May is IBS month, so I thought today we would look at IBS in a bit more detail, so you can uncover if you may have IBS, how to recognize it and how you may begin to break free from it.
IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and IBD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, often get used interchangeably and with confusion. And these 2 conditions often coexist and their symptoms overlap. Many people go through life not knowing what may be causing their pain so let’s just define the 2, then we'll chat about IBS.
IBD is a group of diseases that cause inflammation and damage to the digestive system and include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It can be noted in blood tests with inflammatory markers or a camera to view the damage to the gut.
IBS, however, is a collection of symptoms that cause irritation within the bowel, without inflammation or damage. Therefore, there’s no real test or definitive answer to finding it, it's diagnosed from a medical history of your symptoms. 20% Australians have IBS and it can take 4 years to get a diagnosis.
So, what symptoms make up Irritable Bowel Syndrome/IBS?
· Abdominal, cramping and bloating
· Diarrhoea and/or constipation
· Painful bowel movements
· Nausea and vomiting
· Stress, anxiety and depression
· Poor appetite
· Fatigue and headaches
· Muscle pain and cramps
· Bad breath
Now you know what IBS looks like, how can you work towards breaking free from it?
Use the GOURMET YOU diet plan.
Its ‘YOUR’ diet.
Y- its personalized to your body, lifestyle and taste buds. Remove trigger foods and adjust your favourite meals to make them suitable.
O- original form. Your food should be in its most original state, so eating whole foods. Original state foods include plants, meat and dairy. It should be mostly plants, with meat and dairy on the side.
U- Unprocessed. Eat mostly unprocessed foods and monitor your fibre intake. Fibre will relieve constipation and many symptoms, but eat too much and you’ll increase your gas and bloating.
R- right size, right time. Portion meals as discussed in our diet blog post, and eat regularly throughout the day. Around 3-5 times a day is ideal.
Managing stress and adding movement to each day has also been shown to improve digestion and reduce IBS symptoms.
So go for it, speak to your doctor, rule out IBD and breakfree from IBS and those annoying symptoms you may have!