Had a Gutsful?
We all suffer from the odd bout of tummy issues at some stage, like diarrhoea from a tummy bug or constipation from not drinking enough water. However, if you have gut symptoms such as cramping, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation on a regular basis, you might be one of the 1 in 7 New Zealanders that suffer from a condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS.
There is no cure, as such, for IBS but symptom control is possible. Diet and life style changes can have a significant effect. For example, managing stress and keeping active have been proven to help control IBS symptoms.
Natural health remedies , as well as medications, can be used when symptoms are proving problematic. Antispasmodics for cramping, laxatives for constipation and diarrhoea medicines are all available at the pharmacy as well as hints and tips as to how to use them specifically for IBS. Did you know that peppermint oil capsules can be very helpful for the bloating and wind symptoms of IBS?
There are now a bunch of studies indicating that probiotics may help with many of the symptoms of IBS such as relieving flatulence, abdominal pain, bloating, digestive disorders, and urgency of the bowel. Probiotics have also proven beneficial in IBS patients by slowing things down in the digestive system, reducing the average number of bowel movements per day and improving their consistency, reducing overall symptoms, and above all, improving the quality of life of people suffering with IBS.
There are lots of different strains of probiotics and all of them have different ways of helping your body. Certain types have been proven to reduce eczema in infants, but sadly wouldn't help you with your IBS symptoms. So it is important that you take the right sort of probiotic. For example, the practitioner only range, Metagenics, has an excellent selection of probiotics including their Ultra Flora GI Soothe that has been specifically designed to help with IBS symptoms. In any case, you will need a discussion with us to help you choose which probiotic might be right for you.
Research shows that changing to a low-FODMAP diet can improve symptoms in 3 out of 4 people. The diet, created by Monash University in Australia, should be followed for 2 to 8 weeks, after which food is slowly added back to the diet to find out which foods you can handle. If you want to take a look at the diet in more detail you can check out their website: www.monashfodmap.com
Digestive issues can be a symptom of a more sinister problem. If your symptoms are accompanied by the following you will need to see your doctor:
Unexplained Weight Loss
Rectal Bleeding (not from haemorrhoids)
Family history of bowel cancer or other gastrointestinal diseases
waking from sleep with pain or needing to poo
symptoms first beginning > 50 years old
lump in your tummy region
So if you have had a gutsful, come and talk to us. For an individual consultation call us on 424-7708 to book your 30 minute appointment ($30) with one of our in store experts. Or click here to book on line.