Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is characterised by abdominal pain or discomfort, and altered bowel habits (bloating, chronic or recurrent diarrhoea, constipation, or both.)
- Worldwide it’s estimated that 10-15% of the population has IBS .
- Most persons with IBS are under the age of 50. However, many older adults suffer as well.
- Symptoms may result from a disturbance in the way the gut, brain, and nervous system interact. This can cause changes in normal bowel movement and sensation.
- Because of the connection between the brain and the gut, stress can worsen or trigger symptoms.
- Approximately 20 to 40% of all visits to gastroenterologists are due to IBS symptoms .
What’s happening in the world for this to be such a common condition? On that note, just because it’s common, does not mean it’s OK or that we should just lie down and take the generic response of “It’s IBS, here’s a laxative and be on your way to live with the symptoms”.
From experience, IBS symptoms are awful:
- Severe stomach pain and cramps
- Looking 8 months pregnant
- Dealing with high anxiety and low moods
- Horrendous gas
- Feeling exhausted
- Shortness of breath
- Weight changes
- Feeling sick
- Rushing to the toilet all the time or not enough and feeling really blocked and heavy
- Going to A&E with pain
- Getting scans and tests and finding nothing wrong, feeling like hypochondriacs.
I have got rid of my symptoms naturally and I aim to help as many people understand exactly why they have IBS symptoms and why it’s such a common occurrence now.
Our lifestyles and the choices we make are causing our IBS!
- The amount of medication we take. Antibiotics are on the rise and are well known to disturb our gut flora.
- Popping painkillers for any little ache or pain.
- Choosing low calorie foods and microwaveable dinners like weight watchers, lighter choice, low fat yoghurts etc. These all tend to be processed which means adding preservatives and chemicals to make them low fat and light. Plus we need fat, especially for gut health. We don’t need sugar, which you will find has been increased in low fat and light foods.
- Choosing processed products like Coca-Cola, Red Bull, McDonalds and KFC. All of this damages our guts and we are eating foods we are not designed to eat.
- High sugar diets cause fermentation in the gut, which leads to really smelly gas and weight gain amongst a host of other things.
- The amount of stress we put on our bodies – stress and worry is not meant to be part of our everyday life and they cause our cortisol levels to increase.
- Fruit and veggies covered in pesticides, not eating seasonally or buying local produce.
- Not getting enough good high quality food
- Living in air con or central heating and not getting enough fresh air. How often are we actually outside on a daily basis?
- Not enough natural light to get vitamin D on a daily basis.
- Sedentary lifestyles – sitting 8 hours a day in work, then driving home to sit down for dinner and watch TV.
- Exercise – this doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym, it just means moving everyday. Getting in at least 10,000 steps per day. Do what you enjoy doing for exercise.
- Negative moods. This is a cycle because if our guts are inflamed it can affect our brain and if we are in low/ negative moods then this can affect our guts. Break the cycle.
- I appreciate that some people may be suffering with depression (I did as well as my sister) and have been prescribed meds due to chemical imbalances so this is a different circumstance (although chemical imbalances can also mean nutrient deficiencies and worth getting tested to see if there are nutrients to try taking first).
- Breathing properly, through our belly rather than shallow breaths that keep us in a constant state of slight panic.
- Sleep is massive factor on ill health and negatively impacts our gut health.
Getting back to basics and changing not only the food we are consuming, but also looking at improving our lifestyles can have a huge impact on our gut health, and lead to health benefits that last, rather than just treating the symptoms.
Some symptom treating ways that seem to be quite common are listed below:
- CBD Oil
- Juice Plus tablets
- Anxiety tablets
- Other supplements promising miracles. They may have a place later on in life (maybe) but if we haven’t got the basics right first we will keep going round in circles. Who has the time, energy or patience for that?
Treating the symptoms is just NOT the answer. Most of those treatments don’t work, because they don’t address the underlying causes of why our digestion is not working in the first place.
I know you may roll your eyes or find this all very hard to believe but it is this simple.
I am not saying there is not a place in the world for medication and surgery but what about making it a last resort kind of thing rather than making it the first? Simple, small changes will massively impact IBS in a positive way but it takes time and there are no magic pills and quick fixes. We need to change our mentality around it.
Experiencing relief is great and I am sure very welcomed to get out of the pain, but masking symptoms won’t help get to the root cause to help get rid of the issues. Commit to making changes and improvements now and you will reap the benefits in the long run with no more rushing to the toilet and taking meds.
The 3 main points I hope to leave you with are these:
- Get back to basics with food and lifestyle choices.
- Understand that there is a huge link between gut and brain
- You need to believe you can get rid of your IBS for good.
I want to help as many people as possible get rid of these horrendous symptoms because we deserve it, but your first step to wellness is to choose to be helped. If you’re ready to get rid of IBS symptoms in a simple and natural way, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to drop me an email or book a Gut Health Breakthrough Call.
It’s time you were free of the burden of these debilitating symptoms.