IBS and gut health

IBS, so what exactly is it?

IBS is short for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and is a common chronic condition that affects the digestive system.

What about the symptoms?

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It can cause symptoms such as stomach cramps, persistant bloating, constipation or diarrhoea. You may experience symptoms like excessive wind, nausea and indigestion. Pretty horrid huh? and these symptoms are not exhaustive.

Symptoms tend to come and go over time but you can experience them for days, weeks and even months at a time.

Many different food types trigger a more chronic episode of IBS that you would refer to as a 'flare up'. This can mean you have a day or more of nausea, cramps, lethargy, fasting and staying close to the toilet. It is exhausting.

Are you born with it?

IBS is usually a lifelong problem once you have been diagnosed but family

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history can be a factor. Frustrations run high as you try to live with this condition as it can create a huge impact on your daily life. The exact cause is unknown but studies show it has been linked to undigested food pasing through your gut too quickly or too slowly. Family history of ibs, stress and anxiety has also been suggested as contributing factors.

So, is it all bad?

Well, there is no cure as such but there are many ways to improve your gut health, here we will take a look at some ways to ease your symptoms and help your gut be happier and some things to avoid to help aleviate your symptoms:

The Do's

  • cook homemade meals using fresh ingredients when you can
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  • keep a diary of what you eat and any symptoms you get – try to avoid things that trigger your IBS
  • try to find ways to relax, yoga is known to be very beneficial
  • get plenty of exercise, walking is a good start and of course its FREE !
  • try probiotics for a month to see if they help

The Dont's

  • don't delay or skip meals altogether
  • eat slowly and mindfully, don't eat too quickly - its not a race!
  • lots of fatty, spicy or processed foods are a no-no
  • stick to 3 portions of fresh fruit a day (a portion is 80g)
  • don't drink more than 3 cups of tea or coffee a day
  • don't drink lots of alcohol or fizzy drinks

There are lots of books and websites available that offer advice on medication and diet changes. If you wish to try yoga you can click here to book on to one of our in person or online classes:

For further information click on the following links:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - Diet, lifestyle and medicines - NHS (

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