Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, chronic gastrointestinal (GI) condition characterized by disturbances in bowel habits and often accompanied by abdominal pain. IBS is also known in various other terms, including spastic colitis, spastic colon, mucous colitis, nervous bowel and functional bowel. Commonly, this disorder affects the large intestine (colon), although other parts of the intestinal tract, even up to the stomach, could be affected.
When someone has an IBS, their colon does not contract normally compared to when it is healthy. Instead, at times, it tends to contract in a violent and disorderly manner. The contraction may be terribly exaggerated and sustained, which may last for a long period of time. One area of the colon may contract with no regard to another, and at other times, there may be little bowel activity. These abnormal contractions result in changing bowel patterns, with constipation and diarrhoea being common.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
The signs and symptoms of IBS may include:
- Abdominal pain, cramping or bloating that is related to passing a bowel movement
- Changes in appearance of bowel movement
- Changes in how often you are having a bowel movement
Causes of IBS
The causes of IBS are still unknown. However, the factors may include:
- Changes in gut microbes
- Muscle contractions in the intestine
- Nervous system
- Severe infection
How to manage IBS
One of the common IBS management would usually include having a low-FODMAP diet, consuming food that is low in fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharide and polyols, which are usually consumed soluble fibres.
Eating a low FODMAP diet or high in insoluble fibre helps the lower gut produce bacteria and hormones that improve overall health. Select fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with high insoluble fibre as these fibres do not promote gas. Read more about a low FODMAP diet in our diet section here.
However, even with a low FODMAP diet, it does not mean cutting out soluble fibre completely. Prebiotics are often soluble fibres that provide various benefits as well. They are fuels for probiotics in your gut, and they can help regulate cholesterol levels and prolong satiety as well. Hence, YourGutt is formulated with fibre, beta-glucan, prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics to help you balance out your microbiome while nourishing them with fibres and antioxidants!