Are you struggling daily with one or more of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, excess wind and/or altered bowel habits? It could actually be a condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
It’s a topic many of us do not discuss (and rightly so - who wants to discuss their bowel habits over a cuppa with their friends?!) but the fact is that IBS is a very common condition which affects up to 30% of people at some stage in their life (mainly affecting women between 20 - 60 years). It may be caused by a variety of things including food sensitivities, intolerances, stress, imbalance of gut bacteria and hormones to name a few.
If you suspect you may be suffering from IBS, its important to see your GP to get any other serious conditions ruled out prior to trying any alternative treatments.
If you have been diagnosed with IBS, how can you manage this sometimes debilitating condition? The following are some simple strategies which may help:
ü Consume probiotics daily to improve the balance of good bacteria in your gut (such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso soup and probiotic supplements)
ü Limit alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods as these can irritate your gut
ü Practice regular de-stressing techniques (a simple walk daily can make a huge difference)
ü Regular exercise and 6-8 glasses water per day
ü Reduce consumption of high FODMAP containing foods**. This may include wheat, onion, garlic, high fructose fruits (apples/pears), lactose (in dairy) to name a few!
**FODMAP is an acronym for a group of carbohydrates which are poorly digested and absorbed in the gut. A low FODMAP diet may be prescribed by a dietitian or health professional to help treat IBS.
For further information about a trialling a low FODMAP diet check out Monash University's site on all things Low FODMAP http://med.monash.edu.au/cecs/gastro/fodmap/ or you can contact us for a confidential chat about how we may be able to help you
Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist