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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

irritable-bowel-syndrome

Written by Bunmi. Thursday, May 14th, 2015

IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common, long term condition of the digestive system. It can cause a lot of discomfort such as: bloating, diarrhea, constipation and stomach cramps. Symptoms can vary person to person, they can sometimes last a few days to a month at a time and can come and go.

Symptoms

  • abdominal pain (relieved when going to the toilet)
  • change in bowel habits
  • bloating and swelling of stomach
  • excessive wind
  • experiencing urgent need to go to the toilet
  • passing mucus from your bottom

When to see your GP

If you think you’re suffering from IBS then it is very important to see your doctor so you can have the appropriate blood tests done. The GP may diagnose you with IBS based on your symptoms, however it is more likely they will want a blood test to be done for accuracy.

Causes

Most experts believe that it is linked to problems with your digestion and sensitivity of the gut. With IBS the food digestion is either too slow or fast. If the digestion is fast you can suffer from diarrhea, whereas if the digestion is slow you can suffer from constipation.

Diagnosis

Although there is no specific test for IBS, a blood test is always recommended. It will normally however be based on the symptoms you have.

If in the last six months you have received:

  • bloating
  • abdominal pain
  • change in bowels

Also the doctor will be asking you whether you have also recieved any of the following, if you have had 4 or more symptoms you could be diagnosed with IBS:

  • passing mucus from bottom
  • hardness or tension
  • symptoms that are worse after you’ve eaten
  • change in bowel pattern

Treatment

By managing your lifestyle and diet you can eliminate your chances of getting IBS. A healthy well balanced diet ensuring you have all the right vitamins and proteins will make your digestion system work more effectively.

Fibre

If you have IBS, GP’s normally advise you to have a higher intake of fibre. This can help the body digest quicker, or in some cases if there is insoluble fibre which the body cannot digest.

Foods that will help you digest things quicker are:

  • oats
  • barley
  • fruit
  • root vegetables
  • rye

Foods that will help slow down digestion:

  • bran
  • cereals
  • nuts and seeds

If you want more advice and information on IBS please feel free to contact myself or one of the Foods You Can team via our Contacts Page.

Featured Image: webmd

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