“Don’t suffer silently! I have a large population of patients with IBS. Using diet and lifestyle intervention, symptoms can be significantly reduced or resolved completely.”

Melissa Karch, RDN, LD, CLT

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solutions

Did you know that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 10-20% of the population worldwide? It is the most common reason for employees missing work after the common cold!

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder of the intestines. It can cause stomach pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. These are all debilitating problems that sometimes can be embarrassing to talk about! In fact, nearly 2000 patients with IBS reported in a recent survey by IFFGD (International Foundation for Functional GI Diseases) that they weren’t actually diagnosed with IBS until 6.6 years after their symptoms began.

Most of the time, doctors can diagnose IBS based on the symptoms. In some cases, you may need other tests such as a colonoscopy, stool analysis, or blood tests. These tests can help your doctor rule out other problems such as Irritable Bowel Disease (Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis) or cancer.

The most recent diagnostic criteria (Rome IV Criteria) for diagnosing IBS are as follows.

Just as IBS symptoms can be diverse, so can the diet recommendations. The amount and type of fiber is plays an important role in bowel regularity. Food Intolerances and Food Sensitivities are also involved in IBS.

Research in recent years out of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia has given IBS suffers new hope for a better controlling symptoms of IBS with a Low FODMAP diet. Their studies have brought to light, the connection between certain Simple Carbohydrates and IBS Symptoms. These certain Carbohydrates can cause excess fermentation in the large intestine, causing symptoms such as gas, bloating, stomach pain and bowel irregularity.

Following a Low FODMAP diet is the FIRST step in determining which foods may be contributing to your painful IBS Symptoms. Some patients may need to follow a Low FODMAP diet indefinitely while others may only experience painful symptoms from certain categories of FODMAPS or in certain doses.

Melissa can help you determine if food sensitivities or intolerances play a role in YOUR IBS.