IBS Awareness Month this April.
More than in 5 people in the UK have IBS
Is this you?
In 1997, IFFGD (International Federation For Gastrointestinal Disorders) designated April as IBS Awareness Month and the focus during the month is about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues.
If you have had IBS diagnosed and have been struggling with; frequent bloating, stomach cramps, constipation and or diarrhoea, then small changes to your diet can make a big difference and the following changes are worth trying:
- remove wheat and wheat products
- remove dairy products
- keep a food and symptoms diary
and there is more information at https://www.aboutibs.org/
(Always check bowel health problems with your GP if you have experienced problems for longer than 2-3 weeks).
Bacteria in the Intestinal Tract
It is also worth considering the balance of bacteria in the ‘Gut’ (the gastrointestinal tract), because this will make a huge difference to bowel health. The following list can adversely affect the balance and diversity of ‘Gut’ bacteria:
- Digestive competence – so any foods that are not digested well (i.e. gluten),
- High fat foods (especially high processed fats),
- High sugar,
- Antibiotics and prescription medication,
- Bowel transit times,
- Foreign travel,
- Exposure to toxins and pathogens,
To redress a poor balance of bacteria, a good probiotic is worth taking. There are however many on the market and some are better than others. Live yoghurts contain beneficial bacteria, however many contain a lot of sugar and this is detrimental to good bowel health. When choosing a live yoghurt look for a plain organic product that is listed as ‘live’, because standard commercial yoghurts are pasturised after production which kills off the beneficial bacteria. Live yoghurts, however may not be sufficient to redress the balance of beneficial bacteria.
Probiotics (as capsules)
A better option to improve the balance of ‘Gut’ bacteria is a therapeutic probiotic and the quality here should be of prime consideration. Choose products from companies that focus on sound human research programmes and high standards of production and quality control. These live microorganisms need to be stable through the acid of the stomach and of strains that have shown in target-host studies to confer a health benefit. For more information on current human microbiome research go to http://www.ifr.ac.uk/research/ (Institute of Food Research)
To be sure to take the best course of action it is worth contacting a registered Nutritionist or Nutritional Therapist because they can help you put together ideal meal plans, provide you with information and guidance on foods to avoid or reduce and also source the most suitable probiotics to give you a good outcome and better health. Where there are more complex problems they can organise and interpret food intolerance testing and stool analysis and this can help to put together an effective plan which can get you feeling well again.
For more help call Jane Nutritionist (BSc NutMed, BANT, CNHC reg.)
on 01366 347452 and talk through your issues so you can feel confident that this help can get you feeling well again. Jane is also at the Green Parrot in Swaffham every Tuesday – book a free 20 minute slot and talk through your problem to see how a Nutritionist can help you
or Click here to send a message.