Physiotherapy and Allied Health

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  "date": "2017-05-09T13:14:47.797",
  "author": "Matt Cooper",
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  "url": "/blog1/ibs-5-tips-to-improve-symptoms",
  "title": "IBS - 5 tips to improve symptoms ",
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  "metaTitle": "IBS - 5 tips to improve symptoms ",
  "metaDescription": "Ethos Healths senior dietitian Dr Jane Watson looks at IBS and has 5 tips that can help improve your IBS symptoms.",
  "body": "

Our digestive system is large, complex and dynamic. It responds to the food we eat by producing wind and sometimes bloating. These are normal reactions\n in healthy people with a well functioning gut. However, sometimes the gastrointestinal system doesn’t function as it should and we may experience pain,\n chronic diarrhea and/or constipation. If these symptoms continue, it is important to discuss them with a general practitioner. Sometimes after investigation\n of gut symptoms, the diagnosis of ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ or ‘IBS’ is made. This happens when all other diagnoses of disease have been ruled out\n – in other words, IBS is the name given to ‘unexplained gut symptoms’. So, if there is no clear definition, how do we treat and manage IBS? Our understanding\n of gut health is still in its infancy, but let’s look at what we know now.

\n

What we know about IBS.

\n

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a condition associated with a range of abdominal and bowel symptoms. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation,\n or alternating episodes of both, bloating and wind. Other symptoms may also be present. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 10–15% of adults.\n One study found that 87% of Australian women report digestive issues (including bloating)

\n

IBS can severely compromise a person’s quality of life. IBS is not life-threatening but it can be socially isolating. Some people find it extremely difficult\n to leave the house in case of diarrhoea. IBS is second only to the common cold as a cause of absenteeism from work.

\n

For most people, episodes of gut discomfort are the body’s natural reaction to a number of factors, including diet, exercise, mood or medication.

\n
    \n
  • Dietary habits – particularly a change water intake or fibre.
  • \n
  • Exercise – for instance, a reduction in regular exercise, or a sedentary lifestyle.
  • \n
  • Mood – anxiety and depression are associated with a number of gastrointestinal symptoms, including constipation.
  • \n
  • Medication – many medications are known to increase the likelihood of constipation (such as opioid analgesics, antidepressants, iron supplements, some\n blood pressure medicines).
  • \n
\n

\n
\n

\n

Feeling sluggish and bloated can be the result of food choices. Too much alcohol, sugar and high-fat foods can cause gut disturbances. Some natural fermentable\n sugars (FODMAPs) in fruits, vegetables, dairy, legumes, grains and cereals affect some people. For others, it is the amount and type of fibre they\n are eating, eating too quickly or having large portions.

\n

If there is no medical cause of gut symptoms, try the following 5 tips:

\n

 

\n
    \n
  1. Gentle exercise: exercise can do wonders for digestion. Walking or gentle jogging can help to stimulate digestion, and can even help\n to stimulate the bowels.
  2. \n
  3. Feed your gut: Good gut health requires regular fibre intake, prebiotics (found in vegetables, legumes and fruit), probiotics (found\n in yoghurts with live cultures and fermented foods). Fibre helps keep the digestive system healthy by adding bulk to the stools and being an important\n food source for the good bacteria in our bowels.
  4. \n
  5. Identify and manage stress: If you're feeling stressed or anxious, your gut and digestion can take a hit. Stress has been linked with increased gut symptoms in some people, so managing stress can be an effective starting point in managing gut symptoms. Exercise is a very effective way to manage stress.
  6. \n
  7. Keep a diary to monitor symptoms and track associated factors – such as exercise, water intake, stress and diet.
  8. \n
  9. Trial a low FODMAP diet with an Accredited Practising Dietitian, then undertake the FODMAP challenges to see which FODMAPs your gut\n reacts to. FODMAPs refer to Fermentable long chain sugars that can be poorly absorbed and can cause IBS symptoms, including bloating, changes in\n bowel habits and excess wind. FODMAPs are found in a wide range of foods.
  10. \n
\n

 

\n

 

\n

What about the possible connection between gut bacteria or gut flora and IBS?

\n

Manipulation of the gut bacteria deserves further attention. There normally are trillions of bacteria in the bowel, and these bacteria help break down\n the food we eat. They also help regulate bowel function including motility, sensation, and immune function. The composition of these bacteria may affect\n aspects of health and disease. It may be that an alteration in the number and/or the kind of bacteria in our intestines contributes to IBS symptoms\n in some people. There is a large variation in the gut flora profiles in healthy people, including differences between women and men. Short-term antibiotic\n or probiotic use can change the gut flora profile, which may improve or worsen IBS symptoms depending on the individual. Recent research suggests that\n the B.Infantis strain of bacteria may assist with reducing bloating in IBS. However, there is much to be learnt about the role of antibiotics and probiotics\n in IBS.

\n

If you have ongoing digestive issues, pain, blood in your stool, or waking at night to use your bowels, it is important that you see your general practitioner. Many\n digestive symptoms are generic for a number of diseases, so it is important to have the correct tests to identify the cause of your symptoms. 

\n

Further reading:\n

\n

http://www.aboutibs.org

\n

 

\n
\n
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IBS - 5 tips to improve symptoms

by Ethos Health - 09 May 2017

Our digestive system is large, complex and dynamic. It responds to the food we eat by producing wind and sometimes bloating. These are normal reactions in healthy people with a well functioning gut. However, sometimes the gastrointestinal system doesn’t function as it should and we may experience pain, chronic diarrhea and/or constipation. If these symptoms continue, it is important to discuss them with a general practitioner. Sometimes after investigation of gut symptoms, the diagnosis of ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ or ‘IBS’ is made. This happens when all other diagnoses of disease have been ruled out – in other words, IBS is the name given to ‘unexplained gut symptoms’. So, if there is no clear definition, how do we treat and manage IBS? Our understanding of gut health is still in its infancy, but let’s look at what we know now.

What we know about IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a condition associated with a range of abdominal and bowel symptoms. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, or alternating episodes of both, bloating and wind. Other symptoms may also be present. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 10–15% of adults. One study found that 87% of Australian women report digestive issues (including bloating)

IBS can severely compromise a person’s quality of life. IBS is not life-threatening but it can be socially isolating. Some people find it extremely difficult to leave the house in case of diarrhoea. IBS is second only to the common cold as a cause of absenteeism from work.

For most people, episodes of gut discomfort are the body’s natural reaction to a number of factors, including diet, exercise, mood or medication.

  • Dietary habits – particularly a change water intake or fibre.
  • Exercise – for instance, a reduction in regular exercise, or a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Mood – anxiety and depression are associated with a number of gastrointestinal symptoms, including constipation.
  • Medication – many medications are known to increase the likelihood of constipation (such as opioid analgesics, antidepressants, iron supplements, some blood pressure medicines).


Feeling sluggish and bloated can be the result of food choices. Too much alcohol, sugar and high-fat foods can cause gut disturbances. Some natural fermentable sugars (FODMAPs) in fruits, vegetables, dairy, legumes, grains and cereals affect some people. For others, it is the amount and type of fibre they are eating, eating too quickly or having large portions.

If there is no medical cause of gut symptoms, try the following 5 tips:

 

  1. Gentle exercise: exercise can do wonders for digestion. Walking or gentle jogging can help to stimulate digestion, and can even help to stimulate the bowels.
  2. Feed your gut: Good gut health requires regular fibre intake, prebiotics (found in vegetables, legumes and fruit), probiotics (found in yoghurts with live cultures and fermented foods). Fibre helps keep the digestive system healthy by adding bulk to the stools and being an important food source for the good bacteria in our bowels.
  3. Identify and manage stress: If you're feeling stressed or anxious, your gut and digestion can take a hit. Stress has been linked with increased gut symptoms in some people, so managing stress can be an effective starting point in managing gut symptoms. Exercise is a very effective way to manage stress.
  4. Keep a diary to monitor symptoms and track associated factors – such as exercise, water intake, stress and diet.
  5. Trial a low FODMAP diet with an Accredited Practising Dietitian, then undertake the FODMAP challenges to see which FODMAPs your gut reacts to. FODMAPs refer to Fermentable long chain sugars that can be poorly absorbed and can cause IBS symptoms, including bloating, changes in bowel habits and excess wind. FODMAPs are found in a wide range of foods.

 

 

What about the possible connection between gut bacteria or gut flora and IBS?

Manipulation of the gut bacteria deserves further attention. There normally are trillions of bacteria in the bowel, and these bacteria help break down the food we eat. They also help regulate bowel function including motility, sensation, and immune function. The composition of these bacteria may affect aspects of health and disease. It may be that an alteration in the number and/or the kind of bacteria in our intestines contributes to IBS symptoms in some people. There is a large variation in the gut flora profiles in healthy people, including differences between women and men. Short-term antibiotic or probiotic use can change the gut flora profile, which may improve or worsen IBS symptoms depending on the individual. Recent research suggests that the B.Infantis strain of bacteria may assist with reducing bloating in IBS. However, there is much to be learnt about the role of antibiotics and probiotics in IBS.

If you have ongoing digestive issues, pain, blood in your stool, or waking at night to use your bowels, it is important that you see your general practitioner. Many digestive symptoms are generic for a number of diseases, so it is important to have the correct tests to identify the cause of your symptoms. 

Further reading:

http://www.aboutibs.org

 



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