Functional bowel disorders (FBD) are a range of chronic or recurrent gastrointestinal symptoms without the diagnosis of other digestive disorders.

This include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and unspecified functional bowel disorder.

There are many root causes to these symptoms, but they are often caused by:

  • Altered motility (movement through the digestive tract)
  • Visceral hypersensitivity (heightened pain awareness inside the body)
  • Altered brain-gut connection
  • Low level inflammation
  • Psycho-social issues
  • Intestinal microbes. 

By helping clients first identify the potential root causes to their gastrointestinal symptoms, I create a nutrition and lifestyle plan to offer symptom relief. With personalized nutrition counseling, clients regain their quality of life without worry of constant gastrointestinal discomfort. 

Read on to learn more about each type of functional bowel disorder. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Symptoms include abdominal pain or discomfort and changes in bowel habits and stool appearance (diarrhea, constipation, or both) at least 3 days per month for the last 3 months 
  • Impacts 10-20% of adults and adolescents worldwide, primarily females 
  • Typically associated with other symptoms including heartburn, fibromyalgia, headache, etc.
  • No physical signs indicate the presence of IBS

Functional Bloating

  • Recurrent feeling of abdominal distension
  • Most common in women and often associated with the menstrual cycle
  • Typically worsens after eating and as the day progresses
  • May be associated with increased levels of gas and poor movement of gas through the body 

Functional Constipation

  • Persistently difficult, infrequent (<3 bowel movements per week) or incomplete defecation that typically involves straining and harder stool
  • Impacts about 27% of people, most commonly in women
  • May be associated with psychological distress, slow intestinal transit time, hypothyroidism, poor diet, medication use 

Functional Diarrhea

  • Loose, mushy, or watery stools without abdominal pain or discomfort during at least 75% of bowel movements 
  • May be associated with consumption of certain foods (i.e. sugar alcohols, caffeine) which produce more rapid movement through the gastrointestinal system 

Unspecified Functional Bowel Disorders (FBD)

  • Bowel symptoms without an attributable root cause that do not classify as any of the conditions stated above (IBS, bloating, constipation, diarrhea)
  • Symptoms typically last for the past 3 months 

If you experience any of these functional digestive symptoms and feel ready for a change, let me help you! Let’s GET STARTED today.