IBS Is Not A Life Sentence

Nutrition Digestion

Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea and constipation. Find out about causes and treatments...

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects almost 20% of Australians and is known to cause significant distress in its victims.

These distressing symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

IBS used to be thought of as a purely psychosomatic emotional disorder. This is no longer the case and it is now recognised as being caused by a combination of your genetics, food triggers, environmental factors and gut microbiome health.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

My patients describe lots of different symptoms.

Imagine what life would be like if you experienced  extreme bloating lasting all day, sharp abdominal pains, flatulence and diarrhoea for months on end?

Perhaps you have identified milk and lactose as obvious dietary triggers, however do you know if you are also reactive to other foods?

Is there a connection between your stress levels and worsening digestive function?

What causes people to suffer from IBS?

Research shows multiple factors. These include disturbances in the intestinal bacterial balance (microbiota), inflammation and impaired gut lining, visceral hypersensitivity, stress and dietary sensitivities – all of which represent key therapeutic targets for the management of IBS.

The aim is to address as many of these factors as possible and help patients avoid a lifelong sentence of IBS.

Visceral Hypersensitivity

One of the reasons IBS sufferers struggle to tolerate FODMAP containing foods is due to a phenomenon known as visceral hypersensitivity whereby they experience a lower threshold for pain onset and a greater pain level, even in response to processes that occur as a normal part of digestion.

In a healthy gut, there is a lot of information that is successfully processed at an unconscious level in the central nervous system.

In IBS, it is thought that the nervous system is overloaded with too much information and that this results in a vicious cycle of chronic pain.

Psychological therapies have been shown to help a number of people with this condition.

A Low FODMAP Diet

The low FODMAP diet eliminates Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyol-containing foods that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine leading to fermentation.

The key word is fermentable.

Sugars and small carbohydrates that cannot be easily absorbed stay in your intestines where they are fermented by bacteria. This results in a build-up of uncomfortable gas, bloating and fluid retention.

Getting to the Guts of It

An integrative medical and naturopathic approach should ‘first do no harm’.  The first step is removal of potential dietary triggers using a low FODMAP approach.

The second step is introducing herbs and nutrients to repair gastrointestinal inflammation and rebalance microbiota disturbances. For example, glutamine, Vitamin D, anti-inflammatory herbs and probiotics are included in most integrative medical protocols.

Most people find that their symptoms start improving within two to three weeks of commencing treatment.

After six to eight weeks of being on the low FODMAP diet, each of the FODMAP Groups are reintroduced individually to work out the specifics of what can be tolerated.

Your goal is increased dietary flexibility and an increased quality of life in future.

Other blogs you might be interested in

Love Your Guts - Feed The Good Guys!

Who lives in your gut? Find out how to feed the beneficial bacteria...

Read More

Love Your Guts for Good Health

Poor gut health may be the underlying reason for fatigue, anxiety, depression, back pain or skin problems. Find out about assessment, testing and treatment possibilities...

Read More

Gut Instinct - What Is Your Gut Trying to Tell You?

What is your gut trying to tell you?

Read More

What Does Your Poo Say About You?

Gut problems are common. Read on to find out more....

Read More

How your supermarket is designed to make you buy junk food!

Read about how supermarkets influence your shopping decisions in this blog.

Read More

How your mood is shaped by your diet

There are some foods that can help boost your mood. There are also other foods that can trigger anxiety,sadness and depression. Read more in this blog...

Read More

Mealtime design

Presentation, mindfullness and mood influence eating.

Read More

Is MSG as bad as it's made out to be?

Is MSG bad for your health?

Read More

PALEO- What’s old is new again

This blog introduces some benefits of the popular Paleo Diet. Read more below...

Read More

Is It Time To Eat Dirt? A Lesson from Parrots in the Amazon Jungle

Parrots thrive by eating clay. This blog discusses how people can also benefit from clay. Click below to read more.

Read More

All in the gut: Why your health problems probably started in the digestive system

Health problems often start in your digestive system. Read about leaky gut in this blog post by clicking below.

Read More

4 ways to stop the cravings

Do you craves sweets or chocolate? Click below to find out more.

Read More

7 warning signs you might be dehydrated

This blog discusses 7 warning signs of dehydration and 3 benefits of drinking water. Click below to read more.

Read More

B is for bloating

Bloating is a common problem. Click below to find out more

Read More

How to create the perfect paleo shopping list

How to create the perfect paleo shopping list. The paleo diet focuses on everything natural which means that it logically includes some fruit., vegetables, meat and protein, herbs and spices.

Read More

Is Your Green Smoothie A Health Hazard?

Green smoothies in moderation can be a great way to get extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But, excessive intake of green smoothies may increase your levels of oxalic acid and this can lead to aching muscles and joints, gout, kidney stones and other health problems.

Read More

Is Your Gallbladder Unhealthy?

Gallbladder problems are common and gallstones affect 15 per cent of adults over the age of fifty. So how do you know if you might have gallstones, why do some people get gallstones, what does your gallbladder do, and what can you do to improve gallbladder function?

Read More

Top 5 herbs and spices to keep you healthy through winter

Winter is a challenging time for health and often results in winter flus and colds. But, before you pop into the chemist to stock up on cold and flu tablets or to book in for a flu shot, did you know that there are natural remedies to keep you healthy during the colder months? Here are some of the best herbs and spices to throw into your diet which can help boost your immune system and lessen any symptoms of colds:

Read More