Irritable Bowl Syndrome What Can You Do About It

Looking for an IBS Specialist Nutritionist in London? At Wellthy Clinic we offer a range of services (NutritionistOsteopathy and Pilates) to provide a complete natural treatment plan to reduce your IBS symptoms. In the below article we will discuss how IBS is a complex condition and therefore you need to address much more than just your diet to reduce your symptoms.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)? 

IBS is a group of symptoms which includes abdominal pain and changes in your bowel habits. It is a diagnosis by exclusion as there are no structural or pathological abnormalities with your digestive tract but yet you are still experiencing symptoms. Typically it affects more women than men (2:1) and affects people between the ages of 20 and 30 years. Prevalence in the general population is estimated to be between 10% and 20%. Recent trends indicate that there is also a significant prevalence of IBS in older people (NICE 2017). There are 3 main types of IBS; constipation dominant, diarrhoea dominant and mixed (both diarrhoea and constipation).   

What IBS Pain Feels Like? 

Typically you will experience bloating, abdominal pain and/or irregular bowel movements either constipation or diarrhoea or a mixture of both. Moreover you may also experience flatulence, vomiting and nausea. Dehydration, weight loss and mucus in your stools are more severe symptoms Poor sleep patterns, stress, menstrual difficulties, headaches and low back pain.

Constipation Type IBS 

A person should ideally have 2 bowel habits per day of a good consistency that are easy to pass. A constipated person will typically experience hard painful stools or soft and bulky which are difficult to pass. In severe cases you could experience ulceration of the colon or obstruction in your intestines. Moreover could experience haemorrhoids, anal fissures or rectal prolapse. Causes include insufficient fibre or fluid intake, decreased liver or bile function, side effects of medications, anxiety and lack of exercise.            

Diarrhoea Type IBS 

Typically you can experience frequent passage of loose and watery stools. Other symptoms include abdominal discomfort, cramping or pain, flatulence and/ or bloating, vomiting or nausea. In severe cases you can loss weight and become severely dehydrated. Causes include laxative abuse, antibiotics, excessive alcohol or caffeine intake. Further causes are infectious, parasitic or inflammatory diseases or failure of your gastrointestinal tract (GIT) to absorb nutrients.

What Foods Trigger IBS? 

The foods that most commonly trigger IBS symptoms are dairy, onions, wheat and chocolate. Also caffeine (tea or coffee), eggs, nuts and citrus fruits can be difficult. Furthermore rye, potatoes, barley, oats and corn are not advised.

How do you Relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Diets which are high in processed foods that contain too much sugar, salt and trans-fats are not advised. Foods are high in refined sugar make your blood sugar levels rise rapidly which can slows down your digestion. Moreover reduce your stress levels especially when eating. As stress slows down gastric secretions and motility in the gut which is not beneficial for people with IBS.

How would I treat a client with IBS? 

Our approach would involve reviewing your diet (specifically your unique metabolic needs), lifestyle, family history and environmental influences. We would look at potential triggers to identify clues to understand why you are experiencing your symptoms. Furthermore suggest food and lifestyle alternatives which will better support your digestion and recovery. Correct any imbalances with your gut bacteria. Furthermore repair your intestinal lining to support your immune system and reduce inflammatory processes. We would look to rebalance your nutrition, sleep, stress levels and exercise to give your body the best chance of long term recovery.          

IBS Nutritionist London

Can a Nutritionist Help with IBS? 

Yes it is first important to understand what is causing your symptoms so we can address the cause of the problem (not just suppress the symptoms). This way we can work together to give you a long term strategy in how best to reduce your symptoms. We take a holistic and specific approach by addressing your diet, maybe using supplements and looking at lifestyle factors which can contribute to your symptoms. Everyone is different and so are their digestive fuctions and their ability to absorb nutrients. IBS is a complex condition which requires a individualised plan to give the best results. With a bespoke natural nutrition plan the body will quickly begin to heal and repair itself. Small gradual changes will make a big difference to reduce your symptoms and improve your overall health and well being.

Can Pilates Help to Reduce IBS Symptoms? 

Low to moderate exercise is really important for digestive health as it is suggested to enhance your anti-inflammatory and antioxidant parameters which reduce your IBS symptoms (Hajizadeh 2018). Another questionnaire study found similar results assessing 4,700 adults IBS symptoms and physical activity which suggested less active people were more likely to have IBS than those who were physically active. More intense exercise is generally discouraged as the body is under enough stress already with irregular bowel habits. Therefore Pilates is a great form of low impact exercise focussed on meaningful movement, muscular stretching and strengthening. Pilates has many benefits as it helps to concentrate on the mind body connection through challenging but calming exercises. Moreover Pilates improves your mood as when you exercise endorphins will be released and will cause a positive feeling in the body. Consequently you will leave sessions feeling less stressed and energised.

Therefore Pilates classes are a great exercise to include as part of your IBS reduction plan. Interested? Book a Pilates consultation now.

Can Osteopathy Help Reduce IBS symptoms? 

According to three seperate small studies Osteopathy was found to improve the severity of IBS symptoms and its impact on quality of life (Florance et al 2012). Participants treated by Osteopaths experienced less IBS symptoms and a higher of quality of life (Hundschield et al 2007). Piche et al (2014) also suggested 3 sessions of Osteopathy reduced the severity of IBS symptoms (severity of abdominal pains) for people with chrons disease who were in remission. Therefore Osteopathy was suggested to be a promising alternative in the treatment of patients with IBS.

IBS Nutritionist London 

At Wellthy Clinic we offer Nutritionist, Osteopathy and Pilates sessions as an integrative approach to help reduce your IBS symptoms. We offer a 15 minute free nutritionist consultation to discuss your symptoms and answer any questions you may have. So please email to arrange an appointment.

IBS Nutritionist London References 

Florance et al (2012) Osteopathy Improves the Severity of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Pilot Randomized Sham-Controlled Study European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 

Hajizadeh et al (2018) Low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise training modulates irritable bowel syndrome through antioxidative and inflammatory mechanisms in women: Results of a randomized controlled trial Cytokine 102 pp. 18-25

Hundschield et al (2007) Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Osteopathy: Results of a Randomized Controlled Pilot Study Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Piche et al (2014) Osteopathy Decreases the Severity of IBS-like Symptoms Associated With Crohn’s Disease in Patients in Remission European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

National Institute for Clincial care and evidence (2017) Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management

Sadeghian et al (2018) Physical activity in relation to irritable bowel syndrome among Iranian adultsĀ PLOS ONEĀ

First Published on the Wellthy Blog under IBS Nutritionist London