Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Food Intolerance
Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are very common. The standard medical view is that the causes are unknown. The most common presenting symptoms include bloating, flatulence, pain, diarrhoea and / or constipation. It is estimated that as many as 20% of the population could be suffering with this condition. IBS can affect anyone at any age, but it commonly first develops in young adults and is almost twice as common in women.
Introduction to IBS
Increasingly, the scientific publications are linking IBS to diet. It is a reaction triggered by specific foods. The reaction is not like a classic food allergy reaction which is immediate and obvious. This is a slow, silent reaction and is more commonly known as a food intolerance reaction. It is because of the slow, insidious nature of this type of food reaction that it has been missed.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
Pain and discomfort – usually comes and goes in episodes. Many people with IBS pain describe it like a spasm or colic type of pain. The severity of the irritable bowel syndrome pain can vary from mild to severe.
Bloating and swelling of the abdomen is classic in IBS.
Changes in stools:
Some people have bouts of diarrhoea and / or constipation
They may have a feeling of not emptying after going to the toilet.
Some people have urgency, which means they have to get to the toilet quickly. A morning rush is common. That is, they feel an urgent need to go to the toilet several times shortly after getting up. This is often during and after breakfast.
Note: Passing blood in the stool should be reported to your doctor.
There is no medical test that confirms the diagnosis of IBS. A doctor may diagnose IBS from the typical symptoms. A colonoscopy is commonly done to help rule out other conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, coeliac disease or colon cancer.
The standard medical opinion is that the cause is not clear. However, many people recognise themselves that foods trigger and exacerbate the symptoms.
After a diagnosis of IBS, many people are left frustrated as there is no medical solution. The medical treatment of IBS is primarily directed towards easing the symptoms for the patient.
However, what suffers need to ask themselves is, could their symptoms be a reaction to specific foods.
A Dietary Treatment Option
People often ask if there is an irritable bowel syndrome diet that they could follow? The answer is no. There are some common trigger foods which could be classed as IBS causes. Foods such as onions, garlic, beef, gluten, appear to irritate some people. There is no standard IBS diet which works for everyone. Each individual is different with different food sensitivity triggers.
Unlike classic food allergy reactions which are very immediate and