Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic, poorly understood and often difficult condition to manage that can significantly affect your quality of life.
Do you experience any of the following symptoms?
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhoea and/or constipation
- Low mood
If so, you may be suffering from IBS.
Many factors can cause IBS type symptoms including food, SIBO, stress and medications. In order to be able to begin to improve your condition you need to speak to a health professional who has a deep understanding of the condition and who can begin to help you work out your triggers. From this an individual plan can be created for you.
What can be done?
Management options include:
- Consultation with a specialist gastroenterology dietitian who understands how foods can impact on your bowel function - understand the difference between food allergies, food intolerance, SIBO, coeliac disease and make sure you get the right dietary advice
- Dietary changes - your consultation will enable you to be started on the most appropriate dietary plan for you, for example:
- Gluten or wheat free
- Dairy or lactose free
- FODMAP diet - has a 75% success rate in improving IBS symptoms
- Healthy eating
- Managing the right fibre in the right quantities for you
- Allergy testing if allergy is suspected
- SIBO and hydrogen & methane breath testing
- Advice on medications and/or probiotics
- Hypnotherapy and stress management which has been clinically shown to reduce IBS symptoms
There is a lot of conflicting advice on what foods to eat or avoid to improve IBS symptoms. The problem with this generalised approach is that everyone reacts to foods differently - what might work for one person, may not work for another.
A systematic approach is needed to help identify what your particular food triggers may be. We can do this with a FODMAP diet. A FODMAP diet is an 8 week trial diet which reduces the amount of particular carbohydrate molecules in your diet which are not well absorbed in the bowel and can contribute to your symptoms.
At your initial assessment, Jeanette will assess whether this is the right approach for you; if the FODMAP diet is right for you, you will have an in-depth session on how to complete the diet. After 8 weeks Jeanette will then re-assess your progress and symptoms and you will begin a reintroduction programme to help you determine your trigger foods. You will also be given booklets produced by Kings College University Hospital, London to help make following the diet easier.
You will be guided throughout the whole process by Jeanette who has helped hundreds of patients improve their symptoms and be able to manage their IBS more effectively.