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Nutrition help for IBS

One of the most common complaints clients come to see a nutritionist with is IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  It seems to be one of those terms that get used when no other explanation can be easily found for continued problems with constipation, diarrhoea, cramping and other unpleasant digestive symptoms.  If you’ve walked out of your GP surgery with the words ‘I think it’s IBS’ ringing in your ears, this will all be very familiar to you.

As the name implies, IBS is a syndrome, in other words a collection of symptoms.  However, knowing your symptoms will not necessarily offer answers as to how to alleviate them.  Many put up with IBS symptoms simply because of lack of awareness of different options available to treat them.  As it’s not the most glamorous subject to bring up and won’t really lift the tone of any dinner party conversation, many don’t even realise that something can be done to restore their digestive health.

Food intolerances often get mentioned in the same sentence with IBS, and many people end up on unnecessarily restrictive diets in an attempt to improve their digestive health.  Often, all this ends up achieving is lot of frustration with having only few ‘safe’ foods to eat without providing a real long-term solution to the problem.

The culprit is often elsewhere, usually either in the form of imbalanced bacterial colonies in your digestive tract, or some unwanted visitors such as parasites.  A comprehensive stool test can help to uncover these, and there are many ways to treat these issues through focused supplementation.

If you are suffering from IBS, here are my top tips for easing the symptoms:

  1. Refined wheat is usually the biggest problem, followed by cow’s milk.  Cut these two from your diet for two weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
  2. Any type of flour tends to slow down the bowel in sensitive individuals, so for the first seven days avoid all foods containing flour.
  3. Instead eat more brown rice, potatoes, fish, lean poultry, fruit and vegetables.
  4. Citrus fruits can also cause problems.  Instead, opt for berries and bananas, both of which have been found useful for easing symptoms.
  5. Peppermint, fennel, camomile and rosemary teas can all enhance digestion and ease discomfort.

If you think you could benefit from some further help, do get in touch with me.

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One Response to “Nutrition help for IBS”

  1. michele hutchinson Says:

    Im not sure what to eat as im in pain most of the time and it dosn’t seem to matter what i eat it goes straight though me and im still left in pain would be glad of your help thank you.

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