Top Tips For Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
9th January 2018
Top Tips For Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common and debilitating condition affecting roughly 20% – 35% of the working population. The condition tends to be more prevalent in young females.
Symptoms of IBS can vary and often include, abdominal pain, bloating and alteration in bowel habit.
The GI Unit based at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth are experts in treating IBS and have a specialist team of Consultants able to help you manage your symptoms and achieve the best possible results.
Leading Colorectal and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Mr Romi Navaratnam shares his top tips for dealing with IBS and how you can understand and manage your symptoms.
Top Tips for IBS
- Recognise your symptoms
Recognising the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the first step to getting you on the road to recovery.
Typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include abdominal pain, bloating, alteration in bowel habit (either constipation, diarrhoea or a combination of both), mucus discharge, excess flatulence and incomplete evacuation are common symptoms of IBS.
If you are experiencing these symptoms you may require a referral to your GP.
- Seek advice
The presence of rectal bleeding or a persistence of the above mentioned symptoms should result in a referral to your GP or a GI specialist.
Initially blood tests and faecal calprotectin (FC) levels may be undertaken. A FC level less than 50 in a younger patient (age less than 35) and in the absence of persisting symptoms is reassuring.
- Useful dietary measures
Undertaking useful dietary measures is one of the main ways to combat irritable bowel syndrome.
In particular, probiotics (particularly helpful in abdominal bloating) and dietary modifications such as the utilisation of the low FODMAPS-based diet can be helpful, the latter especially where diarrhoea is a common symptom. A temporary trial of wheat and dairy avoidance may also be beneficial.
Each case will be dealt with on an individual basis to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment for your unique case.
- Treatment options
There are a variety of treatment options that can be considered for patients suffering with IBS. At the GI Unit we assess each patient and suggest the best form of treatment for their condition and lifestyle.
The use of medications, in the initial stages should be confined to an anti spasmodic, a natural laxative, or a constipating agent, dependent on the symptoms described. Various other treatment options are available but will be dependent on the individual case and severity of the condition.
- Review Lifestyle Advice
Lifestyle advice is a common remedy for patients suffering with IBS. Typical recommendations may include reducing stress and increasing exercise levels.
Refractory symptoms may require bowel retraining techniques or cognitive behavioural therapy. Often strong reassurance, the recognition and avoidance of precipitating factors is all that is required.
Contact Our Team
At the GI Unit our team of experts led by Mr Romi Navaratnam are on-hand to assist patients suffering with IBS. The clinic has access to the latest treatment techniques and technology and is often able to offer same day appointments to get you seen as soon as possible.