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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms and Relief


Reviewed by Kimberly Cabe, FNP-BC of Forum Health Rochester Hills

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can vary from case to case. It tends to come and go with stress and certain lifestyle changes. Because there is no specific blood test to detect IBS, it must be diagnosed through the symptoms it presents. This is why tracking your symptoms is so important. Before you can interpret the symptoms, however, you’ll need to understand IBS.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a type of gastrointestinal disorder that affects 20-30% of the population. Described as a malfunction in the digestive tract that causes bowel movements to be unpredictable. It can be debilitating, leaving some who suffer with IBS stuck at home, missing work and other commitments. Some of the more serious symptoms that have been reported alter from aches and pain, abdominal cramping, embarrassing diarrhea, and constipation. Other symptoms may include stomach bloating, gas, nausea, heartburn or acid reflux, fatigue, sexual problems, and loss of appetite.

Symptoms? A few questions you should be asking yourself in order to make a better assessment:


1) How often are you going to the bathroom?

2) Do you have abdominal pain that tends to lessen when you use the bathroom?

3) Is there a change in your stool, appearance or consistency, after eating certain foods?

4) Do you feel bloated or gassy after eating?

5) Does exercise help any of your IBS-like symptoms?

6) Do stress and anxiety seem related to your IBS-like symptoms?


If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, a trip to the doctor may be in order. At Forum Health our Functional Medicine providers can help you to properly diagnose what your disorder may be. IBS symptoms are closely related to other conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and even Leaky Gut. To avoid a misdiagnosis, it is important to rule out any other potential illnesses.


Using a Functional Medicine approach—a more holistic look at symptoms—clinicians have been able to identify potential underlying causes of IBS. There are certain lifestyle and environmental factors that have been found to play a role in the development of the condition. One foremost factor that determines how the digestive system works depends on stress levels and mood. This makes sense when considering how the gut and the brain connect. Through a link (the vagus nerve), the gut receives signals from the central nervous system (brain and spine). When the brain is off balance with stress and anxiety, that signal can cause the gut to become unpredictable.


Other factors include:

  • Psychological Factors: depression or anxiety
  • Chronic Stress: both mental and physical
  • Food Sensitivities: allergies to dairy, gluten, and certain carbohydrates, foods that are hard to digest
  • Changes in Sleep
  • Hormonal Imbalances: menstruation, menopause, or pregnancy
  • Genetics


Once a/our doctor has determined that you do suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it is important to know that there is relief out there, but it is up to you to make the necessary changes. One of the most important changes to implement is the food you give your body, which will also have to be done with a process of exclusion. Because no two bodies are the same, each person will react differently to various foods; therefore, an elimination diet is key.

What can you do?


  • Digestive support and supplements like probiotics to realign the gut with healthy bacteria; and enzymes to aid in digestion and absorption.
  • Eat whole, unprocessed foods as much as you can.
  • Incorporate fermented foods and ginger into your diet
  • Stress management – Try meditating for a few minutes every day, or a yoga class into your week.


  • Added sugars
  • Spicy foods
  • Caffeine and alcohol
  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Onions and garlic.

How We Can Help

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a complex GI disorder. It affects nearly 30% of the population, causing many significant impairments, as those who suffer often miss work and other obligations. Luckily, Forum Health understands and we’re here to help. Here are some root-cause, personalized treatments our providers may offer:


GDRx Gut Detox Program

Our medically-supervised gut liver detox program helps remove toxin buildup with the help of medical-grade shakes and supplements, health coaching and education to allow your body to heal and recover. The program is designed to help improve digestion and stamina, lose weight, identify food sensitivities, decrease inflammation, reduce bloating and much more.


IV Therapy

IV nutrition therapy is a powerful, proven tool to help you improve your health rapidly. By bypassing the guy and going straight into the bloodstream, IV therapy delivers a potent blend of essential vitamins and nutrients to help heal your gut.


Peptide Therapy

Peptide therapy works to restore the number of peptides in your body and stimulate cellular regrowth. Certain gut peptides can help maintain homeostasis in the stomach, improve immunity, treat IBS, and enhance digestion to help people with leaky gut syndrome from losing vital nutrients in their diet.


Dietary Supplements + Health Coaching

Our providers use the latest data and insight, pure ingredients, targeted formulations and clinically relevant dosing to support healthy digestion, microbial balance, and your body’s natural detoxification process. Additionally, our health coaches work with you to identify foods to eat and offer support and accountability to ensure your success.


Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women and Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men

Hormone therapy has shown to rebalance the microbiome and reduce symptoms of IBS and other gut-related issues.


Advanced Testing

Our providers test the microbiome, gastrointestinal effects and nutritional deficiencies to uncover the root cause of your gut health dysfunction.


Always remember: if you give your body the proper environment, it will heal itself! We can create a plan to treat your IBS symptoms and get you the relief you are craving!

We can help you heal your gut.

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The Standard. “Inflammatory Bowel Disease & Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Understanding, Distinguishing, and Addressing,” 10(1), 2010