Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects one in seven Australians.
It is a condition marked by abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation and/or diarrhea. A diagnosis of IBS is only given after other causes are ruled out, such as coeliac disease or other serious conditions. IBS occasionally seems to occur after a serious infection, but otherwise the cause is unknown.
People with IBS have a significant reduction in quality of life. The good news, though, is that IBS does not seem to increase risk of any more serious diseases, such as cancer.
Basic first steps to take if you have IBS:
1. Make sure you’re getting 6-8 cups of water each day
2. Try a probiotic supplement.
3. Increasing your soluble fibre intake. Sources include supplements such a psyllium husks, or foods such as oats and oranges.
If those basic steps don’t seem to help, then have a look at your triggers – which are divided into stress/emotional and dietary.
If stress and anxiety make your IBS worse, try these relaxation exercises, or see your GP for a referral to a psychologist.
But if different foods seem to trigger your IBS, trying a low FODMAPS diet could have a significant impact. FODMAPS are parts of food that are more difficult to digest. A dietitian can help you plan a diet that meets all your nutritional needs, but avoids FODMAPS – which are often triggers for IBS. Then trial each different FODMAP to determine which are problems for you, and your tolerated dose.
I see clients for Low FODMAPS meal plans and re-introductions. If you’d like to book an appointment or would like to talk further, feel free to get in contact with me here.