April is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Awareness Month!
According to a YouGov survey, around 40% of people have at least one digestive symptom at any one time. It is estimated that more than 10% of GP’s time is taken up with dealing with digestive issues but this may be inaccurate as 41% of patients have not visited their GP to discuss their digestive issues. In fact, in the year 2016-2017, a total of £282,000,000 (282 million) was spent on over the counter medications for gastrointestinal complaints.
IBS tends to be used as something of an umbrella term for any irregularity in bowel habits. According to the Rome III criteria, the main definition of IBS requires that:
- A person is experiencing chronic abdominal pain or discomfort at least three days over the course of the last three months, with an onset of symptoms at least six months prior.
- Pain symptoms are lessened with a bowel movement
- Symptom onset is related to a change in the frequency of stool
- Symptom onset is related to a change in the appearance of stool
These criteria usually manifest themselves as symptoms of bloating, gas, pain, loose and frequent bowel movements, or constipation or alternating diarrhea or constipation. Sometimes burping or belching, heartburn or indigestion can be additional symptoms. Symptoms can mild or they can be extremely debilitating and distressing, affecting every aspect of a person’s life. The problem is that every person will have a different type of IBS with different symptoms and different triggers, therefore finding a successful treatment or protocol can be very frustrating.
Diet and lifestyle are known to be key triggers for IBS. Many people find relief by cutting out trigger foods – gluten and dairy being the most common culprits. Researchers at Monash University in Australia discovered that fermentable compounds in certain carbohydrates can also trigger IBS symptoms. They developed The Low FODMAP diet, which is said to bring about improvement for up 75% of IBS sufferers – a better success rate than any medication! In fact, many doctors are now recommending that IBS patients follow the FODMAP diet.
Guests at Homefield are often IBS sufferers and will have found little or no success with standard medications. A stay at Homefield can really help re-boot the gut and treatments that people have found particularly helpful are:
Colon hydrotherapy can really help with feelings of bloating and gas, and can help re-boot a sluggish bowel. What comes out of your body gives us really good clues as to what’s going on inside your body, so your practitioner is often able to give you helpful advice to help improve your diet and/or manage your symptoms.
Dietary Intolerance test tests over 120 different items and can help pinpoint trigger or problem foods. Returning guests frequently tell us how much better they felt after excluding offending foods.
A Nutritional Consultation takes a broader look at your health history, your current diet and lifestyle, and what might be the triggers or contributors to your symptoms. Discussion of specific diets such as the FODMAPs diet and personalised recommendations with regard to dietary or lifestyle changes will help get you on track. Specific supplements may also be recommended to help restore balance to the bod. You will go away with the information and motivation to take the next steps.
Finally, stress can also trigger IBS so building into your life a routine that includes relaxing activities such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, mindfulness can also help. As can Homefield’s menu of deeply relaxing massages, facials, reiki, Indian scalp massage, reflexology etc.
Come to Homefield and let us help you take back control of your gut.