Let’s be real, you want to know all you can about your health, diet, and exercise. More specifically you want to know how a diet can affect your bowels; what is and is not normal when it comes to elimination. Maybe you started a new high fiber diet and your bladder has been on a frenzy. Maybe you have been cramping for a prolonged period of time and are worried about your symptoms. Maybe you are a self proclaimed physician that has read everything there is to know on WebMD, and you are prepared to diagnose your symptoms with a condition. All of these conditions might lead you to believe you have IBS and could be precursors, so let’s resolve some facts about gas, diarrhea, IBS, and an even more serious diagnosis, colorectal cancer.
If you have gas and diarrhea you do not automatically have IBS or Colorectal Cancer. In this article we will distinguish the three most common culprits when it comes to elimination, their symptoms, and their risk factors. Regardless, whatever the reason for your symptoms, always remember to consult your physician to get the CORRECT answers to your medical questions.
Gas and Diarrhea can happen for several reasons, with the most common resulting from those concerned with health and fitness, beginning with a change in diet. Gas and indigestion are common after major diet changes. The digestive system and the flora in your gut take time adapting to different foods. Some foods are just harder to digest, causing elimination symptoms. Fiber found in many fruits and vegetables (brussel sprouts, beans, starches, etc) can’t be digested, and if you aren’t used to consuming an increased amount of fiber you can thank that for your frequent bathroom trips! More often than not, adding specific foods to your diet can result in bloating, gas, upset stomach, and diarrhea. (Don’t get carried away, this isn’t a pepto bismol ad, though it can aid you in the relief of these minor symptoms) In most cases gas and diarrhea will go away once your body becomes accustom to the new food and diet change.
Unknown food intolerance is also a contributor to elimination symptoms, the most common being lactose intolerance, or the inability to properly digest lactose. Lactose intolerance includes symptoms of gas, diarrhea, stomach pain, abdominal cramps, vomiting and heartburn. Other common triggers for food intolerance include wheat, gluten, yeast, and sugar additives. Make sure to check with your physician about food allergies and food intolerance before starting any new diet or eating habits.
Gradually adding new or increased amounts of food groups can often help eliminate or prevent these digestive problems from occurring. Taking a supplement (and we suggest this one) can help you digest these foods or reduce the amount of gas in your system.
Okay so what is IBS you ask? Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine, also known as the colon. It is not exactly known as to what causes IBS, but we do know how it works. IBS affects the muscles layered throughout the intestines, which contract and relax moving food from the stomach to the intestinal tract and to your rectum. IBS can cause your contractions to become stronger than normal causing gas, bloating, and diarrhea. IBS does not change bowel tissue or increase your risk of Colorectal Cancer, however, IBS is a chronic condition that will need to be managed long term. Symptoms of IBS can vary from person to person, with the most common being: Abdominal pain/cramping, feeling bloated, gas, diarrhea (or) constipation, and mucus in stool. Symptoms can be managed by diet, lifestyle changes, medication, and monitoring stress levels. BEFORE, you diagnose yourself as suffering from IBS read this entire article and consider other factors, and as always schedule an appointment with your doctor!
Now, on to a more serious and possible cause of gas and diarrhea, Colorectal Cancer. Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), while rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together they are referred to as colorectal cancers. Most cases of colorectal cancer begin as small, benign clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time these polyps become colorectal cancers. Regular screening is recommended by doctors, as polyps may be small and may not show signs of symptoms and will need to be monitored in case of further development. Symptoms of Colorectal cancers can include: a change in your bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation lasting longer than four weeks, rectal bleeding or blood in your stool, cramps, gas, weakness, fatigue, and weight loss.
Diet change, IBS, and Colorectal cancers are among some of the most common causes of elimination change. Talking with your doctor as well as completing regular scans can shed more light on some of the symptoms you may be experiencing. Remember that if you’re not a doctor, do not self diagnosis, consider your options and create a plan.
For more information on how to create a personalized health plan email us at firstname.lastname@example.org