IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
IBS is the most common condition diagnosed by gastroenterologists and is one of the most frequently seen conditions by primary care physicians.
Wrong diet, stress, insomnia, food intolerances and changes in gut bacteria may all trigger symptoms of IBS.
Triggers can vary from person to person, making it almost impossible to name specific foods or stressors that everyone with the disorder should avoid.
IBS affects people of all genders and all ages but only a fraction of individuals with symptoms of IBS tends to seek medical attention. Most individuals will eventually consult their GP for those symptoms, and the factors that drive this consultation are symptom severity, especially pain, and concerns that symptoms might indicate an underlying severe disease, such as cancer.
IBS often remains undiagnosed, but it is thought that about 20% of the world population is affected. People often feel depressed and helpless not being able to do things they want or living their life to the fullest as IBS symptoms affect and influence their daily lives greatly.
You may be affected by IBS if you regularly experience the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and severe cramping
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Frequent and/or loose stools
- Sudden urge in bowel movement
- Food intolerance
- Insomnia and exhaustion
- Anxiety and depression
- Back pain and frequent urination
- Difficult defecation or pain during it
All the above are a good reason to visit your GP and get diagnosed also making sure there are no underlying conditions which may attribute to the symptoms. Symptoms may vary from person to person and are influenced by the food consumed, seasonal changes, travel etc. It helps keeping a food diary recording everything you consume and checking your gut reaction to it.
What to avoid
It is best to avoid foods which stimulate intestine and can trigger diarrhoea such as:
- Artificial sweeteners like Xylitol and sorbitol (soft drinks often include those)
- Caffeine and alcohol
- Processed and sugary foods
- Dairy and fatty foods
- Avoid foods high in FODMAPS which stands for Fermentable Oligo Di-and-Monosaccharides and Polyols. Explained simply, foods rich in FODMAPs are sugar-based carbohydrates that ferment quickly but absorb poorly thus irritate the stomach lining and produce a lot of gas.
FODMAPs classify as the following:
- Oligosaccharides: Consisting of carbs like fructans (fructo-oligosaccarides and inulin) and galacto-oligosaccharides, dietary sources of oligosaccharides include wheat, rye, certain fruits and vegetables, and legumes.
- Disaccharides: Disaccharides mainly include lactose, and familiar foods that contain them like milk, soft cheeses, and other dairy products.
- Monosaccharides: consist of fruits, agave, and honey.
- Polyols: sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol, which are found in sweeteners.
Honey, Golden Syrup, Maple Syrup, Fructose, Dried Fruit, Fruit juice, Apple, Mango, Pear, etc.
All types of Animal Milk, Custard, Ice Cream, Yogurt, Cheeses.
Vegetables: Beetroot, Asparagus, Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Eggplant; Wheat and Rye cereals.
Baked Beans, Chickpeas, Kidney Beans, Lentils.
Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Blackberry, Cherry, Lychee, Nectarine, Peach, Plum, Watermelon, Mushrooms, Sweet Corn, Sweeteners (Xylitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, etc).
As there are a few types of IBS, there is one in particular – IBS-D associated with diarrhoea, which Enterosgel® can assist with. Enterosgel® helps in alleviating the symptoms naturally and effectively, giving you peace of mind and detoxifying your body.
Learn more on IBS and Gut Health in our blog.