Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder (FBD) that is classified by a group of symptoms not associated with any other condition or disease.
It is believed that IBS affects approximately 7 to 15% of the world’s population and is more common in women than in men. Whilst it is a relatively prevalent condition, it can often go undiagnosed, leaving it’s sufferers anxious and frustrated.
Diagnosis of IBS is based on symptomatic criteria, with some common symptoms presenting as lower abdominal pain, altered bowel habits (constipation, diarrhoea, or both), stomach distention caused by gas and excessive passing of wind.
The direct cause of IBS is unclear, however it is likely multifactorial. Some of the influences on symptoms include stress, gut microbiota and the consumption of food chemicals and/or short-chain carbohydrates, also known as FODMAPS.
Seeking medical help
Management of IBS will vary from person to person and is often dependent on symptoms, however research suggests that trialling an individualised, low FODMAP diet under the direction of an experienced Dietitian can be successful in the reduction and management of symptoms.
Only medical professionals such as General Practitioners and/or Gastroenterologists can diagnose IBS. Diagnostic testing may include gastroscopy and/or colonoscopy, breath tests and assessment against Rome IV criteria. It is strongly encouraged that anyone who suspects they may have IBS should seek professional medical care prior to making any dietary or medical changes to rule out any other diseases or conditions.
It’s importnat when looking for a dietitioan that they understand your specific condition and address your immediate and long term needs. You are in good care with our team of dietitians.