Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional chronic gastrointestinal disorder which is symptom based and affects 11% of the population globally.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
Symptoms include abdominal pain and altered bowel habit, with either predominant diarrhoea (IBS-D), constipation (IBS-C), or both (IBS-M).
Causes of IBS
There is no “official" cause of IBS however it is suspected that small intestinal overgrowth (SIBO) may have a role.
There is also a link between an exposure to a pathogenic agent such as a bout of food poisoning or gastro and then IBS symptoms appear sometime afterwards.
Diagnosis of IBS
IBS is a difficult condition to diagnose as there is no definitive diagnosis.
However there is a diagnosis criteria (Rome IV Diagnostic Criteria) that your health practitioner will use to make the diagnosis.
The criteria includes the following and you must have 2 or more of the following symptoms to be diagnosed:
Recurrent abdominal pain at least one day per week for the last 3 months:
- associated with defecation either increasing or improving pain
- associated with a change in stool frequency
- associated with a a change in stool form (appearance)
Currently abdominal bloating is not listed in the criteria however it is experienced with most people who suffer with IBS.
How can Naturopathy assist with IBS?
As a mobile naturopath, I commonly see IBS sufferers and support through a variety of ways:
- symptomatic relief for diarrhoea and constipation
- rebalancing bacteria to support the microbiota and reduce symptoms
- support healing of the digestive lining
- assessing food intolerances and removal of potential irritants
- support other body systems that may be affected by IBS such as immune function, nervous system
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