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What’s Really Causing Your IBS?

27 May 2015

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common and debilitating condition which affects up to 20% of all New Zealanders and commonly seen in DP Herbals clinic. This problem occurs more frequently in women and most commonly diagnosed in those under 50 years of age. In fact, the female monthly reproductive hormones frequently trigger or exacerbate IBS symptoms.

It is a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. Diarrhoea or constipation may predominate, or they may alternate.

There appears to be a major dietary link to certain foods such as wheat, dairy products, citrus fruits, coffee or alcohol. It also has a strong link to the nervous system making stress, anxiety and depression major factors.  

Diagnosing IBS and identifying the cause is really a process of elimination. It’s important to exclude other problems and serious issues before looking into the food intolerances. 

1. Get diagnosed – Irritable bowel syndrome is different to irritable bowel disease but the symptoms can be similar. This may involve testing such as a gastroscopy or colonoscopy or blood tests.

2. Deal with stress – It is well known that IBS is triggered by stress. Look at your current life style practices and see if there any changes that can be made. Addressing stress and making room for exercise and sleep can go a long way in taming a troubled tum!

3. Investigate FODMAPS – This stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, a group of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols (polyols). FODMAP foods are poorly absorbed, have the ability to draw water to them in the bowel and are rapidly fermented by gut bacteria. It is important to note that these foods are a normal part of the diet, and do not cause symptoms in most individuals. However, in individuals with IBS it can.

4. Allergy screening panel – This is a popular test that DP Herbals uses to investigate food intolerances or allergy. It is a blood test which gets sent to the USA for testing and is very accurate. 

 

It’s important to address the symptoms of IBS. The longer you leave it the worse it gets and it can progress to more serious conditions.

 

Tags: balance, bowel, Health, Mood

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