I thought it might be helpful to try to put together a list of things that might be (correctly or incorrectly) diagnosed as IBS. I hope that others will add to this (or correct any errors)....
Imbalance in intestinal microflora – bad diet, antibiotics, etc can result in this. Treated with probiotics, fiber supplements, diet modifications.
Oxalate intolerance –Apparently Oxalobacter formigene, the intestinal bacterium that breaks down oxalate for us, can be killed off by antibiotics. Without this, oxalate can cause a variety of problems including IBS-like symptoms. Treatment might include avoiding foods high in oxalate – spinach, strawberries, wheat, oats, tea, chocolate, etc. Possibly helped by taking calcium supplements with meals?
Candida Albicans – Some claim that too much candida albicans in the intestine is the cause of a long list of medical problems including IBS-like problems. The treatment can include a very low-carb diet, probiotics (including saccharomyces boulardii) and antifungal supplements.
Mild IBD – Some think that many cases of IBS are mild cases of IBD where (possibly) the body’s immune system mounts an inappropriate response to intestinal microbes (bacteria, etc). Treated by diet, supplements, probiotics, drugs, etc
Anxiety – some believe that this is enough to cause functional GI disorders like IBS. Even if it’s not the sole cause, it is likely to exacerbate symptoms or enable the problems to occur in the first place.
Celiac disease or gluten intolerance –Celiac is a well-characterized intolerance to gluten/wheat. It is treated by life-long abstinence from wheat and gluten-containing food. Other gluten intolerances are not as well-defined, but may be treated similarly
Lactose intolerance – inability to break down lactose in dairy products can cause GI problems. Treated by avoiding dairy products and/or taking supplemental enzymes
Dairy intolerance – Sometimes, it’s not the lactose but casein or other components of milk that cause GI issues. Treat it by avoiding dairy.
SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) – can cause the bloating, discomfort, diarrhea associated with IBS. Treated with antibiotics, probiotics, fiber, low-carb diets.
Salicylate intolerance - salicylate is in some foods, particularly blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, dates, raisins, kiwi fruits, guavas, apricots, green pepper, olives, tomatoes, radish and chicory; peanuts almonds, mushrooms. I don't know too much else about this one...
Intolerance of glutamate and/or other excitatory amino acids – MSG appears in prepared foods under different names (hydrolyzed vegetable protein, “natural flavoring” etc). Aspartate comes from the breakdown of aspartame. Some believe that too much of these amino acids can cause a variety of problems including GI troubles. Avoiding MSG and aspartame might help.
Bile acid malabsorption – intestinal trouble can arise from a reaction to bile salts secreted by the liver (through the gall bladder). Can be treated by drugs to bind up the bile salts and maybe calcium supplements?
Excessive consumption of alcohol
Parasites – giardia, worms, etc – can be treated by drugs
Viral or bacterial infection –
Cancer or other diseases -
Post Edited (SJN888) : 6/3/2013 2:23:48 PM (GMT-6)