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What could be causing my IBS?

Updated: Jan 25

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a complex and often frustrating condition, impacting millions of individuals worldwide. IBS is thought to effect 25% of the UK population so is a very common compliant i see in clinic.

As a nutritional therapist, my goal is to help you navigate the intricate web of factors that may contribute to your IBS symptoms. However IBS isn’t really a diagnosis, it is a syndrome, meaning it’s a collection of symptoms. IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder characterised by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and altered bowel habits.

Potential Culprits:

  1. Dietary Triggers: Certain foods may trigger IBS symptoms. Common culprits include FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), gluten, dairy, and artificial sweeteners. A food diary can be a valuable tool in identifying specific triggers.

  2. Gut Microbiota Imbalance: The delicate balance of gut bacteria plays a crucial role in digestive health. Imbalances in the gut microbiota may contribute to IBS symptoms. Probiotics and prebiotics can be explored to support a healthy gut flora.

  3. Stress and Emotional Factors: Stress and emotional well-being are closely tied to digestive health. Chronic stress can exacerbate IBS symptoms. Mind-body techniques, such as meditation and relaxation exercises, may offer relief.

  4. Food Sensitivities: In addition to allergies, some individuals may experience sensitivities to certain foods that can trigger IBS symptoms. Identifying and eliminating these sensitivities is a key focus of nutritional therapy.

  5. Hydration and Fiber Intake: Inadequate hydration and low fiber intake can contribute to IBS symptoms. Ensuring proper hydration and incorporating fiber-rich foods can support digestive regularity.

How Nutritional Therapy Can Help:

  1. Personalized Dietary Plans: A nutritional therapist can work with you to create a personalized dietary plan that identifies and eliminates potential trigger foods while ensuring a balanced and nutrient-dense diet.

  2. Gut Health Support: Strategies to support a healthy gut microbiota, including the use of probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented foods, may be incorporated into your plan.

  3. Stress Management: Nutritional therapy encompasses stress management techniques to address the impact of emotional factors on digestive health. Lifestyle modifications and relaxation practices may be recommended.

  4. Food Sensitivity Testing: When appropriate, a nutritional therapist may recommend food sensitivity testing to identify specific triggers and guide dietary modifications.

As a nutritional therapist, my approach to addressing IBS goes beyond merely alleviating symptoms. It involves uncovering the root causes and implementing a personalised plan to support your digestive health.

Together, we can unravel the mystery of your IBS and pave the way for a healthier, more comfortable future. The good news is this IS a resolvable issue. If you want help investigating the root cause of YOUR IBS, do get in touch, or share with a friend who you know has been struggling with this for a while!

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