For many people this painful and often embarrassing condition can have a very negative impact on the quality of life and enjoyment of social interaction. In worst case scenarios the sufferer can become housebound and unable to face the prospect of being in a place where they cant guarantee being close to the toilet.
Diagnosis is often reached after extensive tests have shown no other specific cause and the best treatments that can be offered are antispasmodics and fibre boosting tablets. It is unclear what causes IBS in the first place but research has shown links to illness and stress. What ever the cause is, it is becoming evident that people with IBS have an imbalance of gut bacteria and that treatment with traditionally fermented foods and probiotics may be the best way forward. Research has also studied feeding people with this imbalance tablets containing the faeces of people with a healthy bacterial balance with very promising results.
The good news is that progress is being made into understanding more about this ever increasing health issue and that soon we will have much better options available.
The stress link is apparent and often treating this area can reduce symptoms and the worry associated with the issue. When you are stressed the bowel does not function as efficiently as it does in rest, since the body believes that stressful conditions mean you are in imminent danger of attack and it focuses its energy in being ready to flee or fight. It is possible prolonged periods in this state may be the cause of the bacterial imbalance in the first place and once this occurs the symptoms increase.
A treatment plan that covers all areas of IBS should be the most effective and a course of therapy coupled with dietary changes and increases in healthy bacteria through naturally fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurts containing L.acidophilus or quality health supplements that contain L.acidophilus is to be recommended.