Functional Lab Testing for IBSJun 30, 2023 09:31AM ● By Dr. Chrysanthi Kazantzis
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the stomach and intestines, also known as the gastrointestinal tract. Although it is a chronic, long-term condition, changes in our diet and lifestyle can improve the quality of life.
Symptoms of IBS can include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Foods to avoid triggering the ailment include gluten, dairy, fried foods, beans or legumes, caffeinated drinks, highly processed foods, alcohol, garlic and onions, and cruciferous vegetables.
Functional and naturopathic medical practitioners always look for the root cause of chronic conditions and, in the case of IBS, they know that there are many reasons for digestive discomfort and equally as many options for restoring a patient to optimal intestinal health.
Helpful foods include lean meats, eggs, fatty fish, vegetables including leafy greens, fruits, nuts, seeds, fermented foods and bone broth. Suggested supplements include psyllium fiber, probiotics, digestive enzymes, L-glutamine, marshmallow root, slippery elm root and aloe vera gel.
Since IBS can be complex, it is best approached and addressed by a clinician that takes the time to get to know each patient well. This includes completing a thorough intake to identify any underlying lifestyle issues, completing a panel of comprehensive tests and then creating a curated plan of action. With IBS, there are many tests to determine the underlying cause.
In-Depth Stool Testing
This at-home test provides a 10-page report that includes information on digestion and absorption of food, markers of inflammation, number of prebiotics, levels of bad bacteria including the various types and pathogenicity, specific parasites and levels of good bacteria.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Testing
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) can also be an underlying cause to IBS. This three-hour, at-home breath test provides a one-page report with two markers of hydrogen and methane gas which can contribute to painful gas and significant bloating.
In-Depth Food Sensitivity Testing
This process can test for up to 176 separate foods. This test is a three-page report which shows which foods are causing inflammation and leading to our gut symptoms. It also tests the gut barrier panel which can show an overgrowth of candida (yeast) and if we have leaky gut.
A functional, natural approach to IBS has been shown to be successful for symptom management and higher quality of life outcomes. Taking the time to investigate symptoms thoroughly is key. And with an individualized treatment plan that is catered to a patient’s unique symptoms, managing IBS doesn’t have to get in the way of everyday life.
Dr. Chrysanthi Kazantzis (Dr. Kaz) is an expert in naturopathic and functional medicine who uses a personalized approach and comprehensive testing with each patient to help them achieve optimal health. Her practice, AnasaPersonalized Medicine, is located at 245 Waterman St., Ste. 308, in Providence, RI. For more information or to make an appointment, call 401-270-1742 or visit AnasaMedicine.com.