Did your colonoscopy result come back showing that everything “normal” even though you still have pain, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation? Or, were you told that you have diverticular disease or an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s or colitis? In this post and video, I share insights on what you can do using food and nutritional therapies to get rid of the pain and discomfort if you were told one of the above, and what you can do to start repairing and restoring your gut function.
Colonoscopy Result: Which One Do You have?
Chances are, your colonoscopy result is one or a combination of these.
- Normal. There’s nothing, you’re told that everything is “normal” and that you’re fine. You may have been told that what’s causing your symptoms is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Diverticular disease, diverticula, diverticulosis or diverticulitis.
- Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or colitis, causing ulceration, bleeding, or inflammation
- Polyps. Polyps are overgrowth of tissue from the lining of the colon. Some polyps are benign while others are precancerous. Your doctor will likely take samples to biopsy to see which one it is. They may even remove polyps during the procedure.
- Bleeding or ulceration related to abnormalities in the blood vessels, cancer, or something else.
In this post, I’m going to share what you can do with diet, lifestyle, and nutritional supplements to eliminate pain and discomfort if your colonoscopy result came back with “it’s normal,” IBS, diverticular disease, or inflammatory bowel disease. We’ll even get to some root causes.
Colonoscopy Result: Normal
That’s what you want to hear. No Crohn’s disease or colitis. No ulcerations or polyps. However, for someone dealing with stomach or intestinal pain, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, a “normal” result is frustrating. If you’re normal, why do you still have these symptoms?
Sometimes, your doctor may tell you that since there’s “nothing” they were able to detect and what you’re experiencing must be IBS.
If your colonoscopy is normal, what’s causing your pain and discomfort is probably a combination of food sensitivities and intolerances, dysbiosis (too much bad microbes and not enough good ones), and leaky gut. These are things a colonoscopy can’t detect.
Unfortunately, most gastroenterologists are not trained or have the time to work with their patients on diet. They may give you a sheet for the low FODMAPs diet and direct you to a book or website. They may recommend a medication to cover the symptoms like Linzess for constipation, Imodium for diarrhea, or Gas-X or Beano for bloating. They may recommend an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication. They may suggests teas or peppermint supplements.
While all these may help, they are just broken pieces of a puzzle. Without a strategy and a detailed step-by-step method, you can’t put a 3,000-piece puzzle together. Figuring out the causes and the solutions of your digestive symptoms can be that complicated.
Do you have stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation without a treatment plan that works? Click HERE to attend my next free training on how you can eliminate these symptoms, even if all previous diets and supplements didn’t work.
Colonoscopy Result: Diverticular Disease
Diverticulosis is a condition where pockets form in the walls of your digestive tract, usually in the colon, the lower part of your large intestine. The inner layer of your intestine pushes through weak spots in the outer lining. Bacteria and other microbes can accumulate in the pockets, which are called diverticula, and cause an infection. When they get infected, it’s called diverticulitis.
While there isn’t a definitive cause for diverticulosis, pressure is what tends to make them bulge out. The pressure can be due to irregular muscle spasms, slow gut motility, constipation, straining, or too much gas production from bacterial fermentation in the gut.
Diverticulosis is often related to constipation, and having healthy regular bowel movements is important to prevent infections. Download my list of 12 Foods and Supplements to Relieve Constipation HERE. Methane gas, a by-product of fermentation of carbohydrates in the gut by certain types of bacteria, usually causes constipation. If you have an overgrowth of these types of bacteria in the small or large intestine, you will need to eradicate them and balance your microbiota before you can completely resolve constipation. A sign of having bacteria overgrowth is feeling more bloated, backed up, or heavier after eating vegetables, fruits, and fiber. One of the tools I used in practice with my patients is a comprehensive and advanced DNA-technology stool test, which checks for methane-producing bacteria, in additional to almost 80 other pathogens and digestive markers. A breath test can also identify if there an overproduction of methane in the small intestine.
If you have diverticular disease with diarrhea, the strategies may be different. Bulking agents like chia, psyllium husk, and ground flaxseed may help. Starchy dry foods like potatoes, rice, and banana help ease the diarrhea, but ultimately, they don’t resolve the problem from its roots. With diverticular disease, you have pouches that promote the growth of bacteria, and if these bacteria produce endotoxins or cause inflammation in the gut, you will have inflammatory diarrhea. They will also interfere with digestion and healthy protective mucus layer of the gut, leading to food sensitivities and intestinal permeability or leaky gut. You can learn more about my approach and how I help my patients identify and overcome these issues here.
Colonoscopy Result: Crohn’s Disease or Colitis
Crohn’s disease and Colitis are both considered inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The lining of the gut is usually inflamed, irritated, and often ulcerated. The lining may be bleeding, which is one of the reasons why it’s important to check with your doctor if you have blood in your stool or very dark stool.
What can you do if your colonoscopy result shows that you have Crohn’s disease or Colitis? The post here doesn’t replace advice from your doctor, and I don’t know your medical background, your labs, and how severe the inflammation or scarring in your gut is. But what I can tell you that you can use certain foods and nutritional therapies to eliminate the inflammation and start repairing the lining of the gut naturally. And for some people, they’re able to do that without medications.
Crohn’s disease and colitis are inflammation conditions that have an immune component. The immune cells release compounds called cytokines, leukotriens, and others to fight off something. In the process of “fighting” something, they attack the lining of your gut and cause the ulceration. Doctors often prescribe immunosuppressant steroid medications to dampen and suppress the immune system. While they help calm the inflammation, they also have side effects. Steroids reduces ALL your immune system activity, so they can make you more susceptible to infections. A basic cold can take you much longer to overcome. People often complain of bloating, water retention, and weight gain while using these mediations, and longterm use of steroids can lead to osteoporosis.
You can calm down the immune system naturally by removing what triggers an immune response, which can be a certain food, food chemical, or pathogen. I’ve worked with Crohn’s and colitis patients by removing food sensitivities, balancing the gut microbiota, reducing the inflammation, and boosting a normal and healthy immune and gut function. We don’t want to completely suppress the immune system; we want it to be selective and fight what’s not good for us instead of fighting our own cells. Some of the patients I worked with had no markers of Crohn’s disease elevated and never got on medications just by using food and nutritional therapies. Other patients who had to take medications were able to heal much faster and tolerate a variety of foods at a much smoother pace, and their doctors were greatly impressed with their healing and recovery.
Whether you choose to take medications or not, there’s plenty of room and healing power when you use food and nutrition therapies to your advantage.
Conclusion: What to Do about your Colonoscopy Result?
Whether your colonoscopy result came back with no specific diagnosis or with something that makes you a little concerned like Crohn’s or colitis, what you eat and the health of your gut and immune system affect your symptoms. When you choose better for you foods and work on repairing any damage in your gut, you will make big strides in your health, whether it’s IBS, IBD, or something that is still not diagnosable yet.
To learn more about my process, the tests I use, and how I help my patients overcome these conditions, attend this free online training. Or, if you’d like to speak directly with me to map out your own healing plan, you can book a strategy session consultation here.