Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Close up of a woman having a meal in a garden with her children

What is IBS?

IBS is common, affecting one in five Australians at some point in time3. IBS belongs to the so-called functional gastrointestinal disorders, and can be quite uncomfortable as patients may suffer from symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation. Some people can experience multiple symptoms which can vary in frequency and severity and can greatly impact their quality of life.

Man in a red shirt, suffering from irritable bowel syndrome talking to doctor.

IBS has no organic cause, it is a collection of functional symptoms that can include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Gas
  • Fullness

'Functional' means the bowel looks normal but does not function properly. There are several risk factors that may increase your chance of being diagnosed with IBS, including being a woman, being over 50 years of age and having a family history of IBS.

IBS can be quite different in different people. Some people will suffer different symptoms than others, and the characteristics and intensity of symptoms may change over time. There are 4 types of IBS:

  • IBS-D (Diarrhoea dominant): The predominant symptom of these IBS patients is diarrhoea.
  • IBS-C (Constipation dominant): The predominant symptom of these IBS patients is constipation.
  • IBS-M (Mixed): IBS patients show alternating diarrhoea and constipation.
  • IBS-U (Unspecified): This type of irritable bowel does not meet the criteria for either IBS-C, IBS-D or IBS-M but still patients present with common IBS symptoms.
Man, wearing blue tie, working on a laptop.

What causes IBS?

Gender, age, genetics, hormonal changes, medications, gastrointestinal infections, allergies and certain foods have been linked to the development of IBS. Doctors and researchers also believe that psychological reasons like stress play a large part, however the exact cause of IBS isn’t yet known.

Certain factors can trigger symptoms such as:

  • Stress
    Strong emotions, such as anxiety or stress, can affect the nerves of the bowel in people with IBS, triggering symptoms.
  • General diet
    Low fibre diets can make constipation worse in some people with IBS.
  • Food intolerance as co-morbidity 
    people with IBS may experience impaired absorption of lactose (a sugar found in dairy and many processed foods), fructose or sorbitol (an artificial sweetener), triggering IBS symptoms.

As the causes can be unknown, if you think you may have IBS it is a good idea to be diagnosed by a healthcare professional quickly so as to start correctly treating your symptoms.

Closeup of woman hands, peeling a carrot on a kitchen counter.

Can diet help with IBS?

If you have been diagnosed with IBS, it is important to review your diet and lifestyle. What will work for one person may not work for another. However there are some diets that you may want to discuss with your healthcare professional.

  • Gluten-free diet
  • High-fibre diet
  • Low-fibre diet
  • Low-fat diet
  • Low FODMAP diet

How can Iberogast® help?

Whilst there are effective treatment options to relieve the symptoms of medically diagnosed IBS, like Iberogast, unfortunately there’s currently no cure for IBS. Treatments tend to focus on easing or relieving the digestive symptoms associated with the syndrome.

IBS can be quite different in different people. Some people will suffer different symptoms than others, and the characteristics and intensity of symptoms may change over time. While there are a huge range of products to target the differing individual symptoms of IBS, for those suffering multiple symptoms having one solution for their symptoms is handy to have.

A multi-targeted action like Iberogast® harnesses the power of medicinal herbal extracts. It is clinically proven, fast-acting and effective to relieve the multiple symptoms of medically diagnosed IBS1,2.

Tips

  • Avoid stress 
    Of course it is impossible to avoid all stressful situations. Nevertheless, you should try to integrate relaxed moments into your daily routine. This can be a lavender herbal bath in the evening, a long walk during lunch or a cosy meeting with friends over the weekend.
  • Move more
    Sports and exercises can promote your general well-being. Light jogging, swimming or cycling can also stimulate digestion.
  • Eat right
    There is no special diet for IBS sufferers. Nevertheless, avoid nutrition triggers you are aware of and should certain ingredients produce an IBS related reaction, it is advisable to remove them completely from your diet.
    Some specialised diets such as FODMAP diets have proven useful in IBS. However, it is recommended you speak with your healthcare professional for advice before starting a specialised diet.
A bottle of Iberogast on green background, surrounded by herbs

Iberogast® harnesses the power of herbs to relieve multiple functional digestive symptoms

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.