What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder that causes abdominal pain, bloating, gas and either or both diarrhoea and constipation. About one in seven Australians have IBS, with twice as many women affected as men. It often starts in young adulthood and is a major cause of lost work productivity and school time.
IBS generally takes three forms. Some people experience diarrhoea, others experience constipation, while the third group experience alternating bouts of each. Symptoms often appear as a result of eating certain foods, changes in diet, drugs, hormones and during stressful periods, as the gastrointestinal tract is particularly sensitive to these stimuli. It is important to note that most people who have IBS also suffer from a lesser-known syndrome called leaky gut, which can have widespread impacts on a person’s overall health.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary from person to person, including:
- Abnormal stool frequency – greater than three bowel movements per day or less than three bowel movements per week.
- Abnormal stool consistency – lumpy and hard or loose and watery stools
- Abdominal pain and/or discomfort relieved by defecating
- Straining during a bowel movement
- Need for bowel movement immediately after waking or after eating
- Feeling of incomplete bowel movement
- Urgent rush to have a bowel movement
- Changes in bowel habits
- Diarrhoea or constipation, or both alternately
- Bloating or feeling of abdominal distension
- Passing mucous from rectum
- Fatigue and difficulties concentrating
- Anxiety and depression – studies show about 60 % of IBS sufferers also have anxiety, while 20% have depression.
- Obesity – studies have found that obesity is associated with chronic gastrointestinal complaint, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Naturopathic Approach to Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
Our approach at Mullen Natural Health is to find and treat your individual causes and triggers, then to help manage and reduce both the frequency and severity of IBS.
To read the full report with specifics about our approach to treating IBS, download the pdf.
If you have any more questions, you can call us to book a FREE 15 minute chat with one of our Naturopaths to see how we can help you. Call now on (02) 4961 4075.Download PDF