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What might be causing my Irritable Bowel Syndrome? How can a Nutritonal Therapist Help?

Updated: Jan 25

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common problem, thought to effect up to 10% of the worldwide population, with between 1 to 2 people in 10 are thought to have IBS in the UK. It is often characterised by abdominal pain and distension, with changes in bowel habits from constipation or diarrhoea or both.

Sadly, IBS is a syndrome umbrella term which is often dismissed quickly by medical professionals where a clear pathology cannot be determined. The syndrome nature often means having a constellation of symptoms where a named disease cannot be determined e.g. coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, with diagnosis made after all other causes are ruled out. A handful of prescribed medications are available which may help alleviate the symptoms, but they do not address the root cause. symptoms will generally always have a root cause and what you are feeling is the symptom.

Here are a few examples…

- intestinal inflammation

- food allergies or intolerances

- stress and anxiety

- abnormal muscle contractions in the intestines

- unbalanced gut bacteria

- parasites, viruses, or other gut infections

- excessive caffeine

- hormonal changes

Each person is an individual so therefore I wish to always consider a client’s presentation and history. Some common triggers may include:

o Food Sensitivities/Intolerances: Food often plays a central role in IBS. I often find that clients may not be aware of such foods however testing can be a useful to reduce irritants & inflammatory triggers to the gut.

o Dysbiosis: Gut microbiome diversity can often play a role in IBS and ensuring gut diversity and balance can be implicated in IBS.

o Stress: Stress can be very much implicated in IBS and often coupled with frustration on how to manage our stress, especially when coupled with the symptoms of IBS. Often IBS can occur after a traumatic life event experience. The gut brain connection can be important when managing IBS.

o Hormones: Women are more effected than men in IBS & female sex hormones can be connected to IBS. Oestrogen dysregulation has shown to create an immune response in the gut, contributing to symptoms.

o Post Infection: IBS can develop in the aftermath of intestinal infection and can last long after the recovery of the infection is resolved.

o Complexities of IBS: Due to the complexities of IBS often a multipurpose approach is needed & working with clients on their individual picture often results in much higher success to understand the individual’s

The good news is that for many IBS is a resolvable issue that once it is managed and understood you should see a big improvements in your everyday symptoms. You don’t have to live life popping Buscopan or Imodium and therefore only treating the symptoms.

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!

Naturopathic Nutrition's holistic approach to health & wellness recognises the interconnection between diet, nutrition, lifestyle & overall wellbeing to support the body's natural healing processes & provide necessary nutrients to help you optimise your health, & feel your best!

If you would like to find out more, please book a free 20-minute discovery call if you would like to chat further.

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