Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal condition, affecting approximately 10-15% of the global population. This guide provides essential insights and actionable advice for not just London residents, but anyone dealing with IBS.
Understanding IBS: Causes and Influential Factors
IBS is a complex condition with potential causes including nervous system imbalances, gut bacteria disruptions, infections, and inflammation. Age, gender, family history, emotional distress, food intolerances, past trauma, and prior gastrointestinal infections are influential factors contributing to IBS.
Living with IBS
Effectively managing IBS requires a holistic approach:
- Dietary Adjustments: Customizing your diet is crucial. Incorporate fibre-rich foods, stay hydrated, limit caffeine, and explore the FODMAP diet, known for alleviating symptoms. A consultation with a Private GP can provide tailored dietary guidance.
- Lifestyle Changes: Implement essential lifestyle modifications, including regular physical activity, quitting smoking (a known exacerbator of symptoms), practising relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation, and choosing smaller, frequent meals.
- Medications and Therapies: In some cases, medications such as antidepressants for anxiety and abdominal pain, probiotics for symptom improvement, and specific treatments are effective. Psychotherapies like cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and biofeedback help manage stress and enhance coping mechanisms.
Self-Care and Seeking Help
While home treatments, including dietary and lifestyle adjustments, are beneficial, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional if symptoms persist or worsen. Diagnosis involves a comprehensive assessment, including a physical examination, detailed symptom evaluation, medical history review, and stress assessment. Advanced tests like sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy may be recommended to rule out other conditions for a precise diagnosis.
Book a Private Health Check with Chase Lodge Hospital
At Chase Lodge Hospital, our dedicated healthcare team is committed to supporting your journey towards better bowel health. If you’ve been experiencing persistent abdominal pain or significant changes in bowel habits lasting over three months, seeking professional help is essential. Book a Private GP consultation today to schedule an appointment and take the first step toward a healthier and more comfortable life.