What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly shortened to IBS, is a condition of the gut which can cause diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and abdominal pain. Many other conditions can present with similar symptoms to irritable bowel syndrome so it is important to rule these out first. These conditions include: coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, bile acid malabsorption and parasitic infections.
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not clearly known, but it has been observed that irritable bowel syndrome affects women more than men, and is more likely to occur after a gastrointestinal infection.
How do I manage my Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
It is known that stress can make irritable bowel syndrome symptoms worse, so relaxation techniques may be helpful if you find yourself in stressful situations. Regular exercise is also beneficial in managing irritable bowel syndrome. Some over-the-counter medications may help relieve your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms but it is best to speak with your GP regarding these.
Diet is also an important factor in managing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Following a low FODMAP diet has been shown to relieve symptoms of IBS by up to 80%. Supplementing with soluble fibre may also help manage your symptoms. Many people with irritable bowel syndrome are also lactose intolerant, so avoiding lactose may provide them with some relief.
Accredited Practising Dietitians are qualified to assist people in managing medically-diagnosed nutrition conditions. For information about booking a nutrition consultation with an Allied Nutrition dietitian, please click HERE or phone us to discuss your requirements.