That Gut Feeling – simple solutions for improving bowel health
This month is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month, and with this in mind Plutus Health’s CEO Martin Ricketts, offers sufferers some useful advice on natural solutions for improving your overall bowel health.
Irritable bowel syndrome affects an incredible one in five people in the UK, and is widely regarded as an uncomfortable and, at times, humiliating illness. IBS can have significant impact on a person’s life, completely changing how someone lives day to day and affecting everything from diet, to work, to social life.
The most common symptoms of IBS include abdominal cramping, stomach bloating, a change in your usual bowel habits and occasionally feeling like you urgently need to go to the toilet. Sufferers may also experience a lack of energy, nausea, difficulty relieving your bladder and backache.
With such severe symptoms to deal with many sufferers can develop anxiety and depression as a result of their illness.
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s advisable to see your GP, to allow them to properly diagnose you. However, if you have any of these symptoms combined with unexplained weight loss, or bleeding when you go the toilet, seek immediate medical help from a GP, as these symptoms can often be a sign of a more serious condition.
While dealing with the symptoms of IBS can leave many feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, there are numerous steps sufferers, and non-sufferers alike, can take to ensure our bowels are as healthy as possible:
1. Cut out caffeine
Sorry coffee lovers, but caffeine is a big trigger for IBS. If you’re feeling the beginnings of an IBS flare up, cut caffeine out immediately. And of course dramatically reduce your caffeine intake in general.
2. Fatty foods…it’s all about moderation
Foods that are high in fat content (takeaways, fried foods, red meats) have been known to contribute to IBS. While you don’t have to cut them out entirely, eating these foods in moderations is highly recommended to keep IBS at bay. But this is also good advice for those not suffering with the condition too.
3. Stay balanced
Digestion works efficiently thanks to probiotics, which help to restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut. You can take probiotic supplements to help enhance this, keeping your gut and digestive system healthy
4. H20 is your friend
As most of us know the health benefits associated with drinking water are pretty much endless. But for IBS sufferers it’s particularly relevant as drinking plenty of water will help flush out toxins and harmful germs which could be causing or exacerbating the symptoms.
5. Explore the options
Although symptoms may be pointing towards IBS as the final diagnosis, some sufferers are actually dealing with underlying food sensitivities. The most common include gluten and dairy intolerance’s where foods like bread or cream can irritate the bowel. Cutting back or even removing these food items altogether from your diet could help you see a marked improvement.