We are nearing the end of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month this April – a condition that precedes all the recent interest in gut health. It is good to see IBS getting the recognition it deserves as a complex disorder with a spectrum of symptoms affecting different people in different ways. The dietary treatment of IBS has seen recent advances, but one size does not fit all.
For some addressing meal pattern and the fibre content of their diet improves things, for others a more holistic approach addressing underlying stress and anxiety that manifests itself in a hypersensitive bowel is what’s needed.
The low fodmap diet also improves things for many people but it not the sort of diet you can google – it’s complex and requires support to bespoke it and most importantly complete the reintroduction phase methodically so that the diet does not remain too restrictive for too long.
Gut health is also a huge trend this year and food manufacturers are bringing many products to market claiming to ‘look after’ our gut. What an IBS gut needs to consider itself looked after is not necessarily what would be seen as beneficial for someone without IBS. We have probiotics, prebiotics and fermented foods; tablets, drinks and things to munch on. But what does the science say behind the scenes?
I recently summarised these trends and hot topics in gut health for Honest Mum – have a read and let me know what things you’ve dabbled with and the impact on your gut health.