What I have noticed is either practitioners believe Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an condition or it is a symptom of another root cause. Honestly. it could go either way for me. It makes sense for IBS to be a condition, but it also makes sense that it is a symptom of something else.
When beginning my healing journey, which you can read part one if you’d like, I research the f*ck out of this. I had so much conflicting information about IBS. Is it real? Is it fake? WHAT DO I BELIEVE?!
A podcast by Chris Kresser with Dr.Mark Pimental talked about IBS and the possible cause behind it. Through a study, it was found that food poisoning can be the trigger behind IBS. I’m sure we have all had food poisoning at some point in our lives.
The cause of food poisoning from the get-go is caused by bacteria like Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. Coli, Shigella, and so on. Even though the vomiting and diaherra is over, the bacteria could still be lingering triggering an immune response.
Does this mean IBS is an autoimmune conditions?
There isn’t reseach for that yet, BUT Dr.Pimental has discovered that if the bacteria cytolethal distending toxin B (or CdtB) can be triggering autoimmunity. In which, autoimmunity is often linked to poor gut health. However, this doesn’t mean that EVERYONE who has IBS has an autoimmune condition.
More often times than not, IBS is actually a form of SIBO. Which in my opinion makes sense as food poisoning can trigger a bacteria build up. For those who don’t know about SIBO, it is pretty much a build up of either Methane, Hydrogen, Hydrogen Sulfide, or Both in the small intestines.
This gas is caused by an over abundance of a type of bacteria. As I type this it is coming full circle for me.
But the real question is, is there a way to test for IBS?
YES YES YES! Before, IBS was pretty much used as a term for a condition the physician didn’t understand. It was often recommended to get a colon/endoscopy, but thank to Dr.Pimental there’s a blood test. It is called IBS-Smart and it looks for the antibodies for CdtB.
This is a test is fairly new, but it can be prescribed by your doctor. Health insurance may not pay for, but it is worth seeking out a reimbursement. You can learn all the steps here to getting the test.
Something to keep in mind is also getting the SIBO breath test done as well. Yes, you may in fact have IBS, but there is often more going on than just IBS. More than 70% of IBS cases, are caused by SIBO.
So, is IBS a condition or Symptom?
In my non-medical opinion, I still believe it can be both. A lot of the symptoms of SIBO are similarly to IBS. However, I am thankful that research is being done for those with IBS like symptoms.
I remember when my doctor just assumed I had IBS because I had similar symptoms to my mom. Always advocate for your own health even if that means seeking out other practitioners.
I’d love to hear if any of you get the IBS-Smart test done as I’d love to know your results. Thank you loads for reading!