One of the most prevalent digestive disorders to blight the health of around 20% of the UK population is IBS. It’s estimated that far more people (60-75%) of the population suffer the symptoms of IBS but never visit the GP and are therefore never diagnosed.
But as sufferers will know, the symptoms can be severely debilitating and the complexity of the range of symptoms that may make up one individual’s IBS may differ enormously from the range that makes up another persons.
Around 33% of patients suffer from constipation-dominant IBS, while another third suffer diarrhoea-dominant IBS. The remaining third remain unclassified, or have to endure alternating diarrhoea and constipation.
Other symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, excessive flatulence, and feeling of fullness after eating. And sufferers often experience lethargy, poor sleep, backache, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, bladder disorders, and fibromyalgia.
The functional medicine approach used by Nutritional Therapists has been applied to cases of IBS, looking at underlying causes for the condition – rather than treating each symptom we look to address the cause so that long-term relief can be achieved.
The causes will vary from person to person, but there are recognised links with IBS and a number of culprits: food intolerances are reported in as many as 66% of cases, imbalances in gut flora (are your unfriendly bacteria out-weighing your beneficial bacteria?), or the presence of pathogenic yeasts or parasites. Stress is also a common factor for many people.
There are a number of tests that can be used to help identify the underlying cause of your problem but the most commonly used being:
- Comprehensive Stool testing
- SIBO testing
- Food intolerance testing
Once we have the full picture we can then introduce the correct strategies to address the underlying causes offering hope of resolution to many IBS and digestive issue sufferers.
Map My Gut