Whilst we deliver a range of professional diagnostic services at the London Gastroenterology Centre, including endoscopy in London, we believe the best way to deal with the digestive problems that can occur naturally throughout life is often through preventative measures. It’s not always easy to prevent the onset of various bowel disorders, but there are ways to help alleviate the risk of them occurring without resorting to drugs.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is one of the more commonly experienced issues, with one in three people from the UK believed to be a sufferer at one point in their lives.
Frequent visitors to the blog will be familiar with our dietary tips on how to aid in preventing the bloated feeling which accompanies IBS, but there are other factors which can cause it, and thus are good places to start when attempting to reduce the discomfort caused by IBS.
An initially obvious place to start would be by identifying any foods to which you are allergic or intolerant; removing these particular groups from your diet could produce almost immediate results.
Food intolerance and food allergies, whilst similar, are not the same; where a food allergy triggers the immune system and has a histamine response, food intolerance can produce digestive issues after the consumption of certain foods but have no response from the immune system.
The more common examples of produce which people may be intolerant towards are dairy (lactose) and some, but not all, grain (gluten) produce.
Sometimes the skin on your fruit or veg can be somewhat more difficult for your body to break down, so removing the skin from the more tricky customers, such as potatoes or carrots, can make the task of digesting them that little bit easier for your body.
Another technique to reduce the work your body has to undergo once you have consumed the veg, is through consuming your product in smaller quantities. Chewing more, thus reducing the size of the product consumed resting in your stomach, increases the surface area for your stomach acid to break down whatever is in your stomach and can alleviate and aid in preventing IBS.
Alcohol and Coffee a No-No
I’m sure many of us have experienced the stomach irritation that can occur through consumption of either coffee or alcohol, so it will come as no surprise to learn that these can lend themselves to becoming instigators of IBS. A reduction or elimination in the consumption of these stimulants is advisable for the prevention of IBS. Fortunately there are tasty alternatives in the form of herbal teas, with peppermint also having pain-killing properties.
This is easier said than done, but should reducing the number of stress-inducers in your life prove difficult, consider finding yourself a relaxation technique such as meditation or yoga. Stress can manifest itself in a variety of forms; from guilt, to anger, to anxiety or depression, so whilst it may be hard, reduce the emotional tension in your life and you could well alleviate some of the IBS symptoms you experience.
As displayed above, the key to alleviating many physical discomforts can be down to moderation in your diet, as well as a general healthy outlook on life. It’s not always easy to make some changes to the way you live, as the temptation to revert back to a particular lifestyle can be prevalent, and the results can vary person to person, but limiting the presence of IBS irritators in your life will hopefully stand you in good stead with preventing IBS.
Here at the London Gastroenterology Centre, we are experts in the human digestive system. If you feel the need to speak to a professional or wish to discuss the availability of our treatments and service, please contact us on 020 7183 7965 and one of our friendly professionals will provide you with all the information you require.