What is IBS? Do you have it and what can you do about it?
Updated: Nov 26, 2018
IBS is a chronic, gastrointestinal disorder. You may have been told you have IBS if you regularly experience the following symptoms, which can be caused by many different things. These symptoms include abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or a mixture of the two.
IBS can have many different factors which are contributing to the overall symptoms or ‘syndrome’ so treating or improving these symptoms can be a different journey for each person.
Officially IBS is of unknown cause or a mysterious illness. Many sufferers who have been diagnosed, can feel alone and frustrated as they are not given any real advice or treatment options to deal with their discomfort.
There are however, many things that can be done to improve the symptoms of IBS and many sufferers are able to get significant relief and even completely recover. Looking at the reasons for developing these symptoms is of course very important. This can include (to name just a few) digestive enzyme deficiency, poor diet, food intolerance such as lactose or gluten intolerance, infections and imbalances in gut bacteria and/or yeasts.
It is now accepted by many practitioners that a clear majority of IBS cases are due to an overgrowth of normal gut bacteria in the small intestine (where the levels would usually be much lower in comparison to the large intestine). The presence of this higher volume of bacteria means that certain carbohydrates can get fermented and cause higher than normal amounts of gas to be produced. This gas is responsible for much of the discomfort and unpleasant symptoms associated with IBS.
As everyone is different, an individualized plan should be discussed to make steps to improving the symptoms of IBS. This plan can include diet, lifestyle and supplement recommendations.
Recovery from IBS can take time (my own journey has been full of ups and downs) and having support from a practitioner is important, along with support from others such as online or facebook IBS support groups. Most importantly stay positive, be kind to your body and never suffer alone. IBS is not something you should just have to deal with.