Do you suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea or general discomfort after eating? There are ways of alleviating symptoms at the very least or even achieving relief altogether by getting to the root cause.
How can nutrition therapy help with root cause in Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS?
By looking for an intolerance to a specific food or food compounds through an elimination diet or testing, by supporting digestive health and investigating if there is an imbalance of gut flora IBS symptoms can be alleviated or resolved altogether. How long IBS issues take to resolve depends on the underlying cause.
Whilst a GP will do tests to check that you don’t have Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease, there are no tests specific to IBS. A diagnosis is usually reached through a process of elimination. Diet is the usual factor in IBS with stress possibly acting as a contributory factor.
What causes IBS?
For some, IBS may be due to a food intolerance, such as gluten, or due to an inability to manage foods high in salicilates, sweeteners or particular types of fiber, or may be triggered by high FODMAPs foods or it may be due to chronic bacterial, parasitic or fungal infection.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs stands for fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, which are all osmotic compounds found in foods in lesser or greater quantities. These compounds cause water to be drawn into the intestinal tract and are responsible for fermentation in the lower gut leading to feelings of discomfort. Research has shown that a very large percentage of those who suffer with IBS type symptoms can feel considerably better on a low-FODMAPs diet. This diet can be very restrictive at first and appear very complicated, but with a little professional help it need not be! Once symptoms have been considerably reduced, foods high in FODMAPs are re-introduced one category at a time, to acertain what components of the high FODMAPs foods are the issue.
Should I be gluten-free?
Some feel that going gluten-free alleviates symptoms of IBS. It is important, however, to establish if your issue is gluten, wheat or high-FODMAPs foods. By cutting out gluten, you will be reducing the FODMAPs load by reducing fructans which may alleviate symptoms but you will not establish if it is gluten per se that is the issue or the FODMAPs, and you may therefore be avoiding foods unnecessarily and making your diet more restrictive than it needs to be. It may also be that you react to wheat rather than gluten and could therefore continue consuming barley, rye and oat without causing symptoms.
By working with me, we can improve your digestive health and explore the underlying cause to resolve your discomfort and restore your gut to health.
I had the pleasure of working with a young woman who came to me as she generally felt terrible after eating. She sometimes felt so tired she have to sleep, she regularly suffered from cramps and had sever blood sugar imbalance leading to feeling very distressed and grumpy when hungry. She also had difficulty sleeping.
Within a couple of sessions, having made the recommended dietary changes, which included the removal of all gluten containing foods, she felt so much better.
Whilst in the past she had tried to cut out gluten she hadn’t been aware of all the hidden gluten. This time round she was a lot more successful and this was reflected in massive symptom improvements. As we couldn’t test for Celiac Disease since she couldn’t face re-introducing gluten into her diet we carried out a genetic test, which interestingly revealed that she did not have the genes that could predispose her to CD. Unfortunately, there are no markers (yet!) that can confirm if an intolerance is due to non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
She says “Your help has completely changed my life for the better and if more people find you and get the help they need then that’s great!”.