Irritable Bowel Syndrome

31st October 2016 | Written by Louise Blanchfield

Irritable bowel syndrome is often diagnosed when someone suffers from a range of gastrointestinal symptoms yet exhibits no specific structural damage. It is often an annoying explanation for a random set of problems that is given without any long term hope for improvement.

Symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements
  • Pain relieved by defaecation
  • Bloating
  • Feeling of incomplete evacuation
  • Poor sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Low back pain

There are a number of different possible root causes. These include:

  • Food intolerance – this occurs when something you eat irritates the gut and can cause symptoms in the body
  • Dysbiosis – an imbalance of the gut bacteria
  • Altered response to stress
  • Mental &/or emotional problems as there is a connection between the brain and the gut – they use the same neurotransmitters

Well, from a nutrition perspective there’s loads you can do to help with irritable bowel syndrome:

  • Find out if you have any food intolerance – speak to a nutritional therapist who will be able to determine which one is most likely or can do a test to establish this. This is often the biggest reason for IBS symptoms and removal of the offending food can result in quite dramatic changes to how you feel.
  • Increase fibre – by increasing consumption of vegetables, fruit, legumes and psyllium to help improve transit time of food in the gut and feed good bacteria
  • Avoid sugar as it decreases the movement of food through the bowel
  • Avoid highly processed food as they are full of chemicals and require detoxifying
  • Drink peppermint tea as peppermint soothes the bowel to ease spasm and reduces wind so decreases bloating
  • Eat probiotic food such as sauerkraut and kefir to repopulate gut bacteria or take a probiotic
  • Eat turmeric and ginger which are both anti-inflammatory and soothe the gut
  • Decrease stress – take regular breaks, try yoga or pilates, go for a walk, try meditation, exercise. Stress ‘shuts down’ digestion so decreases the nutrients that you can absorb from your food.
  • Try taking digestive enzymes – speak to a nutritional therapist who can help recommend the best ones for you – these help you to break down and absorb your food so decrease the load on your digestive system
  • Eat a wholefood natural diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables to ensure your body gets all of the vitamins and minerals that it needs to support optimum function

If you’d like to get some relief from your irritable bowel symptoms book your individual nutritional therapy session here now! Our bodies are unique and diets are not ‘one size fits all’. What works for one person may not work for the next as we are a combination of all of our parts so one problem can ‘knock on’ to another. The only way to get improvement is to get properly assessed to take all of your problems into consideration. Don’t delay, make the decision and start feeling better!

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