In clinical practice as a Nutritionist, digestive issues are one of the main reasons clients visit my office. Whether or not they talk about it, nearly everyone experiences some type of digestive distress now and then. From bloating and gas to constipation or diarrhea, digestive issues are common and seem to be on the rise. When clients visit their doctors for an official diagnosis they are often told that they have Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. In fact, IBS is so common that it is listed as one of the top reasons that people miss work!
IBS is diagnosed by excluding other conditions or diseases. For example, if a patient is complaining of abdominal pain, gas, bloating and alternating diarrhea and constipation the health care practitioner will rule out other diseases and conditions before finally providing the diagnosis of IBS.
IBS causes many aggravating and painful physical symptoms. Unfortunately, it can also contribute to mental and emotional issues such as poor body image, stress, anxiety and depression. Additionally, the risk of having to use the washroom in a hurry often causes those who suffer from IBS to socially isolate themselves or to miss important occasions at the risk of embarrassment.
The conventional course of treatment for those with IBS ranges from over the counter anti-diarrheal medications to prescription anti-spasmodics and in some instances, antidepressants. While this course of treatment can be helpful, it does not necessarily get to the root of the problem. Why mask a health problem when you can get to the bottom of it?
So, how would someone go about diagnosing and addressing Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Unfortunately when it comes to IBS there isn’t really a one size fits all solution. Support may include, but is not limited to, eliminating food intolerances, following a FODMAP diet, reducing inflammation, taking supplements, reducing stress, and even taking more time to chew properly.
For a customized nutrition protocol or meal plan that is specific to IBS and suits your particular needs, consider scheduling an appointment with a natural health care practitioner. If you are in the Ottawa area schedule an appointment with me. I also offer long distance consultations via Skype or over the phone.