial communities have a few rascals, but it’s the good guys who keep them in line. However, years of poor diet, chronic stress, antibiotic binging, and gut traumas can throw this delicate balance into chaos. 🤯

Detecting gut dysbiosis is a breeze with a simple stool test. Symptoms might include recurring diarrhoea, frequent colds, infections in unexpected places, and the dreaded abdominal cramps. Managing dysbiosis involves using natural antimicrobials, a bit of stomach acid, and a generous helping of therapeutic probiotics. Unlike SIBO, pharmaceutical antibiotics aren’t typically on the menu for dysbiosis treatment. 🧪🩺


Now, let’s shine a light on a potential IBS villain—those unwelcome pathogens that take residence where they shouldn’t. Two notorious culprits are Candida and parasites. 🐜🦠

Candida caused quite a stir in the natural health scene a while back, with everyone blaming it for every ailment under the sun. It got a bit out of hand, but turns out, Candida can be the real deal for some. Yeast overgrowth can mess with your gut’s balance, inhibit friendly bacteria growth, and trigger a host of IBS symptoms. 🍞🍰🦠

As for parasites, they’re not just a problem in faraway lands. We’ve got them here in the UK too. Giardia, Blastocystis, Cryptosporidium, and Entamoeba are some of the troublesome protozoan parasites. Then there are the wormy fellows like hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms, which are even less glamorous. Symptoms include diarrhoea, constipation, unexplained weight loss, and even a bit of blood loss. Hookworms have a taste for blood. 💉

Diagnosing parasites and yeast overgrowth involves a complete stool analysis. By now, you’re probably thinking, “I need a stool analysis ASAP!” Treatment can be a bit more complex for yeast overgrowth, involving anti-yeast natural remedies or prescription products, along with a diet that leaves yeast feeling peckish. And if you’ve been dealing with yeast, parasites, or dysbiosis, a follow-up stool analysis in 3-6 months is your detective’s tool. 🔬🧫


Lastly, let’s not forget our gut’s very own mind, the enteric nervous system. It’s the second brain, and it means business. It’s responsible for gut operations, whether you’re thinking about it or not. In fact, there are more nerve cells in your gut than in your entire central and peripheral nervous system combined. Quite the brainiac, isn’t it? 🧠💭

If you’ve ruled out food sensitivities, SIBO, dysbiosis, yeast overgrowth, and parasites, it’s time to pamper your second brain. It loves serotonin, which happens to be more abundant in your gut than in your brain. The same goes for many neurotransmitters. So, start with some serotonin-boosting nutrients and amino acids like 5-HTP, tryptophan, and St. John’s Wort. And don’t forget about GABA-boosting buddies like glycine, valerian root, and a good dose of laughter. 😄


Reframe stress, choose positivity, show your gut some love, practice gratitude, take deep breaths, go for a stroll, exercise, and laugh a lot. Your second brain will thank you, and your IBS might just pack its bags and leave for good. 🚶‍♀️🧘‍♀️ If you are struggling, reach out to the gut experts at Complete Health Clinic. We can help you get to the bottom of the matter!

Remember, Irritable Bowel Syndrome doesn’t have to reign over your life. Uncovering the root causes can lead to relief and, dare I say, a happy ending to your IBS tale. 🎉🏆


Look after yourself, there is only one you! Complete Health Clinic #colonicsqueen #Manchester