What is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine, characterised by abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation or both. It is a chronic (or long-term) condition, diagnosed when all other possibilities have been ruled out.
The Rome criteria are used for diagnosing IBS and is based upon abdominal pain lasting at least one day a week in the last three months associated with two or more of:
– Pain and discomfort related to defecation (pooping)
– Changes in frequency of defecation (either less or more)
– Alterations in stool (poop) consistency
IBS is divided into three different types:
– Constipation dominant (IBS-C)
– Diarrhoea dominant (IBS-D)
– Mixed bowel habits, both constipation and diarrhoea (IBS-M)
20% of people have IBS and symptoms usually first appear between the ages of 20 and 30. It is also more common in women, with double the number of women than men being diagnosed with IBS – although this may be due to under-diagnosis in men who are less likely to visit their doctor for symptoms.
What causes IBS?
The causes of IBS are unknown and it has been linked to a number of potential triggers, including problems with digestion, gut infections, food sensitivities and genetic predisposition, as well as psychological and emotional trauma (chronic or excessive stress).
Gut bacteria is also related, as people with IBS have been found to have an imbalanced microbiome (the trillions of bacteria in our gut). The microbiome helps to break down the food we eat and to regulate bowel function, including motility, sensation and immune function.
As a result, the gut bacteria can be thought of as a cause of IBS – if the composition of the microbiome is out of balance with an overgrowth of bad bacteria compared to good bacteria, this may lead to symptoms of IBS.
Want to know more?
Pro-Ven Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about gut health and staying healthy please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth proven research.
ProVen Probiotics, Unit 2 Christchurch Road, Baglan Industrial Park, Port Talbot, SA12 7DJ. Tel: 01639 825107