IBS sufferers. Don't limit your food types!

IBS seems to be on the increase. I help a lot of people every year to recover from the misery of IBS symptoms. Sometimes these problems have persisted for years, even 20 years. There is no need to suffer, as IBS responds well to hypnosis, and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).IBS seems to affect all parts of the gut - from acid reflux from the stomach to bloating in the belly and down to diarrhoea.

Sometimes, with the goal of improving their symptoms, my clients tightly restrict the foods they eat. The give up dairy, that seems to be tops. Then bread and pasta, maybe pototoes too. Does this strategy help to control the symptoms of IBS? It seems not.

You will know that our guts digest the food we eat. And when I was at school, I was told about how the enzymes in the gut digest the different kinds of foods. To remind yourself what is going on. click here. But there was no mention of gut bacteria. Most of us know about this now, with all the advertising for prebiotics and probiotics and special yoghurts. It turns out that hese bacteria do quite a lot of the digestive work. Even more surprising to me, is that every food has its own special bacteria. So that explains to me why when I add a new food to my diet, I find my digestion is not so good. I just don't have the bacteria. I got a great idea off the radio, so here it is:

Think of your gut as a tropical rain forest, full of lots of different plants, mosses, trees, grasses and lots of insects and small animals, and big animals too. A complete ecosystem. The insects live off the sap of the trees maybe, and the birds live of the insects, and the fallen leaves feed the mosses and so on. Then along come the loggers and cut down all the trees and toss in some bales of hay for the wildlife. The shade loving plants die off, and only some of the wildlife can live on hay. So from having a vibrant rain forest full of millions of kinds of life, the area supports very little activity. And it is the same for your gut. Feed your bacteria! The more different foods you eat, the more kinds and volume of bacteria you have. And so if some bad bacteria come along, there is more chance that you have bacteria that can gang up against it. The gut gang is called the Microbiome. Aim for diversity, by widening your food types. And do it step by step allowing your gut to build up the bacteria. This will help your IBS symptoms, and your general health too. A low-diversity Microbiome has been linked to worse metabolic health. Read more here.

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