What is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), also known as irritable colon, is a very common gastrointestinal disorder that affects 1 in 7 people. It affects the digestive system, where the symptoms occur mainly in the large intestine.
Causes of IBS
At the time of writing, the exact cause of IBS is not known. There are, however, numerous factors that seem likely to play a role in its development. These include: Diet - Diet is thought to be a prime culprit in the development of IBS. Diet, of course, can have a major influence on the gut microbiome which plays a key role in digestive health. This is one reason our IBS nutritionists often recommend a dietary response to IBS. Nervous system abnormalities - Nerves within the digestive systems of some people may overreact when the gut is stretched because of gas or overeating. This can cause pain, diarrhoea or other annoying responses. Gastroenteritis - Gastroenteritis is a type of infectious diarrhoea that affects the intestinal tract. IBS has been known to develop in people who have experienced severe cases of gastroenteritis. It is important to reiterate that it is not always possible to track down the root cause of IBS in every individual. However, our IBS dietitians are usually able to effectively relieve the symptoms nonetheless.
Symptoms of IBS
Symptoms can vary from one person to the other and can be worse depending on the person.
What is the best diet for IBS management/ relief?
There are many different dietary strategies that can help relieve IBS symptoms. Research at Monash University, King’s College, London and numerous other centres around the world has shown that a low FODMAP diet improves IBS symptoms in at least 75% of IBS sufferers. Therefore, a low FODMAP diet is the first treatment choice for people suffering from IBS.
The FODMAP diet is considered one of the best and most effective IBS treatments.
What does FODMAP mean?
- Fermentable – gut bacteria ferment undigested carbohydrate to produce gases
- Oligosaccharides – Fructans & GOS – found in foods such as wheat, rye, onions, garlic and legumes/pulses.
- Disaccharides – Lactose – found in dairy products like milk, soft cheeses and yogurts.
- Monosaccharides – Fructose – found in honey, apples, high fructose corn syrups, etc.
- Polyols – Sorbitol and Mannitol – Found in some fruit and vegetables and used as artificial sweeteners.
Understand how FODMAPs can trigger gut symptoms in people with IBS
3-step process to manage your IBS symptoms and feel at your absolute best!
Trust the FODMAP nutritionists at Nutrition Synergy to help you obtain relief from symptoms of your Irritable Bowel Syndrome. All treatments are grounded firmly in nutritional and dietary science and do not require the use of potentially problematic pharmaceuticals.
Step 1: Low FODMAP Diet
Week 1-2: Remove all high FODMAP food to get rid of 80-90% of the symptoms.
Step 2: FODMAP Reintroduction
Week 3-8: FODMAP rich foods are reintroduced foods back into your diet one by one (total of 6 food groups) to identify which FODMAP types trigger your IBS symptoms, and which do not.
Step 3: FODMAP Personalization
After identifying your high FODMAP trigger foods, foods that are well-tolerated are reintroduced back into your diet.
In most cases, you will be able to reintroduce many high FODMAP foods back into your diet, but you may not be able to eat them in the same quantity as before.
Your IBS dietitian may also recommend you specific probiotics to increase your gut health and improve tolerance to some foods.
When Should You Contact Nutrition Synergy About Your IBS?
Some people experience very minimal symptoms related to their IBS. For most people, however, the condition can be quite distressing, causing some or all of the symptoms listed above and negatively affecting the person’s quality of life.
If your IBS symptoms are interfering with your day to day routine, or you have more severe symptoms such as anaemia, weight loss, nighttime diarrhoea or persistent discomfort in your gut, it is time to seek help from our IBS dietitians.
The IBS nutritionists at Nutrition Synergy are experts at diagnosing the problem and formulating effective dietary relief programs.