What is the IBS Smart test and how can it help you?
Here at The Maas Clinic we are always looking for conclusive ways to diagnose and treat our clients. This includes testing processes that will provide results more quickly and comprehensively and in turn lead to more focused treatment plans.
The IBS Smart test is one such innovation, allowing us to test more quickly and precisely than before and is less intrusive and exhausting for our clients. In fact, we were so impressed by the efficacy of the IBS Smart test, which allows us to test to see if a client is suffering with IBS or IBD, that we became its exclusive UK partner.
Here we explain the difference between IBS and IBD, and why we are so excited about the IBS Smart test and its impact for our clients.
What is the difference between IBS and IBD?
IBS refers to Irritable Bowel Syndrome I IBD refers to Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
The acronyms for these ailments are similar, however the seriousness of the conditions varies dramatically.
IBS, though at times extremely unpleasant, is largely recoverable. Whereas IBD is significantly more serious and refers to two conditions: Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. IBD, unlike IBS, can lead to colorectal cancer.
At times the symptoms of IBS can be so severe, that they mimic IBD. Herein lies the power of the IBS Smart test which is able to accurately determine if a client is suffering with IBS or not.
The IBS Smart test is most effective for clients presenting with diarrhoea-dominant symptoms.
Symptoms of IBS can include:
- irregular bowel movements
IBS can be located in the small and/or large intestine.
IBS can be caused by food allergies, and it can also be caused by food poisoning. The IBS Smart test is used to determine if an individual’s IBS-type symptoms are down to post-infectious IBS or not.
Post-infectious refers to the ongoing impact of a historic infection, in this case food poisoning.
Food poisoning 10 or even 15 years ago can still have an impact on your digestive system today.
In particular if you have ever suffered from the following 4 bacterial infections, the impact can be severe and long-lasting:
- E. coli
Symptoms of IBD can include:
- abdominal pain and cramping
- blood in your stools
- unintended weight loss
- reduced appetite
IBD, as we’ve already discussed, refers to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the two conditions of which are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
IBD will most likely present in a person with a genetic history of Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis.
Why use the IBS Smart test?
- The IBS Smart test is able to determine if an individual is suffering with post-infectious IBS, namely IBS due to historic food poisoning, or not.
- The IBS Smart test itself comprises of a simple a blood draw. The results of which are usually returned within 10 days.
- By utilising the IBS Smart test, as a clinic we are able to accurately determine if a client is suffering with IBS, post-infectious or not, or IBD.
- Ruling out the possibilities is critical since the treatment plans for IBS and IBD vary dramatically.
- If, for instance, we are able to rule out IBD, it can put a stop to lengthy, uncomfortable and expensive tests in the future.
If an IBS Smart test result comes pack positive, it means that levels of Anti-vinculin antibodies and Anti-CdtB toxin have been found. This in turn means that the person being tested will have to be very careful with their food choices. They will be significantly more impacted by a dose of bad bacteria present in food (even a small amount), than someone who doesn’t have those antibodies. Unfortunately, every time someone with an IBS Smart test positive result experiences subtle food poisoning, it gets ‘banked’ by their body. This can cause a domino effect which slowly leads towards an autoimmune disorder. Hence why it is so important to understand if you have post-infectious IBS or not.
If a client’s IBS is not post-infectious, the treatment plan is much simpler.
Either way, once we understand a client’s position, we are able to develop a treatment plan tailored to them and their needs.
Why we use the IBS Smart test at The Maas Clinic
We asked our clinic founder and lead practitioner Laurens Maas why the IBS Smart test is so impactful.
Here’s what he had to say:
“From a ‘medical-detective’ perspective, the IBS Smart test provides a great clue. The test results help to shape a true diagnosis of what’s causing a client’s IBS. Or IBS-type symptoms. If the results indicate any of the key four ‘bad bacterias’ — campylobacter, salmonella, shigella, E.coli — my client will have to be very serious about their food choices. Any food which is ever so slightly ‘off’ will cause an IBS flare-up akin to IBD. By using the IBS Smart test I can say with confidence whether or not a client has post-infectious IBS or not, and that in turn helps me as a practitioner no end.”