Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder. Symptoms include abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, and flatulence. Symptoms vary from person to person and can be very unpredictable.

IBS affects an estimated quarter of the adult population yet the exact cause is unknown. However, dietary changes and natural remedies can help alleviate the symptoms:

  • Reducing or eliminating known irritants and allergens in one’s diet can help reduce symptoms. Common food allergens include wheat, soya, dairy, and eggs. We carry a wide selection of “free from” foods.
  • Peppermint oil has an anti-spasmodic action, and calms the smooth muscles of the stomach and intestines. It also has analgesic (pain-killing) properties. This is an ideal remedy to sooth an irritated gut.
  • Probiotics are friendly bacteria similar to the ones found in the gut. Supplementing probiotics helps restore the balance of good to bad bacteria. Overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast is a possible cause of IBS as it can often lead to bloating, flatulence, and irritation of the gut. We carry a wide selection of probiotics to suit different people’s needs.
  • Soluble fibre is very important to bowel health. Because it absorbs water, it softens and bulks up the stool — this helps both in diarrheoa and in constipation. Fibre also improves transit time, which reduces overgrowth of bad bacteria in the bowels. Fruit, vegetables and pulses are great sources of soluble fibre. But Psyllium husks (found in powder or capsule form) are one of the richest sources.
  • Digestive enzymes are proteins that help break down the food we eat so that the body can absorb its nutrients. The human body produces many digestive enzymes include enzymes that breakdown protein, fat and carbohydrates. If we don’t produce enough enzymes, this can result in food passing down the digestive tract under-digested. When this food reaches the large intestine it can feed bad bacteria which in turn produces gas and bloating. Hence supplementing digestive enzymes at meal times can be beneficial in IBS.
  • Aloe Vera juice or gel, made from the leafs of the Aloe plant, can be taken internally to help soothe and heal the lining of the gastro intestinal tract.