Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID) that is common in people around the world. The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation estimates five million people currently suffer from IBS in Canada alone. IBS is classified with abdominal pain or discomfort along with several other symptoms that may or may not include gas, bloating, distention of the abdomen, diarrhea, and/or constipation. It can involve problems with how food moves through the digestive system as well as increase individual sensitivity to foods. The exact cause of IBS is unknown at this time, but it is believed to be related both psychologically and physiologically to the body and may involve more than one factor.
There are several recommended diets that have been used to treat IBS over the past decade. Although they differ in types of foods allowed and restricted, they do share some similarities. One diet, the low FODMAP diet, has shown results through research that it can help to treat IBS. This diet was developed in 1999 by a leading dietitian in digestive health, Dr. Sue Shepherd in Australia. Through her PhD research and along with the team at Monash University, they have developed this diet as an effective, evidence-based treatment for people suffering from symptoms of IBS. The research that this diet is beneficial for other types of digestive conditions is slim to-date, but there are many anecdotal stories of clients that have been reducing FODMAP foods and have experienced digestive symptom relief. In my own practice, at Glow Nutrition, I have seen clients with diagnosed IBS, IBD, and undiagnosed digestive symptoms (like excessive gas and bloating) decrease digestive symptoms by changing their diet to one that is much easier on the digestive system. That said, everyone is different and will benefit from various treatments regarding their health. Food can affect everyone differently as well, so foods that bother one individual with IBS may not cause symptoms in another. Only a trained and experienced digestive health dietitian can help you through the process of improving your symptoms. I believe that diet and good nutrition are key to the health of an individual. However, through a holistic mind-body approach, I can help people feel much better and reduce longterm suffering from symptoms of digestive distress helping them to take control of their lives. Contact me for more information.