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What is IBS?

April 17, 2023

Are you one of the millions of people who suffer from gastrointestinal discomfort and irregularity? If so, you may have heard of IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. But what exactly is IBS, and how can it be diagnosed and treated? Here at The Digestive Health Clinic, we specialise in helping individuals overcome their Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms and work with our clients to improve their overall gut health.

April is IBS awareness month and as such, is a great time to learn more about this condition and how to manage it. If you or someone you know is struggling with IBS, don't hesitate to seek help. With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, it's possible to manage IBS symptoms and live a healthy, happy life.

In this blog, we’re going to break down some of the important pieces of knowledge on IBS and provide you with the information you need to understand this common condition. So, let's dive in and explore what IBS is all about!

Understanding IBS

IBS is a common condition that affects the digestive system generally and can also negatively impact the gut-brain axis. It's characterised by a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination of each. These symptoms can vary in severity and frequency, making it difficult to diagnose and treat. Living with IBS symptoms can be very frustrating and often leads to negative effects on the sufferer's everyday life.

Understanding why IBS flare ups occur is an unfortunately complex issue. While there are numerous reasons as to why a flare up may occur, including stress and anxiety, alcohol, caffeine and certain foods, in many cases, IBS flare ups may occur for seemingly no obvious reason at all!

Diagnosing IBS

Diagnosing IBS can be challenging, as there is no specific test that can confirm the condition. Instead, doctors rely on a set of criteria called the Rome IV to diagnose IBS. According to the Rome IV criteria, a person must have recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort for at least one day per week in the last three months, associated with two or more of the following symptoms:
1. Abdominal pain relating to defecation

2. Onset associated with a change in stool frequency

3. Onset associated with a change in stool appearance.

It's important to note that other gastrointestinal conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or coeliac disease are often misdiagnosed as IBS. That's why it's crucial to get a correct diagnosis from a qualified healthcare provider. In addition, a proper diagnosis can help alleviate anxiety and stress related to the condition.

Treating IBS Symptoms

So, how can IBS be treated? While there is no cure for IBS, there are various management strategies that can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. One effective approach is through diet and lifestyle changes. At The Digestive Health Clinic, we work with clients to identify trigger foods and develop personalised dietary plans that promote gut health and reduce IBS symptoms.

The Digestive Health Clinic IBS Programme

At the Digestive Health Clinic, we are passionate about helping people overcome their digestive health issues and reclaim their lives. One of the key services we offer is the IBS Relief Programme. This comprehensive programme is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge, tools and support they need to take control of their IBS symptoms and achieve long-term relief.

The IBS Relief Programme is the result of years of experience working with clients that were struggling with IBS and gut health problems. We understand that every person's experience with IBS is unique, and as such, our programme is tailored to the individual needs of each client. Our approach involves looking beyond just the low FODMAP diet and helping clients identify their triggers and other potential contributors to their IBS symptoms. With our programme, clients learn how to expand their diet, improve their gut health and manage their symptoms for good, giving them the confidence and tools they need to take control of their IBS and get on with their lives. Check out our IBS Programme page here to learn more.

IBS is a common gastrointestinal condition that can cause discomfort and distress for those who suffer from it. While there is no absolute cure, proper diagnosis and management strategies can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. At The Digestive Health Clinic, we are dedicated to helping individuals overcome their IBS symptoms and improve their gut health. Contact us today to learn more!

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