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07732 876 746

hello@martincohennutrition.co.uk

Wilmslow, Cheshire & Central Manchester

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Symptoms

I work with many people to uncover what’s behind their digestive symptoms.  You may feel you’ve come to the end of the road after being told to ‘self manage’ your symptoms but today we know a lot more about what contributes to IBS than we did even 12 months ago.  It’s important to remember that IBS is a label but it doesn’t tell us what is behind the symptoms.

IBS will be diagnosed by the Rome IV criteria which directly relate to bowel patterns yet goes no further into investigating what could be the cause. The umbrella term of IBS covers many different aspects but seems to fail to take into account the a multitude of factors could be combining to lead to the symptoms.

Can IBS Be Cured?

When we talk about gut health and the symptoms we may be experiencing it’s important to remember that IBS isn’t a condition like diabetes or heart disease. In these conditions there is a clear understanding of how they develop and how to test for them. In IBS things are less clear.

IBS is diagnosed on symptoms alone. The presence of bloating, cramping and altered stool patterns tell us a lot about how we’re feeling but do not get us any closer to understanding why we are experiencing them and more importantly what to do about them. The ‘why’ can be different each individual but by understanding the gut we can work through the possible reasons and help to bring things back into balance.

Fermented Food Workshop

Causes

The multiple factors that contribute to IBS have recently been explored in a peer reviewed article entitled “Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Exist? Identifiable and Treatable Causes of Associated Symptoms Suggest It May Not”.

This title is not suggesting that IBS is made up in your head but that there are many underlying issues that can contribute to your digestive system being sent out of balance and it’s this disruption that is leading to your symptoms. It’s by identifying which ones are most relevant to you and addressing them that we work towards bringing about lasting change.

The underlying issues fall into 3 categories:

  1. Lifestyle & Environment (eg. stress, poor sleep)
  2. Nutritional Factors (eg. vitamin deficiencies, food sensitivities)
  3. Functional Imbalances (eg. gut bacteria imbalances, infections)

Within each of these 3 categories there are a number of aspects that contribute to a disrupted gut. Some examples are listed above but in fact, the research identified 17 factors that have the potential to contribute to IBS. This is why medication can be so hit and miss as it can only address one aspect at a time.

Therapy

There is another way. By identifying and addressing the underlying issue we can bring about lasting change.

Approaches and support includes:

  • Short term elimination diets to assess for food sensitivities
  • Strain specific probiotic supplementation
  • Targeted nutritional supplementation
  • Nutritional testing
  • Further testing via stool or breath to assess for imbalances in the gut bacteria
  • Supportive lifestyle recommendations

So as you can see, to ‘cure’ IBS we need to see IBS as a disease. In reality it needs to be seen as a sign that something is out of balance somewhere. It’s my role to understand why your IBS is happening and help you take back control of your health.

Microbiome

Let’s talk about you

Book your free consultation and let’s start getting you back to your best