Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a very common functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract which can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal bloating, abdominal cramping/pain, constipation and/or diarrhoea. IBS affects up to 15% of people in Australia, is more common in females than males, and is responsible for up to 50% of consultations with specialist gastroenterologists.
The uncomfortable symptoms that are presented in IBS are not only painful and uncomfortable, but they have a major effect on our quality of life. They can get in the way of completing every day activities and even prevent us from socialising or stepping out of the house. The amount of time and money spent towards doctors appointments and days off work is an enormous cost on individuals, businesses and the community alike.
The types of foods we eat can be a major contributing factor in IBS symptoms, and it is often very difficult to determine which foods may be causing our symptoms. While there are small changes to our diet that we can make to help reduce these symptoms, such as limiting alcohol and spicy foods, these changes often don't provide enough relief, and further investigation is required.
Causes of IBS
While we are uncertain of the actual cause of IBS, we know that there are several factors which can trigger or worsen IBS symptoms and may include any or all of the following:
1. Diet - High FODMAP foods, spicy or hot foods, caffeine
2. Stress - The gut and brain are connected by the gut/brain axis. when we feel stressed, this can trigger IBS symptoms
Treatment of IBS
When treating IBS, it is firstly important to investigate whether there are any other medical conditions that may be causing your uncomfortable symptoms, such as coeliac or Irritable Bowel Disease, and this can be done by visiting your local GP. Once other possible medical conditions have been ruled out by your GP, you may decide that The Low FODMAP Diet may help in providing symptom relief.
At Gut Goodness, we recognise that IBS is about more than just the type of food we eat. We provide a holistic approach to the treatment of IBS by providing you step-by-step guidance through the Low FODMAP diet, while at the same time, supporting you and providing you with the tools to manage and minimise stress, as well as the guidance to participate in physical activities without triggering uncomfortable IBS symptoms.
Low FODMAP Diet
The Low FODMAP Diet is used as a diagnostic tool by dietitians, to identify foods that trigger an individuals' symptoms of IBS, and prescribe the most complete and diverse meal plan, without eliminating any complete food groups unnecessarily. It is effective in reducing symptoms, such as pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea, in 60-80% of patients and should be conducted with the support and guidance from a Registered Dietitian.
There are three stages to the Low FODMAP Diet:
1. The Elimination Phase, providing symptom relief
2. The Re-challenge Phase - Finding the foods that trigger your symptoms
3. The Reintroduction Phase - Enjoy a diet rich in diversity.
Book an appointment and find out how Gut Goodness can help you in your journey to feel your absolute best.