Gut Health Explained.
Your gut one of the most complex and fascinating systems in your body. Its function has direct links to the health of other organs such as the brain, kidneys, skin, sex organs and heart. The gut is one of the major players in immune regulation. It also has a significant influence on chronic medical conditions. That’s conditions like depression, obesity, diabetes and even cancer.
Today digestive diseases are on the rise. Around 6-8 million people around the world suffer from some form of bowel condition. According to the NHS, in the UK, the most diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
In the UK, around 15% of people have suffered from the symptoms of IBS at one point in their lives, with 67% of those being women. In fact, IBS accounts for around 10% of all GP visits and 50% of all gastroenterologist appointments in the UK. IBS Clinics’ focus is on how to improve gut health naturally.
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
IBS generally affects the large intestine or colon. The symptoms are cramping, pain in the abdomen, frequent bloating, gas, and changes in bowel movements. Also diarrhoea or constipation, or periods of both. For this reason, IBS is either classified as IBS-A, IBS-C, IBS-D or mixed IBS.
An IBS diagnosis results when:
- symptoms occur on at least three days a month for at least three months
- symptoms have first appeared within the 6 months before diagnosis
- a bowel movement relieves pain
- a change in frequency and appearance of stool relates to start of pain
IBS is a big issue to the healthcare system as it is one of the most complex conditions to treat. But there is a lack of consensus on the effective approach to managing it.
There is also a lack of formal diagnostic criteria for IBS. Diagnosis exclusion of other bowel conditions is the medical procedure generally adopted. So tests for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Diverticulitis, and Colon Cancer are the start. If they are negative and you continue to have symptoms, an IBS diagnosis follows.