It’s a term banded around a lot, and is one of the most common self-diagnosed Google searches but what is IBS, how is it diagnosed and why is diet and exercise so important?
🤷🏼♀ What is IBS?
IBS stands for irritable Bowel Syndrome. It’s a common condition of the digestive system and causes symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. These are a list of symptoms we have spoken about many times before and can be connected to many underline conditions in women including intolerances, endometriosis and perimenopausal symptoms.
👩🏽⚕ How is it diagnosed?
Your GP will ask you about your symptoms so keeping a record of when and how you are getting these difficulties prior to going well make the appointment a lot easier and will give your GP more information. Think about what symptoms you have, when and how often you experience them, what you ate prior to symptoms and anything else that happens such as heavy periods. However there are no tests for IBS specifically and therefore it can often be misdiagnosed in women so its important to make your GP aware of any other symptoms around your health that might indicate other conditions. They might request a blood test to check for coeliac disease or test your poo for infection but this will not specifically show IBS.
Depending on your symptoms there are a few diet tricks you can use:
Whole grain can be irritant for people experiencing IBS so cut down on brown bread and brown rice. Sorbitol, which is a type of sweetener you get in drinks, foods and liquid medications can also increase diarrhoea symptoms so try to avoid these.
Bloating and Cramps
Porridge oats are excellent for helping to reduce cramp and making a healthy breakfast choice. There is some evidence to suggest a tablespoon of linseeds everyday can help but if your mixing these in with smoothies try to make sure there is not excessive sugar or sweetners and this can make it worse.
If your constipated then remember to drink lots of water as this is vital for helping to loosen stools and make it easier to go.