Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS is a digestive disorder that affects people differently and to varying degrees. Symptoms include gas, bloating, pain, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. Food intolerances and stress are usually implicated and can exacerbate the problem significantly. Gluten, lactose and fructose sensitivities are often present.

What we look at when treating IBS.
  1. Intestinal bacteria
    A healthy microbiome is essential for proper digestive and immune function. When good bacteria becomes unbalanced, the chemistry of the intestine changes and digestive problems including IBS can begin. The use of antibiotics, especially long term can deplete good bacteria. Broad spectrum antibiotics are designed to kill all bacteria, good and bad, which leaves the intestines susceptible to dysbiosis.
  2. Irregularity
    Constipation and/or diarrhea is a common complication of IBS. Less that one complete bowel movement every 24 hours indicates constipation and this may alternate with periods of painful diarrhea.
  3. Digestive enzymes
    Lack of digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid can cause bloating, indigestion, reflux, pain and cramping – all the symptoms we see in IBS. Anti-inflammatory medications, painkillers and antacids can affect the production of digestive enzymes and stomach acid, especially when taken long term. Not chewing thoroughly and over eating can also put a strain on the digestive organs. Drinking large amounts of water or any other liquids with meals has the effect of diluting enzymes and acids. Try to drink fluids half an hour before or after meals.
  4. Diet
    When it comes to IBS, diet is extremely important. In many cases food intolerances trigger IBS symptoms. The 3 main food groups that cause digestive sensitivity are gluten, lactose and fructose Replacing these foods with a ‘clean eating’ program will ease IBS symptoms. Drinking enough pure water – 1 litre per 30kg of body weight is also an important step when treating IBS.