5 things you need to know about IBS

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition which affects the digestive system, typically causing diarrhoea, constipation, painful stomach cramps and uncomfortable bloating. Additional symptoms include nausea, fatigue and backache.

What causes IBS?

Unfortunately there is no known cause of IBS, it could be caused by family history, stress or food moving too slowly/quickly in your gut.

Is there a cure for IBS?

Unfortunately there is no cure for IBS however, there are many medicines and diet changes that can help manage the symptoms. If you suspect you have IBS please arrange an appointment with your GP.

How can diet help with IBS?

Suffers of IBS are advised to follow a healthy balanced diet. To relieve some of the IBS symptoms it is advised to eat slowly, avoid skipping meals, limit your intake of alcohol, carbonated drinks, spicy or processed food and caffeine; don’t drink more than 3 cups of coffee or tea per day. For further dietary advice ask your GP to see a Registered Dietitian.

How can lifestyle help with IBS?

IBS suffers are advised to get plenty of exercise, manage their stress levels by finding ways to wind down and relax. Additionally keep a symptom diary to note what your eating and any symptoms you may be experiencing can be useful.

Further reading

British Dietetic Association – IBS Fact sheet

IBS Network – Stress

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