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Is IBS sabotaging your life

Constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain – these are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Each one itself is bad enough but two or all of them in combination results in extreme pain and discomfort. Surprisingly, it is possible to suffer from both diarrhoea and constipation.

According to the charity IBS Network, there are 12 million people in the UK with the condition and it affects women more than men. The exact cause is unknown and there is no cure. IBS is usually triggered by certain foods, stress and anxiety.

Of course, given that the unpredictable nature of the condition itself causes anxiety, sufferers are caught in a vicious circle. It can affect people’s performance at work and interfere with their social lives. After all, it’s no fun constantly needing to be near a bathroom.

IBS also affects relationships as partners have to learn to live with and understand a sufferer’s low self-esteem, loss of libido and dark moods.

A recent client was having to work extremely long hours to implement an innovative project. While she did a fantastic job, the pressure triggered her IBS. Her stomach felt like it was in knots and, every meal prompted a visit to the bathroom.

Other clients have told me that GPs have just advised them to change their diets or referred them to a psychiatrist where stress or anxiety is the main trigger of their IBS. According to the NHS website, which confirms the above, the only medication available to doctors is anti-depressants which can help to ease the symptoms.

As I said earlier, there is no cure. However, the naturopathic approach can tackle the root cause and get you from A to B using natural methods. This makes you better equipped to deal with the symptoms so that your body can recover. Naturopathy includes specific nutritional testing to identify what the body needs and, more importantly, what it doesn’t need.

Foods to avoid

Try cutting our dairy foods – cheese, particularly when melted, is hard to digest. Rice milk is a good substitute for cow’s milk, particularly if you suffer from diarrhoea. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, are best avoided. So too are any foods, like beef, containing the amino acid tyramine as this occurs naturally in the body.

I also recommend staying clear of rich, heavy meals and to avoid frying as much as possible. It’s also worth following a gluten-free diet for a month as this help.

Friendly foods

Oats, quinoa, buckwheat or millet are examples of friendly foods for IBS sufferers. In some cases, drinking 20ml of Aloe Vera juice before meals ban be beneficial. Part of the naturopathic approach is providing a diet of friendly foods to follow.

Make sure you chew food thoroughly as this sends signals to the enzymes that support digestion.

Finally, if you would like more information, or you’ve not previously considered – or been aware of – the alternative route, then here is your chance. Feel free to contact me on ……