Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a gut disorder which often involves a range of symptoms of varying severity, which can be triggered by something you have eaten.
A gastro intestinal disorder which affects 1 in 6 people, IBS can develop at any age. The physical effects can vary from discomfort to severe pain which can impact negatively on quality of life and be both embarrassing and distressing.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 most common symptoms which IBS sufferers report:
1. Abdominal Pain and Cramping
At its most severe, this can be a sharp, stabbing pain in the abdomen and can be extremely debilitating, especially when linked to other IBS symptoms.
Steven suffered with IBS symptoms for 23 years before he found a solution, “I didn’t know what was causing my problems,” he recalls. Desperate to pinpoint the cause of his issues, he turned to YorkTest. “My stomach pains and cramps have disappeared and my headaches and migraines have subsided.”
If you’re suffering from abdominal pain and cramping, food intolerance could be the cause. Find out how discovering food intolerances changed one IBS sufferer’s life. Click here
2. Bloating and Swelling of the Stomach
Abdominal distension is a common complaint of IBS sufferers. Often describing a flat stomach in the morning which becomes more distended during the day, this may be linked to excessive abdominal gas.
Naimh suffered from IBS-related bloating and wasn’t aware that food intolerance could be the cause of her problems. Following a YorkTest she began to see improvements in the first week, “It was almost immediate, after about 3-4 days I felt a huge difference. Bloating had gone down and I lost 5lbs in a week.”
For more advice on how to treat a bloated stomach click here.
3. Constipation or Diarrhoea
Fluctuating bowel habits can be distressing and can occur during an IBS flare-up, often alongside abdominal pain or cramping. It’s possible to have episodes of both but some people experience one more than the other.
Valerie suffered from diarrhoea, as well as other IBS symptoms. “As some of the symptoms happened shortly after having a meal, I felt like I couldn’t leave the house soon after eating.” After removing her problem foods she says, “My life has changed completely. I feel like a completely different person.”
If you’re suffering from fluctuating bowel habits, listen to your gut and find out what your body is trying to tell you.Click here.
4. Excessive Wind
Some foods are naturally gas producing and for an IBS sufferer they can exacerbate problems, causing additional pain and distress.
Sonja’s symptoms ruled her life, “I always felt so tired and unwell and was often in pain and discomfort for days.” To help manage her symptoms, which included excessive wind, she was prescribed peppermint oil and antispasmodics. Within a week of changing her diet, Sonja notice an improvement, “…after five weeks my IBS become more settled.”
If you suspect your diet could be the cause of your discomfort, find out if any of these foods could be the cause. Click here.
Nausea can often manifest alongside to other IBS symptoms, such as bloating and abdominal pain, making the sufferer feel sick after eating and contributing to the anxiety that can be associated with mealtimes.
Mark experienced severe digestive problems, including vomiting, making it difficult to lead a normal life. He no longer relies on medications and as an added bonus, he says, “I feel better and I’ve lost a fair bit of excessive weight.”
If you’re sick of feeling sick, try these natural remedies to help treat nausea. Click here.
Managing the Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms described here, you should visit your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. If you are unable to find the root cause of your discomfort, then taking a closer look at your diet with the IBS Diet Programme can help. Avoiding foods which can trigger flare-ups, and managing stress, can alleviate symptoms and help to reduce inflammation.
Choose the test that’s right for you
Emily Catterall, 24: IBS
“I feel like I’m in a new body! I’m so much healthier. I can’t tell you how amazingly different I have felt since!”
Sally Gunnell OBE, 52: Energy levels
“I’m not waking up as much during the night, not as bunged up in my nose and I’ve got so much more energy”