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IBS: EVALUATE: Step 1 in The Cleanbody Method

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a prevalent gastrointestinal disorder that is characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and irregular bowel habits, including constipation and/or diarrhea.  This condition can truly be debilitating for many people and impact their day to day lives.  


As part of the Cleanbody Method, with any health condition, we always begin with Step 1 which is “Evaluate.”  The Evaluate phase sets the foundation for your journey as it is a crucial step that enables us to understand your starting point and customize your program accordingly.  In order to properly address IBS, we have to find the root cause. Some of those potential causes of IBS include: SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), dysbiosis (imbalance of bacteria in the microbiome such as parasitic infections, bacterial or fungal infections), food sensitivities, food allergies, or food intolerances as related to a leaky gut, and nervous system dysregulation from chronic stress response - staying in fight or flight.  Our last blog post discussed in detail these potential root causes.





Tools for Evaluating IBS


Every client that is a part of Cleanbody is closely evaluated and monitored. We use a variety of tools to properly evaluate every person such as the following:

  1. Cleanbody Online Assessments: These online assessments are designed to provide a preliminary overview of your health status. They cover a range of areas, from nutrition to lifestyle choices, giving you valuable insights to kickstart your journey.

  2. Cleanbody Blood Lab Assessment: Our lab assessment is a thorough examination of your health markers. It includes blood tests, urine analysis, and other diagnostic measures. This assessment provides a detailed snapshot of your current health status and identifies any imbalances that need attention.

  3. Cleanbody Burden Lab Tests: These specialized tests focus on identifying potential toxins or heavy metals in your body. By pinpointing sources of burden, we can tailor your program to address these specific challenges.

  4. Journal Tracking: At Cleanbody, our clients keep photo journals of food and symptoms that we closely monitor throughout the program. 



Lab Testing for IBS


In addition, for each person with IBS-like symptoms, there are a variety of functional labs that can be potentially helpful in this Evaluation phase.  Each person is a unique, so testing will look different for everyone but some of the more specialized tests might include the following:

  1. Stool Testing:  Stool testing allows us to identify imbalances in the microbiome and look for any inflammation. The results of a stool test can show infections from parasites, bacteria or fungi, or indicate elevation of certain proteins that can be indicative of inflammation or infection in the GI tract.  We can assess for blood in the stool, low digestive enzymes, or issues absorbing nutrients.

  2. Zonulin Testing: A leaky gut, or increased intestinal permeability, can allow proteins to “leak” out into the bloodstream which create a variety of immune responses.  This can show us if the gut lining needs to be healed and sealed.

  3. Organic Acids Testing: Organic acids are chemical compounds products of metabolism excreted in the urine including Intestinal Microbial Overgrowth Markers: which evaluates for Candida activity, Clostridia bacteria toxins, potential mold exposure, and imbalances in gut microflora. It can also measure oxalate metabolites, which provides insights into the levels of oxalates, which could be generated by organisms within the system or through dietary intake. We can look at a variety of nutritional Mmrkers to offer insights into the level of vitamins, antioxidants, and metabolic pathway co-factors. We also can review indicators of detoxification which assesses the presence of oxidative stress through markers of glutathione which can impact the way our bodies get rid of toxins.

  4. SIBO Breath Test: By measuring hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulfide levels in the breath, this test can detect three variations of bacterial overgrowth: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), intestinal methanogenic overgrowth (IMO), and excess hydrogen sulfide, which are strongly linked to GI symptoms.  These tests offer a noninvasive and cost-effective approach to diagnosing GI disorders, providing valuable insights for effective management.

  5. Toxic Burden: Toxins can lead to elevated oxidative stress and increase demand on the body's detoxification pathways, particularly in the liver. When the liver can't adequately eliminate toxins or infectious byproducts, these toxins can clog up normal detox pathways and lead to a range of chronic inflammation symptoms including a variety of digestive symptoms. This test can also look for mold toxicity or heavy metals.

  6. Food Sensitivity Testing: Blood testing for IgE and IgG antibodies shows potential food allergies and sensitivities. Food sensitivities are often linked to a leaky gut and can cause digestive symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, or constipation.

  7. Cortisol Pattern Testing: Saliva tests at different times in the day can show us the rhythm of cortisol and any dysfunction in the HPA axis (the stress response system in the body).  The HPA axis is often a big piece in the IBS puzzle.



The Cleanbody Pillars of Health


In addition to evaluating many of the physical symptoms and labs, we also evaluate what we refer to as the “Pillars of Health” which include CleanFOOD, CleanMIND, CleanENVIRO, CleanROUTINE, and CleanFIT.  We begin the process by reviewing what typical dietary intake looks like and what nutritional gaps need to be addressed.  We use food therapeutically to begin nourishing the body and reducing foods that are contributing to inflammation in the body.  We look at the health of the nervous system and the stress response in the body to ensure that our clients are able to get out of “fight or flight” mode.  We review the environmental factors that are making the most impact on each client in their home, work, and daily lives and begin to evaluate where toxins can be reduced and cleaned up.  We evaluate daily routines and dynamics to ensure opportunities for success throughout the program. And lastly, we evaluate movement patterns in each client and how to adjust these to an optimal level for health.


Here at Cleanbody, we know that your symptoms can be hard to deal with! We don’t want you suffering through these endlessly.  We want to carefully consider which symptoms are most impactful to your life and prioritize creating some relief from your discomfort while simultaneously addressing the root cause of why your symptoms exist in the first place. This crucial first step of “Evaluate” is truly asking for the “why” and uncovering what is going on below the surface.  Follow along for the next blog as we discuss how we begin to OPTIMIZE the body in the next step of the Cleanbody Method for those with IBS-like symptoms. 


It is important to remember that constipation, diarrhea, loose stool, gas, bloating and abdominal pain are not “normal” occurrences, but instead alarms that our bodies set off to let us know that something is off in the system.  We would love to join alongside you in your health journey and help you to uncover the root cause of your IBS and obtain a Cleanbody for life!




References:

  1. Kurin, Michael, and Gregory Cooper. “Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea: Treatment is a work in progress.” Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine vol. 87,8 501-511. 31 Jul. 2020, doi:10.3949/ccjm.87a.19011

  2. Cassar, Gillian E et al. “Health-Related Quality of Life in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Gastroenterology nursing : the official journal of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates vol. 43,3 (2020): E102-E122. doi:10.1097/SGA.0000000000000530

  3. Takakura, Will, and Mark Pimentel. “Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and Irritable Bowel Syndrome - An Update.” Frontiers in psychiatry vol. 11 664. 10 Jul. 2020, doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00664

  4. Spiller, Robin. “Impact of Diet on Symptoms of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Nutrients vol. 13,2 575. 9 Feb. 2021, doi:10.3390/nu13020575

  5. Zhou, Changli et al. “Exercise therapy of patients with irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials.” Neurogastroenterology and motility vol. 31,2 (2019): e13461. doi:10.1111/nmo.13461

  6. Pimentel, Mark, and Anthony Lembo. “Microbiome and Its Role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Digestive diseases and sciences vol. 65,3 (2020): 829-839. doi:10.1007/s10620-020-06109-5

  7. Rana, Satya Vati, and Aastha Malik. “Breath tests and irritable bowel syndrome.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 20,24 (2014): 7587-601. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i24.7587


Medical Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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