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IBS - What is it?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common condition that affects the digestive system.

The main symptoms are stomach cramps and pain, bloating, diarrheoa (watery poo), urgency to go, constipation (straining when passing a stool and a feeling that your bowel isn’t fully empty).

Other symptoms include flatulence, mucous when wiping, nausea and tiredness. The symptoms of IBS can fluctuate, changing with time but most of the time they are linked to eating food or needing to pass a stool.

What causes it

- IBS can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, or a parasite, with the correct testing this can be identified and a targeted nutrition plan created.

- Changes to the gut microbiome (the bacteria, fungi and viruses which live in the intestines) can also lead to symptoms of IBS. Our gut microbiome needs to be in balance for optimal health.

- Eating a diet of high refined foods with low levels of fibre means that the correct materials needed to create a well formed stool are missing. Low levels of digestive enzymes also stop food from being digested properly.

- The brain and gut is connected the Vagus nerve, the gut talks to the brain (poor gut health can drive anxiety and depression) and the brain talks to the gut, so emotional feelings of stress, anxiety and depression play a huge part in IBS.

The good news is that IBS can be successfully managed with personalised nutrition, targeted supplements, testing if appropriate along with healthy lifestyle suggestions.

For most clients with gut health issues, a full stool test is recommended. This is a comprehensive analysis of the digestive system, along with chronic disease-related microbial (bacteria, yeast, parasites) markers.

If you would like to discuss IBS or any other digestive issues in more detail, please book a free 15 minute chat with me (green button, top of this page).

** Please note that mucous, bleeding and sudden changes in bowel movements are considered to be red flag symptoms and should be checked by a GP immediately as they may suggest a more series condition such as colon cancer.

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