What’s your IBS TRIG­GER: diet OR stress?

It’s un­com­fort­able and dis­tress­ing — and you may even avoid sit­u­a­tions be­cause of it. Dis­cover what sets off your Ir­ri­ta­ble Bowel Syn­drome so you can de­velop strate­gies to ease the pain.

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - FEATURES -

Around one in five of us are likely to suf­fer from Ir­ri­ta­ble Bowel Syn­drome (IBS) dur­ing our lives. For some, the symp­toms are mild and short-lived; for oth­ers, IBS can be a chronic, de­bil­i­tat­ing and painful con­di­tion af­fect­ing their con­fi­dence and gen­eral en­joy­ment of life.

The ac­tual causes are un­clear, although a bout of gas­troen­teri­tis and is­sues with di­ges­tion are thought to help kick­start the con­di­tion.

We do know there are two main trig­gers for IBS symp­toms: stress and diet (‘mood and food’). The good news is that by recog­nis­ing what brings on the symp­toms, many peo­ple can find ways to both re­lieve and man­age their con­di­tion. IBS causes a spec­trum of symp­toms rang­ing from ab­dom­i­nal pain, di­ar­rhoea and con­sti­pa­tion, to an ur­gent need to go to the toi­let.

It’s known as a ‘func­tional dis­or­der’ of the bowel, which means that while you may ex­pe­ri­ence even se­vere symp­toms, there is no dam­age to your in­testi­nal tract. Pain is eased by a bowel move­ment.

“Peo­ple with IBS have a gut that’s quite sen­si­tive to dis­ten­sion,” ex­plains Dr Jane Muir, a nu­tri­tion sci­en­tist in the Depart­ment of Gas­troen­terol­ogy at Monash Uni­ver­sity. A proper di­ag­no­sis of IBS must be made by a GP.

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