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FoodMarble Health For use by physicians
  • Last updated: 16 February 2024
  • Est. reading time: 4 minutes
  • Find Relief: Manage your IBS with AIRE 2

  • Overcome IBS one breath at a time

    Did you know that 1 in 8 people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) worldwide? It’s likely that you or someone you love suffers from IBS. While managing IBS is challenging, we are committed to making the process more easier and more convenient. Through education we aim to empower people suffering from IBS so read on and learn more about IBS and how FoodMarble can help.

  • Est. reading time: 4 minutes
  • Find Relief: Manage your IBS with AIRE 2

  • Overcome IBS one breath at a time

    Did you know that 1 in 8 people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) worldwide? It’s likely that you or someone you love suffers from IBS. While managing IBS is challenging, we are committed to making the process more easier and more convenient. Through education we aim to empower people suffering from IBS so read on and learn more about IBS and how FoodMarble can help.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects the functioning of the digestive system. Essentially, it is a condition where individuals experience symptoms without any visible structural changes to their digestive tract, setting it apart from other digestive diseases. IBS is categorized into four main types based on the predominant symptom experienced by individuals: IBS-D (diarrhea-dominant), IBS-C (constipation-dominant), IBS-M (mixed), and IBS-U (unclassified).

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

The Rome criteria is a set of diagnostic criteria used to identify and diagnose IBS. These criteria were developed by experts in the field of gastroenterology to provide a standardized approach for diagnosing IBS. The Rome criteria have been revised over time, and the most recent version is called the Rome IV criteria.

 

In order to fulfill the diagnostic criteria for IBS according to the Rome IV guidelines, an individual should experience recurring abdominal pain or discomfort for an average of at least one day per week over the past three months. It is also necessary for the onset of symptoms to have occurred at least six months before the diagnosis.

 

Additionally, two or more of the following criteria must also be present:

 

  1. Related to defecation: The onset of pain is associated with a change in stool frequency or form (appearance).
  2. Associated with a change in stool frequency: The pain is accompanied by an increase or decrease in bowel movements.
  3. Associated with a change in stool form: The pain is accompanied by a change in the appearance of the stool (e.g., more loose or hard stools).

Causes and risk factors of IBS

Although the exact cause of IBS remains unknown, various factors have been identified as potential risk factors.

 

Biological sex: Research indicates that in Western countries, women are twice as likely to suffer from IBS as men.

Genetic factors: There may be a genetic component to IBS, as it can sometimes run in families. However, more research is needed to fully understand the genetic factors involved.

Age: IBS is more prevalent in young people. The majority of people with IBS experience their initial symptoms before the age of 40.

Psychological factors: Emotional stress, anxiety, and depression have been found to have a significant impact on the functioning of the gut, potentially worsening symptoms of IBS. These psychological conditions can disrupt the signals between the gut and the brain, leading to imbalances and further exacerbating IBS symptoms.

Food sensitivities and dietary factors: Certain foods, such as high-FODMAP foods, may trigger IBS symptoms in individuals.

Severe infection: IBS can be caused by a viral, bacterial or parasitic infection. When this occurs it is known as Post-infectious IBS (PI-IBS).

IBS symptoms

The most common IBS symptoms include:

 

Change in bowel habits: Bowel habits can vary and may present as either constipation or diarrhea. In some instances, individuals may experience a combination of both constipation and diarrhea

Abdominal pain: The pain can occur suddenly or gradually develop over time; it can feel sharp or dull, with varying levels of discomfort.

Bloated stomach and distention: IBS patients often describe feeling bloated and constantly gassy. This is likely due to problems digesting food.

Other symptoms: Many people with IBS report a range of other symptoms. These can include: heartburn, nausea, lowered libido, fatigue, and headache/migraine.

If I have IBS, am I at risk for any other conditions related to gut health?

Although a diagnosis of IBS does not mean that you will suffer from other gastrointestinal conditions, research has indicated that people with people with IBS are more likely to suffer from:

Visceral Hypersensitivity in the gut

Visceral hypersensitivity is a condition where the internal organs, particularly in the abdomen like the intestines, become overly sensitive. This means that individuals with this condition may feel normal bodily sensations or even minor triggers more intensely and uncomfortably compared to others. As a result, they may experience heightened pain or discomfort in response to various stimuli. These symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, and alterations in bowel habits.

Abnormal gastrointestinal (GI) motility

People with IBS may experience irregular movements of their digestive tract. These movements can either be too fast, leading to diarrhea, or too slow, resulting in constipation.

Changes in gut microbiota

For people who suffer from IBS, there can be a disturbance in the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, which is known as the gut microbiota. This disruption in the microbiota can have an impact on the normal functioning of the digestive system.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Research indicates that SIBO is prevalent in a significant percentage (40-84%) of individuals with IBS. SIBO is a condition characterized by an abnormal increase in bacteria in the small intestine. SIBO can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and may require treatment with antibiotics, probiotics, and dietary adjustments to restore a healthier balance of gut bacteria.

Lower bacterial diversity

Research has indicated that individuals with IBS tend to have a lower abundance and diversity of gut bacteria in their intestines.

How can FoodMarble help with managing my IBS?

We recognize that managing IBS can be tough, and we want you to know that we’re here to help. We’re dedicated to providing people with the resources they need to improve their gut health.

 

Manage your IBS with FoodMarble

Our blog provides you with up-to-date and relevant IBS research to help you develop effective strategies for the management and treatment of IBS. Interested in exploring some home remedies for IBS, we have an article for that! How about more information surrounding the link between kiwi and constipation relief?

 

Harnessing AIRE 2 for your IBS symptom tracking

Speaking of fun facts, did you know that you will see fermentation in your breath before you feel it in your gut? That’s why our AIRE 2 device and FoodMarble App are the perfect duo to manage your IBS symptoms. AIRE 2 is a digestive tracking device that puts clinically validated breath testing technology in the palm of your hand. When coupled with the FoodMarble App, this pocket-sized digestive tracker accurately assesses and analyzes the amount of hydrogen and methane on your breath so you can monitor any fermentation that occurs in your gut. With these insights you will be able to make informed decisions about foods you eat, which will help you manage their symptoms more effectively.

Take the guesswork out of eating! Check out AIRE 2 here and start measuring how you digest the foods you eat from the comfort of your home today!

 

*Note: If you suspect you have IBS or are experiencing digestive symptoms, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.

  • 25 December 2023
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