Diets for IBS and other gut discorders
There are several diets that are commonly diagnosed for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Such diets for IBS are often accompanied by lifestyle changes, aiming to reduce stress. Physical exercise is also often suggested.
Diets for IBS represent more of a challenge than maintaining a balanced diet. Measured fibre, protein in meals and adequate fluid intake per day will not be enough to address IBS. For example some diets increase daily intake of soluble fibre, whilst others reduce it.
Whilst these diets can provide self-help options for sufferers of IBS, it’s important to seek medical advice. Self-diagnosis involves clear risks, and you may not be fully aware of the full range of treatments and therapies available.
Indeed we recommend that anyone suffering from the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome discuss their health with a nutritional specialist before adopting any dietary programme. This is particularly as tests, as well as knowledgeable management of the diet are important parts of the success of any programme.
Of course guidance can also be delivered by a doctor, however most GP’s will refer patients to a dietitian or nutritional specialist for this type of diet management.
As well as IBS, some of these diets are important in the resolution of other digestive disorders and diseases. In all instances the advice of a healthcare professional should be a pre-cursor to these diets. Indeed some of the symptoms of IBS overlap with other gut problems, such as coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. This emphasises that careful diagnosis as well as tailored advice should be part of your dietary programme.
The quality of your diet impacts everything you do, from how well you can digest and tolerate foods to your energy levels. Also your mental and hormonal health and your zest and enjoyment of life can be impacted by diet. Food advice provided by IBS Clinics aims to optimise all of these elements.
Allergy, Intolerance or Sensitivity
The term “allergy” describes reactions to foods. But nutritionists make a distinction between types of reactions and classify them as:
- Allergy – this is also known as classic allergy. Your doctor will know about this type of reaction. It is caused by IgE antibodies. These types of reactions tend to be long lived (often life-long). They can be extreme in some instances, e.g. peanut allergy which causes anaphylaxis and can prove fatal. These types of reactions also cause hives and itchy rashes.
- Intolerance – this term describes an inability to digest a food. For example lactose intolerance which is common, affecting around 70% of the global population. [Ref] In this case a person cannot digest lactose. The sugar found in milk products due to a deficiency of the lactase enzyme. The result is extreme bloating nausea and digestive upset (IBS in fact).
- Sensitivity – this is also called a delayed food reaction because symptoms can start any time from 3 hours to 3 days after eating a problem food. For this reason these types of reaction can be hard to identify. Testing can be undertaken to look for IgG antibodies. This type of testing can be controversial. Unlike IgE allergy testing (above) there has been no global consensus on how to test for these types of reactions. IBS Clinics uses 2 key laboratories who are pre-eminent in this area of IgG testing. We have found this test to be useful in addressing IBS in clinical practice.