Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a general term used to describe bowel symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation and abdominal pain, other than those caused by diagnosed medical conditions like coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Bloating and flatulence
Symptoms of gas build up such as bloating, wind (flatulence) and pain due to trapped wind are caused by fermentation in the digestive tract.
The digestive tract of an adult contains around 2-3 kg (4-6 lbs) of bacteria. This is normal! Many of these bacteria are neither good or bad for us, however under certain circumstances we can get a build up of undesirable (pathogenic) bacteria and/or a yeast known as Candida Albicans. Although all of these micro-organisms can ferment food the less desirable ones are much more likely to cause chronic fermentation problems which result in a build up of gas. If this gas is trapped it causes abdominal bloating and perhaps pain, and if released it results in flatulence (or burping).
Besides undesirable gas production pathogenic micro-organisms manufacture and release toxins into the bowel that may cause other gut symptoms such as loose bowels, diarrhoea or constipation. If these toxins are absorbed into the blood stream, they may cause other more diverse symptoms such as fatigue, headaches or skin problems.
At Intelligent Nutrition we will show you how to tackle chronic gut fermentation and an imbalance of gut bacteria known as gut dysbiosis and/or a Candida overgrowth.
We will help you tackle your problem with bloating and flatulence by identifying which foods you are fermenting in your gut and which foods are contributing to a build up of undesirable bacteria or Candida albicans.
We will help you reduce the proportion of undesirable gut organisms and help you increase significantly the species of beneficial bacteria that promote bowel health, and the health of your body generally. We will also help you tackle other problems that can be caused by a proliferation of pathogenic micro-organisms such as gut hyper-permeability (leaky gut) syndrome. This condition permits toxins and large food particles to pass from our gut into our blood stream, and is a common cause of the development of food intolerances developing.
Another cause of bloating and wind in some people is poor digestion. This is because any food we don’t digest and absorb is available for fermentation. We can help you to find out if this is a factor and what to do about it.
Many people have wrongly been told, “It doesn’t matter how often you go; whatever is right for you is normal, once a week or whatever.” This is wrong! A normal bowel movement should occur at least once a day, be light, easily passed, break-up readily when flushing and be without an offensive odour.
With correct advice about diet, exercise and possibly rebalancing gut bacteria, improving digestion and looking at food intolerance we can show you how to improve or regain normal bowel function.
Please note that any sudden, unexpected change in bowel habits should be checked out first by your doctor.
Loose bowels and diarrhoea
It is normal to have a bowel movement at least once a day, maybe even three times a day provided your stools are well-formed and do not usually contain undigested food particles.
Loose bowels or diarrhoea is frequently caused by food intolerance. Since we have such a lot of experience of food intolerance at Intelligent Nutrition, if this is part of your problem, we may be able to put our finger on the problem foods without the need for laboratory testing.
We can not only help you find out not only which foods trigger your symptoms, but show you how to speed up the healing of your damaged or inflamed gut lining so that you can begin to tolerate a wider range of foods on your plate again.
Another common cause of loose bowels or diarrhoea is an imbalance of the natural bacteria that inhabit your gut (see bloating above). This is often as a result of overexposure to antibiotics, too much sugar, refined carbohydrates or alcohol in the diet. In some people it can be traced back to food poisoning, and an organism that someone has never really got out of their system. We can help you tackle these problems and rebalance your gut bacteria, alleviating the symptoms caused by it.
There are other causes of diarrhoea. Any sudden or unexpected change in bowel habits should be checked out by your doctor. Medical conditions such as Coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis should be supervised by a qualified doctor.
We are able to offer laboratory tests as part of our service to you. The most appropriate tests are indicated below. Please see our Laboratory Tests page for more details.
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis + Parasitology
Food Allergy and Intolerance tests
The Nutrition Clinic, Leeds
Although we are based in Leeds, we see clients from all over Yorkshire including Harrogate, York, Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax, Wakefield and much further afield. For those living too far to travel we also offer telephone consultations.