Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What are the symptoms of IBS?

Different people get different symptoms, so you may have some or all of these:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Urgent need to go to the loo
  • Cramps
  • Passing large amounts of gas
  • Very bad smelling gas
  • Nausea

What causes IBS?

There doesn’t seem to be one answer to this.  Causes of IBS include:

  • Lack of fibre
  • Unhealthy gut bacteria
  • Food Intolerance
  • Previous gut infection (e.g. gastroenteritis or parasite)
  • Previous gut surgery

Stress is often listed as a cause of IBS but it is rare to meet someone with IBS who is not stressed by their symptoms so it can be difficult to separate the IBS from the stress.  However, in some rare people, symptoms are brought on only by stress so it is worth considering.

How do I get diagnosed?

One of the most important things to do when you think you have IBS is to see your GP and get a proper diagnosis.  Many of the symptoms of IBS can be seen in other diseases so it is really, really important that your GP rules out things like Crohn’s disease and especially coeliac disease. Once you are diagnosed with IBS then we can start to work on how we can help you to manage it.

Coeliac Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Anyone who thinks they might have IBS needs to have a test for coeliac disease. Some people may have had a coeliac test before that came back negative but, if it has been more than 5 years since your last test, do get tested again especially if anyone in your family is coeliac.

How do we manage IBS?

We will first take a long look at your symptoms and your diet to see what might be going on. This first conversation is important in figuring out the best way to proceed for you. For some people it can be a case of increasing fibre and fluids, for others, we may need to check for food intolerances. We often use a Low FODMAP diet with IBS patients as it is shown to help almost 80% of people with this condition. Probiotics can also be useful and we do talk about stress. We have found that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach with IBS and we work by taking a detailed history and fitting our approach around your specific symptoms.

You can make an appointment by contacting the Albany Clinic:

Telephone: 016612222. The Albany Clinic is open from 8.00am to 7.00pm Monday to Friday.