Anni Summers RD

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder thought to effect 10-20% of UK adults. Though there’s no cure for IBS, effective management with the guidance of a Gut Health Dietitian for IBS can significantly enhance the quality of life for those dealing with this condition. 

What causes IBS?

The exact cause of IBS is not fully understood, but several factors are thought to play a role, including how your brain and gut communicate (known as the “gut-brain axis”), an increase in the sensitivity of the nerves in your gut, the way food moves through your gut (gastrointestinal motility), infections (both gut and non-gut related), and changes in your gut microbiota (the bacteria, fungi and other organisms that live in your gut). Psychological stress and food sensitivities are also known to exacerbate symptoms.

It’s important to note that there are no foods that cause IBS and no foods to strictly avoid with IBS. 

What are the symptoms of IBS?

The symptoms of IBS can include but are not limited to:

  • Abdominal Pain or Discomfort: Individuals with IBS experience abdominal pain or discomfort that may be relieved after a bowel movement, or associated with a change in bowel habit.  
Plus two or more of the following:
 
  • Altered stool passage: If you have IBS, you may find yourself urgently needing to go to the toilet, or you may need to strain to pass a bowel motion. You may also feel as if you haven’t fully emptied your bowels when you do go.  
  • Bloating (sometimes with lots of wind/gas): Many IBS sufferers report increased gas production and abdominal bloating. You may find this worsening as the day goes on.
  • Mucus in your stool: Some people with IBS pass mucus or observe the presence of mucus in their stool.  
  • Symptoms made worse by eating: When you have IBS, you may associate eating with symptoms getting worse. 

What can I eat with IBS?

You might wonder “What can I eat with IBS?”. The truth is, there are no hard and fast rules what foods to eat and what foods to avoid with IBS.  

IBS trigger foods vary from person to person, which is why it’s important you consult with an IBS specialist dietitian to identify IBS triggers, therefore avoid ending up on a restrictive diet which is detrimental to long-term gut health. 

IBS Dietary Management Key points:

  • There are no foods that cause IBS
  • There are no foods to avoid with IBS
  • IBS trigger foods vary from person to person
  • An IBS specialist dietitian can help you devise a sustainable, long-term plan to help manage the symptoms of IBS

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2017). Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management. [online] Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg61 [Accessed Date: 28th February 2024].

Welcome to your IBS Management Journey

Meet Anni Summers: Your Gut Health Dietitian for IBS​

Anni Summers is a specialised Gut Health Dietitian for IBS who offers invaluable insights and resources to support individuals seeking effective strategies for managing irritable bowel syndrome. With a wealth of experience in this field, Anni is committed to helping you navigate your IBS journey with confidence and empowerment.

How a Dietitian for IBS Can Support You

Whether you’re looking to learn more about identifying IBS triggers or seeking personalised guidance to manage the symptoms of IBS, Anni Summers is here to help. You can schedule a FREE 15-minute discovery call to discuss how we can support you on your IBS management journey.

Don’t let IBS control your life. Take the first step towards effective management with Anni Summers, your trusted Dietitian for IBS.