Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a complex, chronic functional disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort and altered bowel habits.

IBS can be debilitating causing cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. It can affect and one’s work, sleep and relationships and has been attributed to small bowel bacterial overgrowth and/or dysbiosis.

Many patients tend to have intestinal permeability as well as food sensitivities. Most traditional gastroenterologists only perform an endoscopy or colonoscopy. These tests often come back normal and most treatments consist of medications that are often ineffective and can have numerous side effects.

Most patient in my office with IBS or gastrointestinal symptoms do a comprehensive digestive stool analysis. The intestinal tract contains more than 400 microbial species which, when imbalanced, have been associated with IBS and dysbiosis.

Balancing the beneficial bacteria is key for optimizing digestion and absorption of nutrients, as well as metabolic functions. Poor digestion and malabsorption can lead to immune dysfunction, nutritional insufficiencies, and gastrointestinal symptoms

Food sensitivity testing is a test that has been associated with intestinal permeability, inflammation, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Food sensitivities are “delayed” food reactions. These reactions are considered the most common form of immunologically mediated food intolerance. These food reactions are actually more common than the IgE responses (RAST Test) that most allergists test. In addition, these food reactions are more difficult to identify since they can occur hours or even days after consumption of the offending food. In some cases, a person’s reaction to a food may occur several days after eating the offending food and the link between the food and their symptoms may not be connected.

Stool testing and food sensitivity testing are essential for patients with IBS. It provides a snapshot of gastrointestinal function and identifies the cause of dysfunction.

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