IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, can be a debilitating and all-consuming condition. It is estimated to impact around 10-15% of the world’s population in varying levels of severity and is most common in females. For many, an initial IBS diagnosis can provide some relief, safe in the knowledge that there is nothing more sinister happening in the digestive tract such as crohn’s disease, diverticulitis or even stomach cancer. At the same time, it can be an incredibly frustrating diagnosis; as medical interventions are relatively limited, many patients are left to live with their symptoms for years with no relief.
There are three main types of IBS:
-IBS D – IBS more prone towards diarrhoea
-IBS C – IBS more prone towards constipation
-IBS M – IBS that is prone to both diarrhoea and constipation
Alongside diarrhoea and constipation, there are multiple other symptoms people may suffer from including:
-Mucus in stool
-Stomach pain and cramping
-Trapped wind (which can be extremely painful)
When a person’s stomach is not happy, it can have a great impact on their well-being, state of mind and overall physical health. Many people suffer with IBS for years after trying multiple diets, supplements, exercises and quick-fixes without any success.
I believe this is because all of our bodies are very different. A triggering food for one person may be a safe-food for another, and it can be very difficult for an individual to identify what food and lifestyle is right for them. There are many diets and supplements claiming to be a fix-all for every type of IBS, but it is unrealistic that everybody’s body will respond in the same way.
The causes of IBS vary depending on the individual. Some people experience IBS symptoms after a traumatic event, or an infection, for others there is no clear start date and the cause is simply ‘unknown’. From the research and specialists I have spoken to over the years, my opinion is that IBS is caused by inflammation and subsequent disruption in the microbiome, also known as gut bacteria. This area of the blog will delve further into the microbiome and provide solutions on how to support it.
IBS was a large contributing factor in my motivation to start the Pursuit of Health blog. After years of spending a small fortune on ‘miracle’ cures, I finally found relief after working with a healthcare professional who created a very tailored plan of action specifically designed for my body. Have a look at my other blog posts to find out more about my struggle and road to recovery.