• Frequently Asked Questions

    How is IBD different than IBS?

    Although both illnesses can be seriously debilitating, there are several primary differences between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBD is an autoimmune disorder that causes swelling and ulcerations (sores) in the bowel. IBS involves problems with motility (how the bowel moves contents through our intestines) and sensitivity (how the brain interprets sensations in the bowel). Symptoms of IBS may wax and wane and possibly disappear altogether whereas IBD is a chronic condition.

    What is the cause of excessive flatulence and burping? What tests are required to confirm the cause and remedies (either food or medication) are available to help me?

    This is a common problem! We all pass gas and or experience burping but for some people, these symptoms can be really bothersome.  It is important to recognize that everyone has gas in the digestive tract.  When there is some gas and fluid in the intestines, movements (contractions) of the intestines to propel the contents onwards may cause rumblings. 

    There two major causes of excessive gas: 

    First, subconscious swallowing of air can result in excessive burping.  Eating slowly, avoiding gum chewing and smoking, rectifying problems that lead to phlegm accumulation in the back of the throat (such as postnasal drip), and correcting a habit of clearing the throat and swallowing can help minimize air swallowing.  Belching often induces instinctive reflex swallowing with further gas accumulation so you need to make a conscious effort not to swallow after each belch.

    And second, gas can form as a result of the breakdown of certain dietary items, especially carbohydrates, by bacteria normally present in the large intestine. Foods that cause gas include beans, broccoli, cabbage, fruit drinks, carbonated drinks, and dairy products.  Beano (obtainable over-the-counter) may help to reduce gas formation when you have a lot of vegetables and fruits at any meal.

    There is no one answer or diagnosis that applies to all people. I suggest that you contact your family doctor and discuss your symptoms and the tests he or she might want to do.

    Do you recommend colon hydrotherapy or enemas in support of colon health?

    There is no scientific basis that colonic hydrotherapy or enemas benefit a person's health. On the contrary, if a person has undiagnosed colonic symptoms and tries this approach, it can be associated with significant adverse consequences in the presence of underlying disease.

Enhancing lifelong health

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation believes our ability to help establish, enrich and protect a healthy gut microbiota is the key to lifelong health