What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder of the human bowel that affects many Australians and is more common in women than men.

What are the symptoms of IBS? It causes the person suffering from IBS to experience abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea and bloating. Its causes are still a little unclear, but it is widely accepted that it can run in families, whether genetically or via environmental factors. It can be triggered by such factors as changes in routine, stress, infection and diet.

How do I know if I have IBS? Abdominal pain and cramping are the most common signs that you are experiencing IBS. Diarrhea will be present in approximately one third of IBS cases, while constipation can affect up to half of people suffering IBS. Some people alternate between the two. Other signs are changes in bowel movement, gas and bloating, food intolerance, insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Are there natural treatments for IBS? Yes. There are ways and means to treat IBS via your diet, increasing the intake of certain foods while cutting back on others. Ingesting certain foods and liquids such as fresh vegetable juice, healthy fats, steamed vegetables, fruit and drinking plenty of water can help. Avoiding certain foods is also recommended, such as spicy foods, grains, gluten, conventional dairy and refined sugars and flours. Then other remedies can be used, such as herbal (slippery elm, ginger, peppermint oil and licorice root), fish oil, aloe vera juice and others.

These are first-stage treatments, if they are ultimately unhelpful, you can move to anti-gas and diarrhea medications, fibre and other dietary supplements.

Child weight management. Maintaining a healthy weight and positive eating habits is vital children, and even more so for kids with IBS. Ensure that the child eats plenty of high-fibre foods such as apples, oranges, broccoli, brown rice, legumes and nuts. Try to eliminate foods that trigger IBS. Avoiding fatty foods, carbonated beverages, spicy foods and dairy products is recommended. Eating smaller meals more regularly can help as well.

How to cure IBS permanently. IBS is a complex issue that is difficult to cure. It is essential to treat the causes as well as the symptoms if you are to be free of this very common affliction permanently. Discussing the issue in-depth with your doctor and naturopath is the first step in being free of IBS, and major dietary and lifestyle changes may be necessary.

Naturopath Adelaide: contact Geraldine Headley of Proactiv Health in Highgate, Adelaide. Geraldine has had extensive experience in assisting people to treat and cure their IBS, through comprehensive diet plans and in some cases hypnotherapy.