Do I have IBS or is it something else?

April is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Awareness Month. “But I don’t have IBS” I can hear 85% of you saying. And while that’s statistically true,  it’s also true that many, many people have IBS-like symptoms that actually are something totally different… but more on that later.

For those afflicted with IBS, the symptoms – to put it mildly – suck. They range from milder, everyday inconveniences like bloating and gas, to more significant problems like terrible stomach cramping, urgent diarrhea, and even constipation (wait, you’re telling me IBS sufferers get BOTH? Yes).  One of the most frequent things I hear from the folks who write in to us is the loss of control they feel. Often IBS comes with an extreme urgency to go to the loo, which can make going out to dinner, a friends house, or even out to the grocery store really, really tricky.

Probiotic Strains Clinically Proven To Settle IBS Symptoms

Unfortunately, there is no cure for IBS. But there are a couple of probiotic strains (in Jetson) that have been clinically proven to settle some of the symptoms – notably diarrhea and urgency.  Both bifidobacterium infantis and lactobacillus rhamnosus GG are two of the strains in Jetson with studies showing improved IBS symptoms (thanks Harvard Medical School for the assist)!

Moreover, increasing evidence is pointing to the quality of your microbiome and gut lining and their ability to improve symptoms, and even reverse the disease itself. Dr. Mark Hyman, has an excellent set of research and practices to begin the healing process.

6 Things You Can Do To Bounce Back Better From IBS

  1. Sleep: 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night does more than reset your gut – not doing it will literally kill you.
  2. Avoid processed foods: Especially foods that contain xylitol, sorbitol, fructose, lactose, inulin, and oats.
  3. Eat natural and healthy fiber: NOT Metamucil. You need 30+ grams a day!
  4. Reduce stress: Meditation is an amazing way to literally grow your brain’s gray matter AND feel more relaxed.
  5. Eat the rainbow: No, not skittles. I’m talking fruits and vegetables, every day (sorry potatoes, you don’t count). No, I don’t really like swiss chard either but guess what I would like less? IBS.
  6. Use a high quality probiotic: Jetson contains clinically studied strains proven to help rebalance your gut flora and help to alleviate the symptoms (and in many cases the root causes!) of IBS.

And for those of you wondering if you have IBS or something else?  The good news is only 2 in 10 have true IBS. The bad news is that there are many conditions that could feel like IBS but in many cases are actually in some cases better (stress, gallstones) and in other cases worse (stomach cancer, celiac disease, endometriosis).  Bottom line?  If you feel something a little bit off, do the following:

  • Follow the above advice and
  • See your doctor!
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