Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is classified as functional bowel disorder, as there are no otherwise identifiable organic pathologies found. Main symptoms are a wide range of gastrointestinal issues such as: bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, mucus in the stools, constipation or diarrhoea, or alternating constipation and diarrhoea.
Causes: There is no single cause for the IBS identified, but it is believed that the biggest risk factor for developing IBS is infectious gastroenteritis: Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Shigella, Yersinia enterocolitica, Norovirus, Adenovirus, Entamoeba histolytica. If you are experiencing IBS, think back: did you ever have a food poisoning after a meal or on a trip abroad? If not, it might be food allergies and sensitivities that could be causing the symptoms.
The exposure to pathogenic organisms seems to disrupt the intestinal barrier function and alters the neuromuscular function and triggers chronic inflammation, which sustains irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
The main nutritional therapy approach is to identify what has triggered the current state of dysfunction and then to eliminate the culprit, calm the inflammation and restore normal digestive function.
This may involve stool tests which are very comprehensive and will evaluate digestive function, inflammation, any infections and overgrowths of pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoas etc. It may also involve elimination diets, for a short period of time, to support the healing process. It would also involve increasing anti-inflammatory foods as well as foods that promote mucosal healing and these include oily fish, bone broths, cooked apple puree etc.
Please be aware there are many conditions whose symptoms overlap with those of IBS and you should seek professional help to support you in developing an individualised programme, based on your contributory factors and history.
If you are affected by any of the above mentioned symptoms and would like my help in restoring normal digestive function contact me for a free, no obligation chat to discuss how I could help you. Link in my bio, or via my website.