IBS is a disorder of the gut function (functional bowel disorder). It is a diagnose by exclusion using symptom criteria and the exclusion of other gastrointestinal diseases. Functional means where the structure of the gut is normal but the function isn’t.
The cause of IBS is unknown, but likely to be multifactorial. Factors that may cause IBS include: altered gastrointestinal motility, visceral hypersensitivity, impaired perception and processing of information by the brain, low grade inflammation, immune system activation, intestinal permeability, and alterations in the gut microbiota.
Lifestyle factors like stress may cause onset of symptoms due to enhanced communication between the brain and gut via the gut-brain axis.
Certain foods are often seen as symptom triggers often causing bloating, pain, excessive gas, diarrhoea, constipation and distention.
Learning about your own IBS and body is important as it is different in everyone (our genetic makeup is biochemically unique).
It is thought to affect between 7 and 15% of the population worldwide. It is more common in women than men and most often diagnosed before the age of 50 years. It is unknown whether this could be down to that women are more likely to visit their GP and get a diagnosis than their counterparts, or down to the physiology of the female.
IBS sufferers seems to feel like they do not get taken seriously by their GP, also many avoid seeking their GP due to embarrassing symptoms and thus it often goes undiagnosed. This can have a major negative effect on the quality of life of those suffering.
After a diagnosis of IBS many feel like they are left to themselves with little support and follow up. Being given a list of the FODMAP diet to figure out for themselves can be very daunting and cause confusion. Hence it can be an uncertain and lonely disorder to live with without the right support.
There is no such thing as a cure for IBS, however there is a range of therapeutic strategies available to manage the condition like lifestyle and diet intervention.
Sometimes the triggers are more hidden; as you don’t feel stressed but have a busy schedule (modern day living) and often forget to breathe properly (shallow breathing), eat on the go / no meal pattern / not chewing food properly.
Although there are common food and lifestyle triggers, the reintroduction phase of the diet is unique to you. This also means that in order to be successful with the FODMAP diet you’ll need compliance to the dietary restrictions, in addition to support and guidance from a qualified health professional.
WHEN YOU JOIN