Taking a closer look at IBS.
April is IBS Awareness Month, aimed at raising the profile of a condition that affects the lives of as many as one in five people in the UK. But what exactly is IBS, what causes it and what can you do to ease the symptoms?
What is IBS?
IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
It is not a disease or physical problem, like Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Crohn’s, and there is usually no obvious infection, deformity or inflammation that would explain the symptoms. The gut is perfectly healthy, but for some reason, it simply does not function as it should.
No one knows what causes IBS and so there is no cure. The treatment for IBS is aimed at helping you to identify your personal triggers and manage your symptoms. Many people find that colon hydrotherapy can provide relief from many of the symptoms of IBS.
What are the symptoms?
IBS symptoms differ from person to person, and tend to come and go, often in response to trigger foods, stress or other factors. You may experience any of the following:
- Stomach cramps
- Altered bowel habits such as diarrhoea or constipation
- Feeling bloated or heavy
- Passing a lot of gas
- An urgent need to go to the toilet
IBS is not a threat to your health, but the symptoms can still have a significant impact on you, resulting in physical discomfort, restricting your social life, causing anxiety when you go out and even leading to depression.
Living with IBS
The symptoms of IBS can make your life a misery, but help is at hand at your local ARCH therapist. Firstly, many IBS sufferers find that colon hydrotherapy makes a big difference to symptoms such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. The gentle wash out with warm, filtered water can settle your colon and restore a more normal bowel function. Regular colonics can also help IBS sufferers in the longer term by exercising the muscles of the bowel wall.
Your therapist may also be able to work with you to help identify the triggers for your IBS, such as diet, lifestyle or stress factors. Knowing these triggers, and working out ways to avoid them, can go a long way to reducing your symptoms.
You’re not alone
One of the biggest problems with IBS is the stigma attached to the condition. Many GPs dismiss it since it has no physical cause or cure, leaving patients to deal with the symptoms alone, with no support.
ARCH therapists understand IBS and appreciate how difficult it can be to live with. We will do all we can to work with you to improve your symptoms and put you back in control of your bowel movements and of your life.
So if you are one of the one in five who are affected by IBS, don’t suffer in silence; talk to your local ARCH therapist today. Find your nearest therapist now using our interactive map, or search by name using the search function at the top right of your screen.