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What’s Going On in Your Gut. It's Not Always IBS

What’s Going On in Your Gut. It's Not Always IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of those things no one likes to talk about but many seem to experience at some point in their lives. At Princeton Integrative Health, we can’t talk enough about IBS and other gastrointestinal conditions. 

We pay very close attention to your gut health. So should you.

We often joke that sleep and poop are our two favorite topics of conversation. In all seriousness, the health of your gut is intricately connected to the health of all your other systems and organs, including your brain. You can bet we pay very close attention to your gut health.

Your gut tells us a lot about what is going on in your body. Your gut microbiome is responsible for many biological processes, from immunity to metabolism to memory and mental health. It’s also our “window to the world” in that it’s the organ that assumes the onslaught of external toxins, from foods and environmental factors such as pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs and others.

When you’re suffering with digestive and detoxification challenges, oftentimes, conventional testing and a physical exam may not turn up a specific diagnosis, and you may be told you have IBS. Numerous reports say that between 10 to 25 percent of the population has been “diagnosed” with IBS. In conventional medicine, IBS has become a common explanation for a group of symptoms that are hard to miss—diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, abdominal pain and discomfort—but whose root cause is undiagnosed. Without this diagnosis, your doctor may only be able to prescribe home remedies and/or medication to ease your symptoms.

When you are scared to leave the house because you aren’t sure you’ll be able to find a bathroom fast enough, a broad diagnosis and some short-term remedies may be good enough for you. At least in that moment.

However, over time, these recurring symptoms can only become more of a nuisance. They are also a reminder that something isn’t quite right. When your gut is trying to tell you something, shouldn’t you listen?

Viewing the gut as a second brain, we say “yes” and recommend that you dig deeper for answers and the underlying cause of your GI woes. They could be a sign of stress, depression, autoimmunity, a nutrient deficiency, a food sensitivity or allergy, a hormonal imbalance, a compromised GI lining, candida, environmental exposures or a number of other problems.

Medication may keep you out of the bathroom and free you of pain, but that temporary relief becomes counterproductive if it’s masking other problems. IBS is not “all in your head,” but the connection between your gut and your brain is very real. Your stomach upset can send a signal to your brain that causes anxiety. Your stress can send a signal to your brain that upsets your stomach. Your food allergy could be upsetting both your stomach and your brain!

When you get to the root cause—and eliminate the offending food, or treat the parasite, or learn to recognize and manage your stress—you can begin to achieve long-lasting, sustainable health.

To schedule a consultation, or to register for a FREE workshop. call 609.512.1468.

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The information on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Princeton Integrative Health advises that you use this information in consultation with your functional medicine doctor or other healthcare professional.