Understanding IBS & IBD

If you've read my personal story, then you know that I have had my fair share of digestive issues. They can be hard to pinpoint and extremely frustrating. Sometimes health care practitioners don't understand what you are experiencing and simple scans might not be enough to get to the root cause. Then if you are aware what digestive issues you are suffering from, you may only be prescribed medication and nutrition may not be considered. Plus, for anyone that has been told they should make a change to the diet to improve their digestion, knows how overwhelming that can be.

Two of the common acronyms that get thrown around are IBS and IBD. This can be confusing because because they have similar titles and they have some similar symptoms. With that being said IBS and IBD are quite different.

So what are they?

IBS IBS stands for Irritable Bowl Syndrome. IBS can be hard to diagnose and is experienced by many people around the world. Many people who have it suffer from abdominal discomfort, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. The causes of IBS vary, again making it hard to diagnose. Its believed that gastrointestinal permeability, poor intestinal flora, food intake, stress and others can all cause IBS. In one of my previous posts I discuss the mind-gut connection and how our mental state can play a large role in our gut health so our daily stressors like work, school, money, commuting, etc., can start to impact our digestive health. Some individuals with IBS have a hard time digesting certain foods including fructose, fructans, fiber, galactans and lactose. There is actually a diet referred to as a low FODMAPs diet which eliminates these foods. Although, challenging, it has been known to create a lot of positive benefits for individuals suffering from IBS.

IBD IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disorder also known as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis and is an inflammation of the intestines. However both Crohn's and ulcerative colitis are different. Individuals with Crohn's may experience diarrhea, fever, pain in their lower abdomen, intestinal blockages, and more whereas individuals with ulcerative colitis may have symptoms of bloody diarrhea with cramps, weight loss and fever, hemorrhoids, and more. Factors that may cause IBD are genetics, infections, medications, diet, and more.

Foods to avoid:





Trans fats

Artificial sweeteners

Food sensitivities

Foods to love:

Vitamin D

Whole grains

Cooked veggies and leafy greens

Foods containing soluble fiber

Calming herbs like chamomile

Bitter foods

Mucilaginous foods - chia seeds, flaxseed



Warm lemon water In good health,


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