Do you have IBS? This post is for you…
IBS or BAD?
In the UK, up to 1 in 7 adults will suffer with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) at some point in their lives.
If you have IBS, you’ll know that the symptoms (which include tummy cramps, bloating and loose stools) aren’t just uncomfortable, they can really affect your quality of life.
But what if your IBS was actually something else?
I’m joining GE Healthcare today to highlight an under diagnosed condition known as B.A.D. – or Bile Acid Diarrhoea (also known Bile Acid Malabsorption) which causes some of the same symptoms as IBS-D (IBS-Diarrhoea).
In fact, up to 1 in 3 people diagnosed with IBS may actually have BAD. But unlike IBS, BAD can be tested for – and is treatable.
So what is BAD?
Bile acids are made in the liver and released into the small intestine during digestion to help us break down and absorb the fats in our food. Usually bile acids are reabsorbed at the end of the small intestine, and sent back to the liver to be used again.
Bile Acid Diarrhoea happens when the small intestine fails to reabsorb the bile acids. If they are not reabsorbed, they travel to the large intestine, causing diarrhoea. As well as loose, watery or smelly poo, BAD can result in tummy cramps, wind and urgency to go to the loo. These symptoms can also affect mental wellbeing, because having to run to the loo multiple times a day isn’t fun, and can leave sufferers feeling embarrassed and isolated.
If any of these symptoms sound like you, or someone you know, it’s worth considering chatting about it with your G.P. or gastroenterologist. BAD is a major cause of chronic diarrhoea and is estimated to affect 1% of the population – the same amount as coeliac disease – but public awareness is much lower, maybe because talking poo is still taboo.
To find out more about BAD and the GE campaign, click here, and if you think you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please send this his or her way – because the only way to change under diagnosis of this condition is by raising awareness.