What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common gastrointestinal condition affecting 10-20% of European and North Americans. The diagnosis of IBS is symptom based, meaning there are no detectable organic cause. This is often termed “functional bowel disorder” and can be characterised by abdominal pain,discomfort, change in bowel habit and bloating.
What causes IBS?
There is no straight forward answer as everyone varies. However what is clear is that there is a physiological and psychological interaction, emotional stress and anxiety can interfere with the digestive system. Trauma such as bereavement or abuse can trigger symptoms as well as stress or anxiety. People can often associate symptoms to employment, relationship or exam pressures. Post infective IBS is also common as is post surgical IBS.
Will I have IBS forever?
No- IBS is a functional disorder which means it is diagnosed by symptoms alone. Analysing and addressing your diet is something that you can do to manage these symptoms and improve your quality of life. Rest assure, IBSDietSolutions is here to help you every step of the way.
Is IBS a serious condition?
Yes, A few decades ago you may be dismissed by your Doctor after being told “its all in you head”,this is no longer the case. Affecting almost 1 in 5 people Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in Europe, US and Australia. Irritable Bowel Syndrome can Interfere with, quality of life,relationships and work productivity, IBS can however be managed and symptoms controlled.
How is IBS diagnosed?
IBS is diagnosed based on the profile of symptoms and family history. Diagnostic testing may include blood and stool sampling as well as a colonoscopy. Dependent on your symptoms, your Doctor may want to rule out more cautionary conditions. Never self diagnose, always seek advice from your medical professional.
What is the significance of gut bacteria?
There are trillions upon trillions of bacteria in the gut some good and some not so good. To give you an idea, if you had to scoop a little poo onto a teaspoon, there would be over a billion bacterium on the tip of that spoon. Gut bacteria is essential in digestion and aids absorption of vitamins. An infection or the use of antibiotics can cause an imbalance within the gut bacteria resulting in IBS symptoms. Probiotics capsules or drinks are designed with to help maintain a good bacteria gut balance.
Why did my Doctor suggest antidepressants for IBS if I am not depressed?
Your Doctor may consider prescribing an antidepressant which may act as an antispasmodic, preventing cramping and pain. This is usually a lower dose than what would be prescribed to treat depression.
Does food affect IBS symptoms?
Yes! Food, drink and eating habits may worsen or improve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Diet and lifestyle manipulation is recommended as first line management of IBS by the National Institute of Clinical Guidance.
How can I manage my symptoms without medication?
You may have satisfaction in learning that 70-80% of IBS sufferers report improvements with diet change alone. Lifestyle and coping strategies including exercise, cognitive behavioural therapy and psychotherapy can also help.
Is medication effective in treating IBS?
Drug therapy can help relieve symptoms of diarrhoea, constipation and cramping. Probiotics can also be beneficial in alleviating symptoms.
Is blood in the stool normal with IBS?
No! Bloody stools is not an indicator of Irritable bowel Syndrome. Speak with your Doctor if you are passing blood stained stools.