In the UK 13% of women and 5% of men are effected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a collection of symptoms which effect the digestive system. This makes IBS the most common gastrointestinal disorder. It is, however, poorly understood with no evidence of what causes it and no known cure. Symptoms can vary from person to person but can include abdominal pain/spasms, gas, bloating, diarrhea alternating with constipation.
There are often several contributing factors that lead to the development of IBS. An overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, parasite or candida infection, food sensitivities, coeliac disease, lactose intolerance, hormonal imbalances, stress and environmental sensitivities can all play a role in the development of the disease.
Nutritional therapy can be a very effective tool for anyone suffering with these type of symptoms. As each person is unique and the causes are varied the therapist will take a comprehensive case history and identify the triggers for each individual person. Functional testing can help to uncover food sensitivities as well as look more deeply into an individuals digestive function.
It is estimated that around one half to two thirds of people with IBS have food sensitivities. Elimination diets can be helpful and common triggers include wheat, corn, dairy, lactose, coffee, tea, citrus fruit and chocolate.
Once triggers are identified and removed digestive enzymes, probiotics and gut healing supplements can help to restore a healthy and functioning digestive system.
Stress can also effect the digestive system. Breathing techniques, meditation, exercise, yoga relaxation can all help.