IBS diet news: Food might NOT be main cause of symptoms

IBS affects one in five people in the UK at some point in their lives, and can cause a number of debilitating symptoms including stomach pain and changed bowel habits.

While the exact cause is unknown, it was thought diet was a principal trigger.

However, a new survey suggests that stress may play a bigger role in the condition.

The research showed that 34 per cent said it triggered their symptoms, while 28 per cent attributed their bouts to food.

Around a quarter revealed they didn’t know what the cause of their IBS symptoms was.

The survey, which was conducted by Enterosgel UK and published by Talkhealth, also identified the three most prevalent signs of the condition.

These include stomach pain, which affected 82 per cent of those surveyed, bloating at 75 per cent and diarrhoea at 64 per cent.

Symptoms were found to greatly impact on people’s quality of life.

According to the NHS, experts believe that IBS is related to problems with digestion and increased sensitivity of the gut.

They add that there is evidence psychological factors play a part in the condition.

Intense emotional states, such as stress and anxiety, can cause chemical changes that interfere with the normal workings of the digestive system.

It is thought that some people with IBS may have experienced a traumatic event, like abuse, childhood illness or bereavement.

Finding ways to manage stressful situations can help ease symptoms.

However, eating certain foods has been linked to the condition, according to the NHS.

These include alcohol, fizzy drinks, chocolate, drinks containing caffeine, processed foods, and fatty or fried foods.

Sufferers are encouraged to modify the amount of fibre in their diet.

If one of your symptoms is diarrhoea it could help to cut down on insoluble fibre, found in foods such as wholegrain bread, bran, cereals and nuts and seeds.

But if you experience constipation with your IBS, it is recommended people consume more soluble fibre, rich in oats, barley, rye, fruit and root vegetables.

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