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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kari Young

Is it IBS, SIBO, Celiac, or IBD?

Ever wonder why your gut is acting up? Having a gut issue is usually uncomfortable and not fun. Is it something to be concerned about? Or does everyone just feel this from time to time?

It is important to listen to your body. Most times it starts off as a symptom; then, over time if ignored, it can end up progressing into something more serious. It is your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong.

The following gut disorders are each different. However a lot of the symptoms are similar, like pain, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. And, these gut conditions share some of the same causes, such as parasites and an unhealthy gut microbiome.

Understanding the differences among Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS), Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Celiac Disease, and Irritable Bowel Diseases (IBD) is an important first step toward resolving these issues.

These common gut health disorders share many symptoms and have common root causes. I will break down these disorders and provide solutions to address the root cause.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder, and a diagnosis is normally a result of ruling out Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease and Celiac Disease. Anyone can develop IBS, however, it is more common among women than men.

IBS causes the muscles in the intestine to spasm, which can result in severe pain. Contractions that are slow cause constipation. When they are fast, the result is diarrhea. So the hallmark signs of IBS are chronic abdominal pain and alternating bowel issues of either constipation or diarrhea

unexplained chronic abdominal pain, along with irregular bowel habits. You may have diarrhea, constipation, or alternate between the two. Symptoms of IBS can be more pronounced following a large meal, or when experiencing stress.

Common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Contractions in the abdomen

  • Constipation and diarrhea

  • Mucus in the stool

  • Bloating

  • Feeling unusually full

  • Gas

  • Nausea

There are many potential causes of IBS, including:

  • Gut infections due to food poisoning or drinking contaminated water

  • Parasitic infection

  • Imbalance of the gut microbiome

  • SIBO

  • Candida overgrowth

  • Emotional stress

SIBO commonly occurs following abdominal surgery or due to the existence of an infection or disease. SIBO is a result of an excess of unfamiliar microbes in the small intestine. People with SIBO experience the slowing of the passage of waste through the GI tract, which creates a breeding ground of bacteria.

The excessive bacteria as a result of SIBO can lead to malnutrition and unintended weight loss. This can also cause the release of toxins and cause inflammation in the gut.

Signs and symptoms of SIBO often include:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea

  • Bloating

  • An uncomfortable feeling of fullness after eating

  • Diarrhea

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Malnutrition

  • Symptoms of SIBO include

  • Excessive gas

  • Malabsorption of nutrients

Risk Factors of SIBO include:

  • Parasitic infection

  • Poor liver health

  • Poor diet

  • Certain prescription medicines

  • Candida overgrowth

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Crohn’s Disease

  • Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease is a common autoimmune disorder and damages the small bowel. People with even one autoimmune disease are prone to trigger on more, and there are over 100 types of autoimmune conditions that have been identified. Celiac Disease occurs when the body produces an autoimmune reaction to eating gluten, which is commonly found in wheat, rye and barley.

People with Celiac Disease commonly suffer with a multitude of GI and non-GI symptoms. Others are totally asymptomatic, and do not suffer with any symptoms at all, and are not diagnosed. Celiac Disease is quite serious, and can result in malnutrition, seizures, bowel cancer, and irreversible damage to the small bowel.

Even if you do not have a diagnosis of Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity, eating gluten is never advisable. Gluten is a lectin, and lectins are highly toxic to the human body and can lead over time to chronic disease and autoimmunity. Additionally, the sources of gluten are often from crops treated with glyphosates.

Common GI-Related Symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Bloating of the abdomen

  • Gas

  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea and vomiting

Over 50% of people with Celiac Disease suffer from non-GI Symptoms:

  • Anemia

  • Loss of bone density

  • Itchy rashes

  • Ulcers in the mouth

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Numbness or tingling of extremities

  • Joint pain

  • Inflammation of the liver

There are two main types of Irritable Bowel Diseases (IBD) - Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn’s Disease. Although they are both very serious types of autoimmune diseases with many overlapping symptoms, they are distinct illnesses and attack different areas of the gastrointestinal tract.

Ulcerative Colitis attacks the large intestine and its innermost lining. Crohn's Disease attacks the gastrointestinal (GI) tract more universally, including the mouth and anus.

Ulcerative Colitis is one of two types of IBD, and is an autoimmune disease of the large intestine or the colon. People with Ulcerative Colitis experience painful sores or ulcers in the lining of the colon, which cause pain in the abdomen, mucus and pus. Ulcerative Colitis can be debilitating and lead to social isolation due to the unpredictable urgency of bowel movements.

Certain factors may increase your risk of Ulcerative Colitis, such as a parasitic infection, an imbalance microbiome or an overactive intestinal immune system. If untreated, this disease can lead to a heightened susceptibility to infections such as Candida which can further exacerbate the healing process.

Several clients have come to me over the years with a misdiagnosis of IBD, only to find that their issue was actually a parasitic infection. These infections are often overlooked since their symptoms mimic those of Ulcerative Colitis.

Although Ulcerative Colitis can affect anyone at any age, it is most common in people in their mid 30-s.

Common Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis typically occur cyclically and may last for weeks or months.

Here are the most common symptoms:

  • Pain or cramping of the abdomen

  • Urgency in moving the bowels

  • Bloody diarrhea

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Diarrhea with pus

Crohn’s Disease is one of the two types of IBD, and is classified as an autoimmune disease. This disease affects the entire gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. The symptoms of Crohn’s are quite painful and uncomfortable.

The risk factors for Crohn’s Disease are in the same family of those of Ulcerative Colitis, and some of the symptoms are overlapping. Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease can disappear for periods of time and then reoccur later.

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease include those that also exist in Ulcerative Colitis:

  • Pain or cramping of the abdomen

  • Urgency in moving the bowels

  • Bloody diarrhea

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Diarrhea with pus

Additional symptoms of Crohn’s include:

  • Anemia caused by iron deficiencies

  • Sores or infections inside of the mouth

  • Kidney stones

  • Inflammation in the joints, eyes, skin, and liver

  • Pain or discharge of the rectum

Similar to Ulcerative Colitis, it is important that parasitic infection be ruled out.

If you suffer from IBS, SIBO, Celiac, or IBD like Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s, there are scientifically-proven steps that you can take.

All autoimmune diseases and any symptom is the direct cause of cellular inflammation. Removing targeted toxins and infections through epigenetics is the most effective way to heal.

Address the Drainage Pathways

Addressing the drainage pathways is the only way to effectively remove toxins and infections at the cellular level, and to regain your gut health. Ensure that your gut is not a breeding ground for harmful pathogens.

Identify the Exact Toxins that are Causing Cellular Inflammation

The diseases discussed above are often caused by parasitic infections and candida overgrowth. It is essential that you rule these in or out, and that you also determine which other subsets of toxins are contributing to the root cause.

Physical Activity

Build regular exercise into your routine. Physical activity is a great way to get your lymphatic system to drain, and a good way to help support gut health.

Exercise helps to build up your immune system, and can fight parasites and other toxins.

If you are in too much pain or discomfort to exercise, just do what you can now, and build up.

Avoid Dangerous Foods

Immediately eliminate gluten, grains, and sugar from your diet. These food categories directly cause inflammation and are linked to worsening IBD and SIBO.

Parasites and Candida overgrowth will thrive in an environment caused by consuming sugars and grains. And, gluten can cause leaky gut, which just exacerbated the conditions discussed.

Depending on your diagnosis and symptoms, your diet may need to be tailored and changed as your body heals.

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