(IBS) is a common condition, typical symptoms can include:
- Intestinal cramps (abdominal pain)
- Constipation and/or diarrhoea
- Anxiety: (this can get worse over time with the stress of being “caught out” without access to a toilet and many signs/symptoms of nutrient deficiency may be present such as iron, vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc etc due to poor gut function and leaky gut syndrome which causes inflammation and can lead to lead to lack of absorption of important nutrients and food sensitivities.
It can continue for many years with or without any other obvious deterioration in health.
IBS is diagnosis by exclusion; when all detectable structural diseases are ruled out, IBS is diagnosed.
It is estimated that 14% to 23% of the population of the western world have been afflicted with IBS at some period during their life. It is more prevalent in women than in men.
Things that may exacerbate or cause IBS:
- Food sensitivities it can be any food (gluten, fructose and dairy are common).
- Excessive consumption of high carbohydrate foods including grains,
sugar, packaged foods and confectionery and artificial sweeteners.
- Consumption of FODMAPS, carbohydrate food that contain certain types of sugars. Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are complex names for various types of sugar found in food that can be poorly absorbed by some people and stay in the large intestine for a long time fermenting and causing IBS symptoms.
- Bacterial infections and/or bacterial imbalance (dysbiosis) in the small intestine.
- Pharmaceutical drugs many medications have digestive side- effects, overuse of antibiotics is a major problem as they kill all bacteria including the good bacteria which is required for good health. Common medications like the pill and drugs to stop acid reflux also can cause gastro intestinal problems and imbalances in bacteria.
- Stress when you or your body is stressed, you spend most of your time in fight/flight mode instead of rest and digest mode where your body should be most of the time. Stress cannot be underestimated in its effect on your health, particularly gut health.
Recent Harvard studies documented that meditation can have a significant impact on clinical symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome. 1
“Both in patients with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and those with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), participation in the mind/body program appeared to have significantly improved disease-related symptoms, anxiety, and overall quality of life, not only at the end of the study period but also three weeks later. While there were no significant changes in inflammatory markers for either group of participants, changes in expression were observed in almost 200 genes among participants with IBS and more than 1,000 genes in those with IBD. Many of the genes with altered expression are known to contribute to pathways involved with stress response and inflammation.”2
Whilst taking probiotics (beneficial bacteria) can give some relief, they are not enough alone. At the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre, we know how to treat IBS. Helping you to identify the causes and heal your digestive system.
Don’t suffer with IBS and its embarrassing symptoms any longer!
“IBS often leads to leaky gut syndrome which then leads to food sensitivities and inflammation – the onslaught of inflammation can also put you at risk for developing auto-immune disease.”
David Perlmutter, MD, Neurologist
1) Kuo B et al, Genomic and Clinical Effects Associated with a Relaxation Response Mind-Body Intervention in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. PLOS One, 30 April 2015. URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0123861
2) Related news story quoted above: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/05/meditation-may-relieve-ibs-and-ibd/