Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Dr. Bitner on Fox 17: IBS Awareness Month

Understanding Gut Health for IBS Awareness Month

This week on Fox 17, Dr. Bitner joins Tessa DiTirro to discuss Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is the most common functional gut issue, affecting 10-15% of people worldwide, and two-thirds of the people affected are women. Listen in to their conversation and learn more about why IBS can occur and tips to improve your gut health. 

Fact 1:

The gut moves food along to allow for digesting and absorbing nutrients. It is like a highway with an off-ramp and one on-ramp at the beginning with the stomach and bile acids to help digestion.

Constipation occurs when an individual does not consume enough water or fiber. This acts like a roadblock on your digestion highway. Stimulants such as caffeine and adrenaline can cause the bowels to run fast, turning your digestive highway into a racetrack. When combined, the “racetrack” (coffee or stress) will hit the “roadblock” (constipation), causing your digestive muscles to twist and sometimes cause severe pain.  

Fact 2:

A happy gut or “highway without road rage” is possible. A good foundation comes from harmony between fiber, water, and good bacteria. 

Patient Story: 

Jane* is a busy mom with little kids who often found herself drinking coffee, snacking in between meals, and eating on the run. On top of this, she was also stressed. As a result, Jane was experiencing both diarrhea and constipation frequently.

Dr. Bitner suggested that Jane try getting back to basics with SEEDS, adding more water and fiber-rich foods (spelt or whole grain bread, broccoli, avocado, parsnips) to her diet. Dr. B also suggested drinking kombucha at night to promote healthy gut bacteria. Within two weeks, Jane’s symptoms had greatly improved! 

Tip of the Week

With so many people affected daily by Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms, it is important to destigmatize discussing our gut health and bowel movements. It’s okay to talk about poop! To better understand your gut and to feel great, make sure to: 

  • Drink water before coffee or caffeinated beverages
  • Add fiber and kombucha into your daily diet 
  • Get in the habit of walking 10,000 steps a day or exercising for 30 minutes 

Watch the full segment.