Today’s post is a guest post I contributed to Kitchen Stewardship: 5 Reasons You May Have Irregular Bowels. Katie asked me to write on this topic because her husband has Crohn’s disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder seen by doctors annually at this time. Studies show that worldwide rates range from 9–23% and U.S rates generally in the area of 10–15%. There are between 2.4 and 3.5 million annual physician visits for IBS in the United States alone. However, only a small percent of the adult population have actually been diagnosed with the condition (about 5-7%). IBS is more common in women than it is in men.
I make note of these basic statistics regarding IBS because it is a functional disorder of the GI tract that covers a broad scope of symptoms. IBS is often what doctors diagnose when they don’t know what else to call someone’s irregular bowel habits that don’t involve a structural component. If you have inconsistencies with your daily bowel movements along with gut pain or discomfort, you’ve likely come to the conclusion you have IBS or that something is clearly not working right. Let’s cover some common irregular bowel issues, perhaps you’ll recognize some of them as your own.
Common Irregular Bowel Habits & Symptoms
I’d like to quickly cover some common irregular bowel habits that people with IBS, colitis, Crohn’s tend to have. This list will also include symptoms related dysfunction of the small intestines and large intestines.
- Alternating diarrhea and constipation
- Stools hard or difficult to pass
- Less than one bowel movement per day
- Stools have corners or edges, are flat or ribbon shaped
- Stools are not well formed, but loose instead
- Mucus in the stool
- Blood in the stool
- Food allergies
- Abdominal bloating 1 to 2 hours after eating
- Specific foods make you tired or bloated
- Pulse speeds after eating
- Anus itches
- Coated tongue
- Fungus or yeast infections
- Yeast symptoms increase with sugar, starch or alcohol
- History of parasites
- Excessive foul smelling lower bowel gas
- Cramping in lower abdominal region
- Bad breath or strong body odors
Today I’m sharing 5 reasons why these symptoms may affecting you. These are 5 core reasons, and topics I cover heavily in my course: Heal Your Gut. Note, this is by no means an exhaustive list in some cases there could indeed be structural issues. However, I find the majority of people are suffering due to functional reasons vs. structural issues. Regardless, it’s always wise to check with a gastroenterologist to ensure there are no structural problems. To read the rest of this article, head on over to Kitchen Stewardship; 5 Reasons You May Have Irregular Bowels.
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