CONSTIPATION + LOOSE STOOLS
Constipation is the most common GI problem. Over 5 million prescriptions are written each year to treat constipation. If you strain to have a bowel movement, pass hard stools, and are unable to have a complete bowel movement, you may be constipated. Constipation can result from a low fiber diet, gut dysbiosis, antibiotics, NSAIDs and other medications, hypothyroidism, not enough water, and a sedentary lifestyle. Chronic constipation is the root cause of many other conditions, such as SIBO, IBS – and more.
Loose stools, on the other hand, are bowel movements that are abnormally watery. Common causes of loose stools include diet, food intolerances, food poisoning, infection, gut dysbiosis, chronic constipation, SIBO and IBS.
BLOATING AND GAS
While embarrassing, gas is a normal part of the digestion process. However, chronic gas or foul-smelling gas is not normal. Chronic gas can be caused by several things, including diet, overeating, hormone imbalance, candida, gut dysbiosis, and food sensitivities and intolerances.
Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract may be a result of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Two common IBDs are Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, both autoimmune conditions. The signs and symptoms of IBD vary depending on where the inflammation occurs and its severity. They include reduced appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, blood in your stool, abdominal pain and cramping, fever, and fatigue.
Dysbiosis is a condition where there is an imbalance of the gut microbiota (i.e. gut bacteria). Dysbiosis can result from a low fiber diet, chronic constipation, infections, medications, chlorinated water, antibiotics, and poor immunity.
The signs and symptoms of dysbiosis include nausea, GI pain, diarrhea and constipation, chest pain, stomach upset, bad breath, skin issues, and chronic bloating.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a chronic condition affecting the small intestine. SIBO is the result of excess bacteria in the small intestine. The condition occurs when bacteria that usually grow in other parts of the digestive system start growing in the small intestines. This may be caused by changes in your small intestines' pH, poor gut motility (i.e. constipation), or problems with your immune system. The signs and symptoms of SIBO may include skin issues (especially rosacea) bloating, cramps, abdominal pain, especially after eating, constipation and diarrhea, indigestion, and gas.
Leaky gut is also referred to as intestinal permeability. It is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes more permeable. Because of this hyperpermeability, the small intestines fail to work correctly, allowing substances like toxins, partially digested food, and bacteria to leak into the bloodstream. The foreign substances that leak into the bloodstream may trigger autoimmune responses in the body. This results in allergic and inflammatory reactions such as irritable bowel, eczema, food allergies, and fatigue. Other symptoms include nutritional deficiencies, chronic diarrhea and constipation, immune dysregulation, and migraines.
People with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD for short, experience reflux symptoms such as heartburn. It is normal to experience heartburn or acid reflux once in a while. However, when you experience these symptoms every day or at least twice in a week, chances are you are suffering from GERD.
Heartburn is a burning or hot sensation that rises from the abdominal area to the chest area under the sternum. GERD symptoms include persistent nausea, bad breath, or pain in the upper part of your abdomen or your chest. Children under the age of 12 and some adults may not experience heartburn when they have GERD. Instead, they experience asthma-like symptoms like trouble breathing or swallowing.
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a condition where the muscles in the large intestines contract more frequently than normal.
If you experience frequent irritation in your digestive tract, or stomach pain and discomfort at least three or four times a month for several months, you may be suffering from IBS.
The signs and symptoms of IBS vary. You may pass watery stool one day and then pass dry hard stool the next. Other common symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, and excess gas.