It’s Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) awareness month, so we’ve thought it would be great idea to help shed some light on this condition.
It is believed that roughly one in five people in the UK suffer from IBS and have episodes six times a year or more. Although it is possible to develop symptoms at any age, it is most common for people to have their first symptoms between the ages of 20 and 30 and women are twice as likely to develop symptoms. It’s considered that less than 50% of those who suffer from IBS will seek help.
For those that suffer with IBS, the symptoms may come and go over time and may last for a few days, weeks or even months. The main symptoms include:
IBS can also cause other symptoms such as:
If you think you may have IBS you should seek medical attention.
The cause or causes of IBS remain unknown. However, it has been linked to a range of things such as:
There is no cure for IBS and there is still a lot to learn about the condition. Nevertheless, there are things that can be done to help the symptoms. The NHS offers the following advice for those that suffer:
There is also advice regarding dietary measures as nine out of ten people with IBS say that certain foods trigger symptoms. The following dietary advice is suggested for those that suffer from the condition:
If suffering with IBS, your GP may decide on a treatment for you, this could include medicines for constipation, diarrohea or stomach pain. In certain cases, your GP may recommend psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy or psychotherapy due to strong links with IBS and anxiety and depression. Another option is to visit a dietitian for advice, just make sure they are registered with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) if making a private appointment.
For those that suffer or know someone that does, the IBS Network is a charity which provides help and advice and has a wealth of information on the subject.
If you are interested in finding out how healthy your gut is, try our Functional Gut test which measures key biomarkers produced by gut bacteria to provide you with a gut health score out of 10 as well as personal dietary and lifestyle advice. Shop here.