IBS is a common digestive condition, with symptoms including abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating. Symptoms vary between sufferers, and your own may vary day-to-day. About two in 10 people in the UK have IBS. IBS can develop at any age but usually the first symptoms start between your 20’s and 30’s. Women are twice as likely as men to report having symptoms of IBS and it’s unusual to get them for the first time after the age of 50.
Symptoms of IBS can be mild or severe enough to affect your work and daily life. Although there’s no cure for IBS, lifestyle changes and other treatments can help. Most people’s symptoms fluctuate over time; some people’s symptoms may improve over time, while others may get worse.
The signs and symptoms of IBS vary but are usually present for a long time. The most common include:
- Abdominal pain, cramping or bloating that is related to passing a bowel movement – for many people, abdominal pain or cramping is one of the most common symptoms of IBS.
- Changes in appearance of bowel habits – It’s estimated that 20% of patients with IBS experience variable bowel behaviours.
- Gas and bloating – Bloating is very common with IBS and when caused by excess gas in the digestive system, it can be extremely uncomfortable.
Causes of IBS
It’s still not completely certain why some people develop IBS but it’s thought that IBS may be caused by a combination of:
- Increased squeezing of the muscles in the wall of your bowel.
- Increased sensitivity to pain from inside your bowel.
- Stress – anxiety or stress can upset the gut-brain connection. This may then lead to overactivity in your gut and trigger an IBS flare-up.
- Inflammation of your bowel, for example after an infection, such as
- Genes – you may inherit IBS.
- An imbalance in the bacteria in your intestine.
Certain foods can irritate your bowel and digestive system. These food sensitivities aren’t a true allergy, like a peanut allergy or shellfish allergy, but rather a milder food sensitivity that can cause terrible symptoms. Of the many common food sensitivities, gluten is most prevalent. Dairy, which contains proteins like casein and whey that can irritate and inflame your gut, is another common culprit.
If you suffer from IBS, you understandably want relief fast. The biggest change you can make to get impressive, almost-immediate results involves changing your diet. Keeping it simple and keeping a journal to record how you feel after each meal is ideal. You might also want to consider removing foods that are difficult on the gut, such as grains and beans.
Simply applying the following dietary tools and other strategies can help reverse or prevent IBS and create good gut health:
- Eat protein – To avoid the blood sugar imbalances that feed bad gut bacteria, eat protein with every meal, even at breakfast. This will help you to avoid sudden increases in your blood sugar.
- Eat high-fibre foods. Whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit all contain beneficial fibre.
- Don’t be afraid of healthy fat. Increase omega-3 fatty acids by eating cold-water wild salmon, sardines, herring, flaxseeds, and even seaweed. Use more grass-fed or organic animal products.
- Eat at least 8 to 10 servings of colourful fruits and vegetables a day, which contain disease fighting vitamins, minerals, fibre, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory molecules.
- Avoid all processed junk food, including juices and diet drinks, which impact sugar and lipid metabolism.
- Reduce stress. Meditation, deep breathing, and yoga are all great ways to reduce stress.
- Exercise regularly. Even 30 minutes of vigorous walking can help, and if you want something more intense, try high-intensity interval training or weight resistance.
Love your Gut comes in a powder and capsule format is an ideal way to achieve a healthy gut. Simply add 1-2 level tablespoons twice daily of the powder in your favourite smoothie, juice, yogurt, or any other meals for a gentle cleanse. And if you prefer capsule format then take 2 capsules twice a day with fresh water.
Combined with a balanced diet, Love Your Gut can help:
- Anti – bloating
- Known for improving digestion, waste removal and supporting nutrient absorption