IBS: A Helpful Guide On Maintaining A Health Digestive System
12 Mar 2016
Contrary to what many believe IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not a disease but rather a disorder of the gastrointestinal system. IBS can be debilitating and embarrassing and often leaves undiagnosed sufferers confused and rather frustrated.
What are the causes of IBS?
The causes are not yet clear, although stress, altered gut bacteria, genetics, and food sensitivities are suspected to all be involved
Here are some of the causes thought to contribute to IBS
– Disrupted brain-gut communication
– Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
– Food sensitivities
– Gluten sensitivity
– Hormone fluctuations
What are the symptoms of IBS?
IBS can vary from person to person due to symptoms and whether they present all the symptoms or simply just one or two.
Here is a list of the most common symptoms:
– gas or bloating
– lower abdominal pain
– change in toilet habits
– change in stool appearance
– the passing of mucus
– a constant feeling of needing the bathroom, even after just having gone
Although IBS is not fully understood it can be treated and managed by the right health care practitioners. Sadly modern medicine often falls short in this regards, with doctors choosing to simply dampen the symptoms as opposed to treating the cause of the problem.
We personally recommend functional medicine and doctors who practice this form of treatment. As a result, treatment will often include medication, lifestyle and dietary changes. As well as, nutraceutical supplements to support the gut and immune system.
What can you do to improve your condition?
– eat regular meals
– avoid skipping meals
– eat slowly and chew your food well
– exercise regularly to help manage your stress & keep your digestive system working
Keeping a food diary
Keeping a food-symptom diary is key to tracking reactions. Because this is a diary in which you write down the foods you have consumed and any adverse reactions to these foods. It prevents future episodes.
Always record the food, the resultant symptom (if any) and the day. In this way, you can refine your diet to eliminate any food triggers which may induce an ‘episode’.
No matter where you are on the IBS journey, consult a health care practitioner. Alternatively, and where possible a functional medicine doctor for the best advice on how to manage your condition.