Different people find that different factors can trigger their symptoms of IBS. A particular incident may bring symptoms on for the first time or recurrent symptoms may be linked with some aspect of diet or lifestyle.
My training has been based in functional medicine which means I look “upstream”and “downstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in my client’s health histories and lifestyle that could have led to this point. I usually find that the trigger is the "straw that breaks the camel’s back" rather than being the sole cause.
Nonetheless, trigger factors that may bring on symptoms include:
• Gastroenteritis (food poisoning)
• Taking antibiotics
• Taking certain drugs
• Female hormone imbalance / menstrual cycle
• Lack of sleep
• Eating certain foods (allergies / intolerances)
The common thread in most of these factors is the impact they have on gut bacteria, inflammation and leakiness in the bowel wall. In addition, a treatment for one may compound the issue for example if a bout of food poisoning is treated with antibiotics.
This is the reason I tend to use a comprehensive stool analysis in my programme (or a SIBO breath test) so that we can see initially if you have an imbalance of gut bacteria but also see if there is any inflammation, leaky gut or issues with digesting food which could all be producing or contributing to the client’s symptoms.
As you can see from the list above, the're many factors that can be implicated in IBS. Despite the fact I’m a Nutritionist it’s not always about food! There are therefore times when I may refer you on to another therapist if I think this area needs to be dealt with, in conjunction with my programme, in order to ensure we cover all pillars of health. Have a look at my system and see if you'd like to work with me.