If you’ve received an Irritable Bowel Syndrome diagnosis, chances are it might not be accurate. You may actually have an underlying infection.

Did you realize that our bodies don’t generate gas on their own? Rather, it’s the bacteria residing within us that produce it. Gas is meant to be released gradually over time without causing discomfort. For most individuals, this process operates smoothly, with approximately 2 liters of gas being naturally expelled each day. However, many others contend with daily issues such as offensive gas, trapped gas, frequent gas, as well as discomforts like pain, heartburn, diarrhea, and constipation. Bloating may be sporadic, related to dietary habits, or constant, with numerous underlying causes worth exploring. Something as seemingly simple as adopting a slower eating pace and ensuring thorough chewing can sometimes alleviate the issue. Yet, more complex problems, such as underlying infections, often evade detection. If you’re experiencing persistent bloating or have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), read on.


Apart from bacteria, the gas in our intestines primarily stems from swallowing during meals. Eating too quickly leads to increased air intake, potentially causing bloating. While oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide are normally absorbed, fermentation with colon bacteria produces hydrogen and methane. Excessive methane can induce symptoms like bloating and constipation, akin to those in cows. Overproduction of hydrogen can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea and pain. Many individuals remain unaware of their excessive gas production and its connection to their symptoms.


Certain foods may not be absorbed effectively, allowing bacteria to ferment them. This could result from the unsuitability of specific foods for your intestines, such as in gluten sensitivity, or insufficient production of digestive enzymes to break them down. Lactose intolerance exemplifies this; without lactase, milk passes through undigested, serving as fuel for bacteria. Similar issues can arise with fats, proteins, and starches. Individuals lacking a gallbladder or with conditions like gallstones, pancreatitis, or low stomach acid may also have enzyme deficiencies. Fortunately, replacing these deficient enzymes can restore proper digestion, with foods rich in digestive enzymes like papaya often proving beneficial for breaking down starchy meals.


Doctors commonly recommend four main diets to alleviate bloating and IBS symptoms. High FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-di-mono-saccharides and polyols) carbohydrates, found in foods like onions and garlic, are often implicated in bloating. Additionally, the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), and the Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) diet are popular options. While each diet has its advantages and drawbacks, they can effectively identify and address bacterial issues negatively impacting health. Working with a knowledgeable professional can help individuals find relief, as these diets often lead to a greater understanding of underlying infections as the root cause of bloating and IBS symptoms. Individuals can try one of these diets for two weeks to assess its efficacy.


Various pathogenic bacteria, overpopulation of normal bacteria, and intestinal parasites can disrupt proper digestion. Common culprits include helicobacter pylori and blastocystis hominis, detectable through breath and stool tests, respectively. Investigating these infections is worthwhile, as they are often responsible for symptoms and can be treated with straightforward antibiotic and/or probiotic regimens.


SIBO is a condition increasingly replacing IBS diagnoses, as many IBS sufferers exhibit issues with intestinal microorganisms that resolve with treatment. SIBO is often overlooked by doctors, who may instead prescribe diets like FODMAPs or GAPS, unknowingly treating SIBO in the process. Individuals experiencing persistent bloating, heartburn, nausea, constipation, chronic nonspecific diarrhea, abdominal pain, and acne rosacea, along with certain medical conditions or histories, likely have SIBO. Recognizing these symptoms and their associations can aid in diagnosing and effectively treating SIBO.

In conclusion, treatments for bloating and IBS vary depending on the underlying cause. Factors such as diet, eating habits, probiotics, enzymes, intestinal motility agents, stress management, and antibiotics—both herbal and pharmaceutical—should all be considered. Consulting with a qualified healthcare practitioner at Gravity Health can help tailor a treatment plan to address individual needs effectively.