Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common complaints in the western world. Around 50% of all gastrointestinal complaints and half of all GP referrals are due to IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is also known by many other names, such as spastic colon, mucous colitis, functional bowel disorder, dyspeptic diarrhoea, spastic constipation, anxiety and GI syndrome, and nervous bowel.

It affects 24% of all women and 19% of all men, usually developing in late adolescence or early adulthood. Before the menopause, more women than men present with IBS; after the menopause the numbers are about equal. The condition is characterized by intermittent periods of constipation or diarrhoea, often accompanied by bloating and/or abdominal pain, mucous in stools and bowel rumbling. 

Patients with IBS can be divided into:

  • Those with constipation predominant IBS
  • Those with diarrhoea predominant IBS
  • Mixed IBS

Patients often complain of abdominal pain, typically above the left hipbone, and the pain is relieved by going to the toilet. The patient may also complain of a feeling of incomplete emptying of the rectum. Abdominal distension and bloating are suggestive of IBS, in the absence of any bowel obstruction. Non gastrointestinal symptoms may also be reported, like fatigue, or urinary tract problems. Up to 20% of patients develop symptoms after a bout of infectious gastroenteritis, and this is known as 'post infectious IBS'.

IBS needs to be distinguished from conditions with similar symptoms such as celiac, colorectal cancer, infective diarrhoea, diverticular disease, carcinoid syndrome, gallstones, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This is particularly important when the following indicators are present:

  • A short history of symptoms
  • Weight loss
  • Nocturnal symptoms
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Age over 50 years

Stool tests usually find nothing significant – no blood, excess white cells, parasites or bacteria. Likewise, full blood count tests and inflammatory markers will be normal.

Factors that have been implicated in the mechanism of IBS are:

  • Abnormal GI sensation
  • Abnormal GI motility. Once partly digested food has left the stomach, it is moved through the digestive tract by rhythmic contractions of the muscles in the intestinal walls, a process called peristalsis. In irritable bowel syndrome, these muscles go into spasm for unknown reasons, becoming so uncoordinated that they move residues either too quickly (causing diarrhoea) or too slowly (causing constipation).
  • Altered GI serotonin signalling. In these cases the use of a supplement like Stressolim, that normalises serotonin levels in the gut has been found to be useful, naturally relaxing the gut and returning it to normal function.
  • Altered bacterial flora, or dysbiosis. Gut dysbiosis can be bacterialor fungal (candidiasis). In cases of bacterial dysbiosis Lactoferrin and Custom Probiotics CP-1 have been effective. Lactoferrin will kill off bad bacteria while  CP-1 will quickly replace beneficial bacteria in the gut. For a fungal dysbiosis, Candigest Plus and CP-1 have been effective.

Although IBS is often very uncomfortable, inconvenient and sometimes quite painful, (and I suffered from it for 35 years), thankfully this digestive disorder is not at all dangerous or life threatening. Nor does it ever lead to anything more "serious," like colon cancer or ulcerative colitis. 

For doctors, IBS can be challenging to diagnose, because tests often show no abnormalities even though symptoms are often all too real. As a result, a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome is usually arrived at by process of elimination, if you will excuse the pun, after other disorders with similar but more serious symptoms--such as diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, or intestinal parasites--have been ruled out.

There is no inflammation of the bowel, yet the patient suffers a variety of symptoms. These can be varying degrees of abdominal pain from vague to excruciatingly sharp; alternating constipation to diarrhoea, watery stools, wind, bloating, nausea, sweats and a worsening of symptoms after eating a large meal, during or just before menstrual periods, or while under stress.

While experts have suggested many potential causes for irritable bowel syndrome, no single cause has been established beyond a reasonable doubt. The list of possible culprits has ranged from parasitic infections and lactose intolerance, to food allergies and overuse of antibiotics.
Does any of this sound familiar? It is a good idea to rule out any serious illness, especially if you have rectal bleeding, black or mucousy stools. If you have, check with your doctor.

Some GP’s will prescribe a high bran intake for IBS sufferers, but this may be one of the worst things to do, as bran is particularly irritating to the gut.

Other treatments available from your doctor may include:

  • Tricyclic anti depressants, which may help to relieve pain at lower doses than normally used for depression. 
  • Antispasmodics such as mebeverine may help in the short term with diarrhoea type IBS, but this is not a long term solution. 
  • Peppermint oil may help with bloating. 
  • Hypnotherapy may be useful, but is not widely available.

Because no two people are alike, a notion known as biochemical individuality, there is no single best diet for IBS. It may be wise to rule out the common sensitivities and allergies to wheat, sugar, cow’s milk, beef, pork, corn, coffee and orange juice as these are the major culprits in the onset of IBS. As with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s, the ‘Stone age’ or elemental diet may help. This diet is free of all dairy, grains, red meat, refined sugars and processed foods. This can give your gut a rest from allergens and proteins that cause problems.

If you have any questions please contact us on our free helpline - call 0208 9016477

Custm Probiotics Infant Formula 50g

Custm Probiotics Infant Formula 50g

High Count, multi strain Acidophilus and Bifidus dietary supplement for infants. 250 billion cfu’s /gram.

Custom Probiotics 11 strain Probiotic Powder 100g

Custom Probiotics 11 strain Probiotic Powder 100g
High Count, multi strain Acidophilus and Bifidus dietary supplement. 260 billion cfu’s /gram.

INGREDIENTS

L. Acidophilus
L. Rhamnosus
L. Salivarius
L. Plantarum
L. Casei
L. Lactis
B. Breve
B. Infantis
B. Longum
B. Bifidum
B. Lactis

 

Custom Probiotics 6 strain powder 100g

Custom Probiotics 6 strain powder 100g

Custom Probiotic Six Strain Powder is the most powerful of the probiotics currently available in the UK. It contains 260 billion bacteria per gram and comes in a 100g bottle, representing exceptional value.

Custom Probiotics Acidophilus probiotic powder 50g

Custom Probiotics Acidophilus probiotic powder 50g

DESCRIPTION 150 billion cfu’s /gram, 50 gram bottle.

INGREDIENTS L. Acidophilus powder

Please Note: This is a Special Order item - allow 28 days for delivery.

Custom Probiotics CP-1

Custom Probiotics CP-1

Custom Probiotics CP-1 (in capsule format) is the probably the most powerful probiotic available in the UK. Latest independent laboratory testing indicates each capsule contains around 78 billion beneficial bacteria of five tried and tested strains.

Custom Probiotics Four Strain Bifidobacteria Powder 50g

Custom Probiotics Four Strain Bifidobacteria Powder 50g

Custom Probiotics Four Strain Bifidobacteria Powder 50g

Custom probiotics Four Strain Lactobacillus probiotic Powder 50g

Custom probiotics Four Strain Lactobacillus probiotic Powder 50g

DAIRY FREE 260 billion cfu’s/gram 50g size

INGREDIENTS L. Acidophilus L. Rhamnosus L. Salivarius L. Plantarum

Our probiotic formulations do NOT contain dairy, sugar, gluten, soy, corn, casein, yeast, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, FOS or any Genetically Modified or engineered ingredients.

This is a Special Order item - please allow 28 days for delivery.

Glutenase Plus

Glutenase Plus

People who are sensitive to gluten could benefit from taking Immunecare Glutenase Plus.

Infant Probiotic powder

Infant Probiotic powder

Does your infant need digestive support? Developing a healthy balance of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract is an important part of childhood development. Healthy intestinal microorganisms may support a lifetime of digestive health.

The diverse variety of beneficial bacteria in ProBiota Infant probiotic helps support gastrointestinal and immune system health for children up to the age of 2 and is specially formulated to aid digestion & absorption of breast milk.* ProBiota Infant probiotic provides a potent 10 billion organisms or more per 1/4 teaspoon serving.

 

Lactase Plus

Lactase Plus

Lactose and dairy intolerance is an issue that affects a larrge number of people today. Those who find themselves sensitive to dairy face a difficult task in trying to identify exactly which foods and products contain dairy as an ingredient.

Lactferrin Xtra

Lactferrin Xtra

Lactoferrin Xtra is pure apo-lactoferrin, and three to four times stronger than normal Lactoferrin.

Our Lactoferrin is unaffected by any of the current New Zealand dairy issues.

Probiota 12 strain probiotic capsules

Probiota 12 strain probiotic capsules

If your immune system could use some support then your body may benefit from ProBiota 12 ProBiota 12 capsules were designed to provide a potent dose of the most researched beneficial probiotic bacteria available for maintaining a healthy gut ecosystem.

 

Probiota 12 strain Probiotic powder

Probiota 12 strain Probiotic powder

12 strains of probiotics, 200 billion bacteria per dose.
Probiota 12 strain powder is a superior blend of 12 well researched strains of probiotic bacteria.Taking ProBiota 12 Powder with dinner for 30 days is an excellent way to support your body's balance of intestinal microflora by repopulating it with a diverse selection of probiotic bacteria. After this time, most individuals can switch to a lower maintenance dose such as that provided by ProBiota 12 Capsules.

 

Probiota ProDigestion Intensive Digestive Enzymes

Probiota ProDigestion Intensive Digestive Enzymes

Looking for a powerful vegetarian digestive enzymes supplement? Pro-Digestion Intensive is physician-formulated spectrum digestive enzyme supplement that is especially designed to help individuals who have difficulty digesting gluten and casein or have food sensitivities. Pro-Digestion Intensive assists in the breakdown of proteins, fats, complex carbohydrates, sugars, and fibers and also contains ingredients that support a healthy intestinal system. Because of the importance of your digestive health to your immune function, supplementing with digestive enzymes helps promote overall good health.

Probiota Sensitive Probiotic

Probiota Sensitive Probiotic

NEW! ProBiota Sensitive by Seeking Health is a broad-spectrum, multispecies probiotic formulation providing 12 certified Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species with well-documented benefits for gastrointestinal and immune health.* This high-potency probiotic supplement delivers 25+ billion colony forming units (CFUs) per capsule to help establish and maintain a balanced, healthy intestinal microflora.

Stressolim

Stressolim

Stressolim is a patented natural formula developed by Russian born scientist Dr O.V. Galkina, an internationally recognised world leader in her field. Stressolim's unique formula balances neurotransmitters in the brain.

Supergest

Supergest

Supergest provides a wide spectrum of vegetarian enzymes to help maintain the digestive system, aiding the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, as well as milk and cellulose. It does not contain betaine hydrochloride.

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