What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)? Dr. Norman Swan

by | Food Allergy, Gastrointestinal Health, Healthy Eating

IBS is not easy to treat and people often find their own way through by trial and error with their diets and lifestyles, as well as regular consultation with their doctor and qualified dietician.

IBS is Irritable bowel syndrome. This is a syndrome that’s really not well understood and you get lots of different symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome occurs because the bowel is not working very well in terms of pushing things forward. It gets a little bit wobbly at times and does not propel things forward, so you can get a bit of reflux. You can get tummy bloating or alternate between diarrhoea and constipation and tummy pain. In some people, certain foods make it worse. Carrots and peas in some people and other problems in other people. FODMAP diet is something sufferers of IBS have tried successfully. I won’t talk about the details of that here, you can Google it. These individuals are helped by that diet because there may be some sensitivity to gluten or wheat or other things. You’ve got to play around with it if you’ve got severe irritable bowel syndrome.

For certain individuals irritable bowel syndrome is actually being very aware of the sensations in your bowel. They get an upset feeling in their tummy, but they don’t notice it so much. Other people do notice it. That isn’t because you’re neurotic or nuts or anything like that. it’s just because the connection is probably a bit more efficient from your bowel to your brain, which can be really quite annoying. So if you lineup two people who’ve got the same symptoms and one person’s bothered with it more than the other. This is not because they’re weaker or anything like that, but simply because the brain bowel connection is stronger.

Therefore IBS is not easy to treat and people often find their own way through by trial and error along with their doctor.

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist