Do you ever feel like your gut is not working properly?
In our previous article about milk and dairy intolerance we mentioned food intolerance testing as a helpful tool in detecting and solving digestive problems. Speaking of digestive problems, a common condition associated with food intolerances is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, well known as IBS.
Out of curiosity: did you know how many people suffer from this digestive problem? Well, recent epidemiologic studies confirm that about 10-20% of adults and adolescents worldwide may suffer from IBS. Indeed, this data reflects the observations made by our nutritionist expert team in Edinburgh.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
It is a long-term condition of the digestive system, resulting in stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. IBS may be troublesome and impact negatively on one’s quality of life. The condition is also linked with psychological disturbances such as anxiety or depression. Moreover, no observation studies have been made in order to exclude the association of the syndrome with the development of chronic diseases. Usually IBS is lifelong, with a possible improvement throughout the time of treatment.
Symptoms of IBS:
The symptoms vary between people and tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time. Symptoms usually occur during times of stress or after eating certain foods, but some of them may be relieved after stool evacuation.
It’s important to remember that IBS may be unpredictable, and that symptoms may show up, even after many months of remission.
Most common symptoms of IBS:
- abdominal pain
- change in your bowel habits – urgencies, diarrhoea, constipation or sometimes both
- bloating and swelling of your stomach
- a feeling of not fully emptied bowel after going to the toilet
What’s the cause and treatment of IBS?
The exact cause of IBS is still not clear. There are many theories of how the disorder developed, including problems with digesting food, intestinal infections, genetic factors and food sensitivity.
Treatment is mostly focused on relieving symptoms and there are different ways of achieving that, including dietary changes, probiotics therapy, psychotherapy, and different medications.
There are a few dietary approaches used in relieving IBS symptoms, including:
- increasing soluble fibre intake
- FODMAP diet (low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols)
- Elimination diet, where you avoid foods and drinks causing bowel troubles
Products triggering symptoms of IBS are usually different between people, but there are some common ones:
- drinks that contain caffeine (coffee, tea, energetic drinks)
- processed snacks (crisps, cookies, biscuits)
- fatty and fried food (chips, fast-foods)
To know exactly which foods cause the problem, we recommend our clinically proven food intolerance test, which will optimize the work of your nutritionist. To book a food intolerance test or FREE Pre-Consultation click here.