What is causing your stomach trouble? IBS?
IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common everyday problem that affects many people all around the world and causes them to suffer with, unexplained bloating and other pretty rubbish stomach symptoms.
Sufferers of IBS struggle with a sluggish, digestive system, which in turn leads to them feeling bloated, uncomfortable and fatigued.
Some of those unlucky enough to be dealing with it, have symptoms that can range from a bit of post-meal bloat, to full on distended stomach, with cramping, wind and sickness. This can last for days-eurgh!
There are two different types of IBS:
- IBS C (Constipation) is a bugger. If you have ever been constipated, you will know how it can affect your mood, productivity and eating patterns. A bloated stomach, constant full feeling and wind does not make you feel sociable., attractive or hungry. You will want to be curled up in a ball all day not talking to anyone, desperately sipping senna and peppermint tea with a massive t-shirt and leggings on.
- IBS D (Diarrhea) sees those with the condition running back and forth to the toilet, it can be triggered by the food they have just eaten or ate a day ago, due to the slow movement of their gut. Not ideal for those who have to travel, socialise and work . (aka anyone).
Some unfortunate people have to deal with both depending on their condition.
Maybe the most painful thing about IBS, is the inability to really hone in on the cause of the symptoms in the first place.
In the UK especially (and I believe in the USA also), it is common practice for GP’s to throw the term IBS around when symptoms such as bloating, cramps and constipation are mentioned in consultation. They will then tell you, that they don’t know the cause of your suffering and probably prescribe you ‘Domperidone’ or laxatives such as natural ‘Senna’ to get things moving.
This could help in the short run, but masking a problem is not going to make it improve later on.
Thats why its important to consider the real reasons behind your symptoms which, most commonly unfold as:
You know how stress ruins your body by now, you can find it in this post.
*FODMAPS are a collection of foods that contain naturally occurring sugars. It stands for: Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
These food groups have unfortunate effects on the body, depending on the person’s sensitivity to ingesting them.
For a full breakdown on the buggers that cause your bloating and alternative food swaps I have written an easy to follow post that could explain why you are suffering from eating one too many blocks of cheese.
#3 Antibiotics and other medications
Certain medication and antibiotics obliterate your gut. They strip your gut of naturally occurring good bacteria and trigger an overgrowth of bad stuff, resulting in an imbalanced gut and horrible IBS symptoms.
#4 Intolerances or allergies
Having a reaction or sensitivity to a certain food or food group, such as; Gluten, Wheat, Lactose, Egg etc. This should be tested for properly rather than treated with a FODMAP elimination, although that could help shift a few symptoms and get you focused on the cause.
All of the above could be a contributing factor to your nasty tummy cramps and the attractive ‘6-month pregnant’ look.
Being a fellow sufferer, and a long term traveller. I have researched how to treat my own IBS for years. I have developed strategies that could help alleviate, slowly (this is no overnight remedy) your symptoms, or at least help you get to the bottom of your sufferings. Even when travelling.