Many of my clients share the stories of their debilitating stomach problems they battle for years. Although ruled out as not life threatening, doctors struggle to diagnose the symptoms and largely resort to the general IBS verdict. Recommendations for IBS are very broad and unspecific as there is no clarity on what’s causing the problems. But this point isn’t well communicated within a normal 10 min GP appointment.
Feeling out of control
How would you feel if you suffer from near daily bloating, unbearable indigestion, pain in the stomach, unpredictable and urgent trips to the loo? Well, firstly your quality of life goes down pretty quickly interrupted by the physical symptoms. Secondly, you feel out of control because you don’t have an explanation of why these physical symptoms keep happening to you. Today I want to share with you 5 other conditions that according to the experts cause unspecific gut problems.
5 conditions that cause unspecific gut problems
1. Inflamed bowel
When the bowel is inflamed even on a microscopic level, it can’t get the job done as intended. Precisely, it can’t absorb excess water from digestive tract. That leads to bloating, painful diarrhoea, nutrient and weight loss. One of the possible causes is taking PPI (proton pump inhibitors) for acid reflux and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
2. Slow bowel transit
Our food is propelled through the gut by precisely choreographed action of muscle and nervous cells working in unison. If unbalanced, food physically can’t move along the gut. If you are advised to eat more fibre, as a general recommendation for IBS, that leads to worsening of the symptoms of constipation, bloating and pain. Symptoms relieving treatment include pharmaceutical products that stimulate muscle contraction. Lifestyle choice would be dietary advice and exercise that naturally stimulate normal gut reflexes.
3. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
When too many bacteria live in the small intestine, part of the digestive tract that connects stomach and large intestine (colon), they can interfere with normal digestion. Probable cause – prolonged use of PPI.
4. Gluten sensitivity
If abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea accompanied by headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, it may just be a sign of non celiac gluten sensitivity. symptoms similar to coeliac disease are experienced, but there are no associated antibodies and no damage to the lining of the gut. The severity of symptoms depend on the level of sensitivity – it’s a spectrum. Before embarking on gluten free diet it’s important to be tested for coeliac disease.
5. Too much bile
Bile acid malabsorbtion (BAM) usually comes in bouts of watery diarrhoea that happen at night too. Bile is produced in your liver and stored in your gallbladder that releases it into the small intestine to help digest fats from food. What isn’t used gets reabsorbed back. If there is too much bile or not all of it can be recycled, it escapes into the colon where it attracts more water causing chronic diarrhoea. The treatment includes resins that bind to bile acid removing them from the gastrointestinal tract.
Over to you
Can you relate to unexplained stomach problems? Or perhaps you’ve found an effective way to treat your stomach symptoms ? Your voice is the only thing missing from this post. Please leave a comment.
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