man on toilet

WHAT YOUR GUT IS TELLING YOU

Have you been diagnosed with IBS? The largest percentage of my clients come to me with IBS type symptoms. Below are the most common signs and symptoms that require further investigation and that I can help you with:

burping – if you have a tendency to burp constantly then this is a sign of upper digestive discomfort. Excessive belching is often due to food intolerances, stomach acid issues which may also be an overflow from lower digestive complaints.

acid reflux and indigestion – that burning sensation you get in your stomach  (that’s just below the centre of your ribs) can sometimes be bought on by stress, but more commonly is due to food reactivity’s or low stomach pH due to ongoing gut inflammation. Are you consuming foods that are triggering mild food sensitivities?

bloating – Have you ever had to undo your belt buckle because your gut has bloated, sometimes to the extent that you look pregnant? Strong bloating is a sign of gut bacterial imbalance, yeast overgrowth and food intolerances. It could also be due to not breaking down your foods correctly due to a declining levels of digestive enzymes. Bloating is also a very common symptom of SIBO and is caused by gasses being released by the bacteria in your small intestine, as they ferment and digest your food.

excessive wind – if you have a build up of wind that creates stomach pains and just keeps building up and needs to be expelled constantly, then this is a issue of digestive unease. Excessive wind is often due to gut bacterial imbalance, food reactivity’s and general gut inflammation.

constant rumbling of your gut – if you find that your belly is constantly gurgling and almost feeling like it is ‘popping’ with air pockets then your gut is not happy. This type of intestinal noise is usually associated with food intolerance and an imbalanced gut bacterial environment.

painful tummy – whether that pain be a short stabbing pain or an ongoing ache, pain is telling you something is not okay. Pain is often due to inflammation or sometimes functional issues, so its vital to get this checked out. You may have an irritated gut lining that needs support. Eating on the run has a negative effect on the “rest-and-digest” state that the body requires for proper digestion and can give a the sensation of “gut rot” or abdominal pain.

Bowel movements:

just can’t go! –Have you noticed that you don’t have daily bowel movements? Or perhaps you don’t feel like you have fully emptied your bowels when you have been to the loo? When you have infrequent bowel movements, for example you go every 2 -3 days, then you are not eliminating waste regularly enough. This can lead to bloating, skin breakouts, headaches and smelly gas. Many hormones and neurotransmitters in the body affect bowel motility, as does the diet which we eat. Even bowel secretions from the stomach and gallbladder have an impact further down on motility and if they are low can lead to the system backing up and constipation. The gut flora affects things as well.

diarrhoea – if your bowel movements are loose, as in sloppy, diarrhoea, water and/or explosive then your digestive system is sending you a strong message. It is either not happy with what is going into it or trying to expel the contents quickly and/or you may have a bacterial/yeast overgrowth or a parasite. Stress can also cause loose bowels. Not only is this unpleasant, it also makes outings difficult as you are left worrying about where the closest toilet is.

incomplete defecation – if you are spending a few times a day on the toilet trying to go, but not feeling relief then again this is not a good bowel habit. This is a sign of intestinal aggravation and your digestive system struggling between being sluggish and constipated and also trying to expel contents it is not happy with.

blood and/or mucus in your bowel movements – a little blood from a small tear around the rectum is not a major concern, but a lot of blood or blood in the stool itself needs to be investigated. Similarly, mucus in the stools is sign of strong inflammation and is often linked with food intolerances and chronic intestinal inflammation.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Once you’ve been to your GP to discuss your bowel issues to rule out any medical conditions, it’s important to find a practitioner like myself who understands these conditions. I can arrange a simple breath test for you to carry out at home, which will indicate whether you have excess bacteria in your small intestine or a comprehensive stool test to check for imbalances in the large intestine. If the results come back positive, I can then develop a specific nutritional programme for you.

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