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Nature's Insights

IBS Awareness Month April 2020

What is IBS Awareness Month? 

 IBS Awareness Month aims to raise awareness and educate people othe very common disorder which affects the digestive system and is often misunderstood. It also aims to encourage people to talk about IBS, remove the stigma surrounding IBS and prevent people from struggling on their own, as a common cause of IBS is stress. 

What is IBS? 

 Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an extremely common digestive disorder which can cause symptoms such as; 

  • Bloating 

  • Diarrhea 

  • Constipation 

  • Painful stomach cramps 

 The intensity and length of time these symptoms last can vary, but however long they last, they are not pleasant, that’s why we would like to try and help you to manage them! 

How common is IBS and who does it affect? 

 IBS is more prevalent in the female population (women: men 3:2), with its affects felt from the teenage years right throughout life intermittently.  

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is extremely common and is thought to affect around 10-15% of the global population, so don’t feel like you are suffering alone!  This month encourages people to speak up about their concerns and symptoms, as less than 50% of people with IBS seek medical care. 

The impact of IBS 

If IBS is not managed, it can dramatically affect a person’s life in many ways, both physically and emotionally. This digestive disorder can have a huge impact on your lifein fact IBS sufferers restrict their activities on an average of 73 days out of the year. IBS Awareness Month sets out to reduce this and help people suffering from IBS to live the best life possible! 

Managing IBS 

The exact cause for this (usually) lifelong condition is unknown but research is ongoing, however there are natural remedies and diet alterations that may help...  

Peppermint 

The benefits of peppermint are well documented, with its greatest link to digestive health. The benefits of peppermint oil extend further than the flavour, studies have shown that peppermint may help with IBS related symptoms, for example indigestionflatulence and digestive discomfort. Peppermint oil has been proven to aid the whole digestive system due to its soothing and cooling properties 

The high-quality peppermint oil in our Colomint capsules is extracted purely from natural sources; the peppermint plant itself. All we do is refine it. Each Colomint capsule has a gastro-resistant coating to ensure they deliver their peppermint oil to your gut, where your body needs it most, giving your gut the greatest benefit. 

Exercise 

A well-known cause of IBS is stress, it is also well-known that exercise can help to relieve stress, as it releases endorphins (happiness hormones). Another benefit of exercise is that it can relieve tension in your muscles, reducing cramps. Some types of exercise you can try for reducing stress and tension are; 

  • Yoga, a combination of breathing exercises and still and moving poses 

  • Cardio, aerobic exercise, this is good for relieving tension 

  • Meditation, focused attention on breathing, helpful if you feel stressed and overwhelmed. 

Diet 

Fibre 

Increased fibre intake can be helpful if you have symptoms such as constipation, however it may worsen bloating and trapped wind. High-fibre foods such as certain beans, fruit and vegetables are recommended if you have IBS symptoms, however they must be consumed in moderation. 

Dairy 

Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products which many people are intolerant to. You may experience IBS symptoms if you have a lactose intolerance, this is because your body struggles to digest the sugar due to a shortage of enzymes. If you reduce your intake of dairy you may notice that it helps with your IBS symptoms. 

 Try to reduce your consumption of... 

  • Processed and fatty foods 

  • A large amount of fibre 

  • Caffeinated, alcoholic and carbonated drinks 

  • A large amount of protein 

  • Dairy products 

These are all likely to trigger IBS and worsen your symptoms. 

Talking to someone 

As we have mentioned above, no one should suffer alone. There are organisations such as The IBS Network and GutsUK whose work is to help individuals who suffer from IBS and related symptoms. 

If you have any concerns or think you may have IBS symptoms speak up, talk to your doctor and seek medical advice. Don’t feel embarrassed to talk about it!  

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