Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Improve IBS Symptoms

IBS is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects about 15 in every 100 of us. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea or constipation (or a combination of both), bloating, excessive wind, and often fatigue, which persist for longer than 6 months. These symptoms are similar to those in undiagnosed coeliac disease, which at least 1 in every 100 of us in the UK has. Therefore it is vital that this condition is ruled out prior to a diagnosis of IBS being made. IBS may develop after a bacterial gut infection, such as food poisoning, or after an insult to the gut, causing it to become more sensitive. In some cases the cause is unidentifiable, and causes are not yet fully understood. IBS-like symptoms are commonly seen in coeliac disease, diverticular disease, and ulcerative colitis.

To find out what initial lifestyle and dietary steps can be taken to improve IBS symptoms, click here

Many think that their diet affects their IBS. Whilst this is often true, it is not always the case. To date a low FODMAP diet is the most successful evidence-based dietary treatment we have available to manage IBS-like symptoms. Scientific evidence has shown that about three in every four people gain substantial improvement in their symptoms. It is a complex intervention, and dietetic assessment and guidance always supports nutritional intake adequacy, for example, of dietary fibre and calcium.

FODMAPs’ is an abbrievation of:
Fermentable
Oligosaccharides
Disaccharides
Monosaccharides
And
Polyols

They are short-chain carbohydrates poorly absorbed in the small intestine. For those susceptible, ingestion of FODMAPs leads to alterations in the fluid content and bacterial fermentation (break down) in the large intestine, triggering benign, and often debilitating gut symptoms. Removing FODMAPs from the diet often substantially improves these symptoms.

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