Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition which affects the digestive system. IBS is a lifelong condition which can be very difficult to deal with as it can cause a big impact on everyday life.
The main symptoms of IBS can include stomach pains, cramps or bloating which are usually at their worst after eating. The pain is usually relieved after emptying your bowels. Your stools can also be affected by IBS and can cause constipation or diarrhoea. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it has been thought to be caused by food passing through your gut too slowly or fast. Stress is also known to be a common cause as well as having a family history of IBS.
First and foremost, If you have any symptoms of IBS it is advisable to visit your GP so they can run some tests. They may take your bloods and test a sample of your stool to look out for any other diseases and infections.
There are lots of things you can do to improve the symptoms if you have been diagnosed with IBS. Exercise and dietary changes are a good place to start. Always try and use fresh ingredients when cooking and avoid skipping or delaying meals. Avoid fatty, spicy and processed foods where possible. Also, reducing the amount alcohol, fizzy drinks and caffeinated beverages can also help.
Unfortunately, there is no single diet which works for everyone with IBS. In some cases, you may want to consider other means of treatment. We have a range of medication available to manage symptoms of IBS and help you feel more comfortable.