Adelaide Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Alex see’s people with severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) on a daily basis. Most patients experience significant diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence and bloating that increase in severity over the years. These symptoms can be exacerbated by stress and food sensitivities.

Many Adelaide IBS patients have been through a merry-go-round of GP’s and Gastroenterologists who all offer the same diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS affects around 1 in 5 people yet remains a mystery to most health professionals, even those who specialise in gastrointestinal disorders. Adelaide Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common diagnosis made by gastroenterologists and yet it’s the least known about. A syndrome is not a proper diagnosis, it refers to a group of symptoms, unlike a disease with identifiable biomarkers. IBS is not quantifiable meaning that it wont show up in a CT scan, ultrasound or biopsy, so Adelaide Irritable bowel patients get passed from doctor to doctor like a hot potato. 

Stopping with a diagnosis of IBS is far too vague as there are many explanations with solid science behind them. Alex turns to specialised lab testing to identify food sensitivities, parasites, bacterial & yeast overgrowth and intestinal permeability. Many of these specialised tests are not covered under medicare and therefore not offered by GP’s and Gastroenterologists.

Alex can see a big miscommunication happening.


“I see a big disconnection & miss-communication between gastroenterology and microbiology. Often my Adelaide IBS patients get the all clear from the gastroenterologist without looking at the microbiology of their gastrointestinal system"


After visiting doctor for years and going through a variety of tests & colonoscopy the usual suspects are ruled out such as ulcers, crowns disease and cancer. People are often sent home with a diagnosis of IBS and a prescription for heartburn/reflux medication or antidepressants, which often cause other health problems or exacerbate the IBS. 

IBS can seem like a lifetime diagnosis, but it doesn’t have to be — especially if you work with a health practitioner who specialises in complex digestive issues.


It's absolutely essential to find the root cause of peoples irritable bowel syndrome, rather than focus on the symptoms”


Most Adelaide IBS patients feel unheard, misunderstood and alone in their suffering. Alex’s in-depth first consultation allows adequate time to for you explain your story and often shines a lite on some critical information.


What the Science Says

Genetics and can play a large role in IBS, but we don’t know exactly how much or why. Having a family history of IBS does not mean you have to suffer from this condition, it simply means that you are more sensitive to factors that cause it.

The intestinal microbe is the pillar of gut health, so any imbalances or weaknesses increases susceptibility to IBS. We have over 100 trillion microbes in our guts that are largely inherited from our mothers during the birthing process. If a mothers intestinal microbiota is imbalanced at the time of birth, the child can inherit an imbalanced microbiome. Increasing evidence is showing that children born via cesarean and non breastfed children have significantly different microbes in their gastrointestinal system.

Studies do tell us that people with diarrhoea predominant IBS have lower levels of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Constipation predominant IBS  show high levels of Veillonella species.

Processed food, excessive alcohol consumption, drugs and antibiotics can kill very important microbes paving the way for an imbalanced microbiome. Alex finds that rebalancing the microbiome can be the key to resolving Adelaide Irritable Bowel Syndrome.



Adelaide IBS - Common Causes


Intestinal Permeability

In a healthy gut, the intestinal lining serves as a sophisticated filter. It’s composed of cells that only allow fully digested nutrients to pass through and deflect large food particles, chemicals, and toxins.

When the intestinal cells are irritated by food sensitivities, stress, toxins and medications the filtration system is impaired. The tight junctions binding the cells together become loose creating a highway for undigested food, bacteria and toxins to enter the bloodstream. You can see from the diagram below, health cells on the left and right are tightly held together. The middle cells have a passage between them creating this toxic highway.

To heal the intestinal lining Adelaide Irritable Bowel Syndrome suffered need to follow the three R’s: remove, reface and repair.

Remove the major sources of dietary related inflammation such as dairy, wheat and refined sugars.

Replace these foods with nutrient dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts, seeds, and pastured free range meats.

Repair the intestinal lining by increasing consumption of glutamine, collagen and bone broth.


Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth - SIBO

While treating and testing for Adelaide irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is often discovered. This is an over colonization of specific bacteria that have migrated from the colon to the small intestines. More than 50% of Adelaide Irritable bowel suffered have this over colonization in their small intestine. When these microbes colonise the small intestine they feed vigorously on dietary carbohydrates and thrive on a moderate carbohydrate diet. Any carbohydrates you eat are feeding SIBO bacteria.

As the bacteria feed and ferment food in the small intestines, a gas byproduct is produced leading to trapped air, heartburn, reflux, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation. Symptoms tend to get worse as the day progresses and many Adelaide IBS sufferers feel worse by the evening.

Many other health condition have been associated with SIBO, including hypothyroid, fibromyalgia, rosacea, mental health issues and fatty liver.



The digestive system moves in a wave like motion (peristalsis) slowly pushing your intestinal contents to the lower part of the digestive tract. This inhibits the migration of bacteria from the bowel to the small intestines. If peristalsis is inhibited via stress, drugs, alcohol, or illness, bacteria have a chance to migrate up the digestive tract.

Another cause of SIBO is low stomach acid, which is often caused from reflux & heartburn  medication, alcohol and stress. Stomach acid is the first line of defence in protecting against bacterial, fungal and parasitic contamination in your food. Lowered stomach acid levels can increase the chances of developing SIBO.

If your stomach acid is not able to sufficiently kill bacteria, fungi and parasites then you are prone to upper gastrointestinal infections such as SIBO.


How is SIBO diagnosed?

Alex always recommends Adelaide Irritable Bowel sufferers do a SIBO test. This involves drinking a solution and sampling the breath over a three hour period. Any excess hydrogen or methane in the breath is a byproduct of SIBO fermentation. Excess hydrogen gas tends to correspond with diarrhoea predominant IBS and excess methane with constipation. Many Adelaide IBS sufferers have both excess methane and hydrogen.


How is SIBO treated? 

As SIBO is a bacterial condition, treatment is based on the eradication of the bacterial overgrowth. The protocol involves a combination of a low carbohydrate diet combined with herbal antibacterial agents.

There are some antibiotics such as rifaximin, which work locally in the digestive system to eradicate SIBO. Studies to show that herbal antimicrobials such as berberine, oregano and others perform just as well as rifaximin.

Many find digestive supplements such as hydrochloric acid or herbal bitters helpful in reducing bacterial overload.

Treating SIBO can take many months, however, by following a specific diet and herbal antimicrobial regime, Adelaide Irritable Bowel suffers usually find significant relief within a couple of weeks.