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Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

Irritable bowel syndrome is a collection of symptoms that are caused by irritability and irregularity in the movement of both the small and the large intestines. it is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional bowel disorder.The symptoms mimic those of more serious gastrointestinal, hormonal, and reproductive diseases and vary not only from person to person but in the same person from week to week. IBS affects an estimated quarter of the adult population yet the exact cause is unknown.  IBS symptoms include:

  • diarrhoea or constipation
  • abdominal pain or cramping
  • gas and bloating
  • nausea, especially after eating
  • fatigue
  • depression or anxiety
  • mucus-covered stools.

Dietary changes and natural remedies can help alleviate the symptoms:

  • Reducing or eliminating known irritants and allergens

  • Supplementing with a broad spectrum probiotic

  • Take soluble fibre

  • Digestive enzymes

  • Calming supplements eg Peppermint oil, Aloe vera

  • Adopt Relaxation techniques or emotional stress reduction


These natural remedies need to be considered in more detail when the symptoms have been diagnosed as IBS:

  • Reducing or eliminating known irritants and allergens in one’s diet can help reduce symptoms. Typically, avoiding gluten for a week or two is enough to see significant improvement. In addition to gluten, food allergies can also play a role. It’s important to realise that if you don’t eat a diet that is suitable for you, you’re likely to suffer health challenges, and a spastic colon is one possibility.  

  • Probiotics are friendly bacteria similar to the ones found in the gut. Supplementing high potency probiotics, that are proven to reach the bowel relatively undiminished, may help restore the balance of good to bad bacteria. Overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast is a possible cause of IBS as it can often lead to bloating, flatulence, and irritation of the gut. You can get healthy bacteria from fermented foods or a high quality supplement. Once you lower the amounts of sugar and processed foods in your diet, you’re providing better environment for the support and growth of good and you can enhance that process further by eating fermented foods or taking a high quality probiotic.  

  • Soluble fibre is very important to bowel health. Because it absorbs water, it softens and bulks up the stool — this helps both in diarrheoa and in constipation. Fibre also improves transit time, which reduces overgrowth of bad bacteria in the bowels. Fruit, vegetables and pulses are great sources of soluble fibre. But Psyllium husks are one of the richest sources. It will help with stool formation and decrease the frequency of bowel movements. Another good fibre is cracked or ground linseed ..

  • Digestive enzymes are proteins to breakdown protein, fat and carbohydrates. If we don’t produce enough enzymes, this can result in food passing down the digestive tract under-digested. When this food reaches the large intestine it can feed bad bacteria which in turn produces gas and bloating. Since aging tends to diminish our digestive enzymes, taking a them as a supplementat meal times can be beneficial in IBS.  They work to decrease the number of colonized microorganisms in the stomach. Other digestive aids include hydrochloric acid supplements, which act as a tonic to the upper GI tract, soothing inflammation and allowing for restoration of normal function and cellular health.

  • Peppermint oil has an anti-spasmodic action, and calms the smooth muscles of the stomach and intestines. It also has analgesic properties.

  • Aloe Vera juice or gel, made from the leafs of the Aloe plant, can be taken internally to help soothe and heal the lining of the gastro intestinal tract.
  • Keep fluids with meals to a minimum, and chew food thoroughly. The natural process by which saliva is added to food as it is chewed, to break it down thoroughly in the mouth, sets the rest of the digestive process in motion. So, our habit of washing down food with water or other beverages turns out to be counter-productive. Fluids may also dilute stomach acid, making digestion less efficient.

  • Get checked for parasites -- Another comprehensive strategy, to make sure you’re not struggling with a physical condition that could be simulating IBS

  • Address emotional challenges –many people with IBS have an unresolved emotional component that contributes to their physical problem. Stress reduction therapies or supplements:The syndrome is usually influenced by emotions. Feelings of nervousness, anxiety, guilt, depression, frustration, or anger may bring on or aggravate this very common disorder.

 There are a few explanations of what causes the IBS.

  • Serotonin – This neurotransmitter provides you with a feeling of calm and relaxation. 95% of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, is stored in the digestive tract. The other 5% is stored in your brain. In those with IBS, there are abnormal levels of serotonin in their digestive tract, which causes abnormal motility and movement. If your digestive tract is not healthy, you will feel more anxious, and stressed and then IBS symptoms will become worse. It becomes a vicious cycle.

  • Gastroenteritis –. Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract can be caused by a virus, bacteria or parasite and can sometimes be responsible for the development of IBS.

  • Antibiotics and medicinal disturbance: These interventions can disrupt the balance of flora distributed throughout the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Food Allergies, Coeliac disease, and sensitivities – Some causes of IBS can be from food allergies and sensitivities or Coeliac disease. Those with IBS know that their stomachs are sensitive.

Taking certain medicines may have serious side effects for bowel function, including even more severe constipation or diarrhea and decreased blood flow to the colon, which may lead to even more digestive problems and diseases.