The health of our gut is something we don’t talk about enough. Even though in recent years, gut health supplements have become popular, many of us still don’t understand the inner workings of the digestive system.
For IBS Awareness Month 2021, we are shining the light on IBS triggers and prevention. This is key to knowing how to improve gut health – and it all starts with understanding the best choices for diet and lifestyle.
What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that causes stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. It can cause a lot of discomfort during flare-ups and can dramatically affect your quality of life. It can make social occasions such as dining out difficult, and can even disrupt your sleep.
What’s more, millions of nerves and neurons run between the gut and other parts of the body, including the brain. This means the hidden activity inside your intestines can impact your mental health, as well as a whole host of other conditions.
Signs of poor digestive health
If your stomach is frequently upset with gas, bloating or abdominal pain, this could be a sign of IBS. Imbalances in gut bacteria is a major cause for a lot of people, making probiotics an important part of nutrition that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Other signs include fatigue, changes to your weight, allergic reactions or skin irritations, low mood, migraines and autoimmune conditions.
When it comes to diagnosis, there’s no definitive test but your doctor will review your history, provide a physical exam and conduct tests to rule out other conditions.
What’s the best IBS prevention diet?
The best foods for improving digestive health are clean, unprocessed foods and anything that contains good bacteria such as yoghurt, Kombucha and other fermented products.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water and to make note of your trigger foods. Everyone’s trigger foods for stomach upset varies, but common culprits include gluten, dairy, caffeinated drinks, beans and legumes, and overly spiced dishes.
Certain sugar-free sweeteners can also be to blame, and alcohol can exacerbate symptoms due to dehydration.
What are the best gut health supplements?
If you want to ensure a healthy gut, the easiest way is to add probiotic supplements to your diet. Probiotics restore the balance of bacteria in your stomach and intestines, and can maintain this balance even when compromised by illness or treatment.
For instance, did you know that medications like antibiotics can disrupt gut microflora, leading to numerous gastrointestinal side effects? By taking probiotics, you can have the best gut defence no matter what life throws at you. But there are many types of probiotic strains to choose from, with the most widely recognised and proven strain being Lactobacillus Acidophilus. This strain is used in our range of probiotic food supplements, which can be easily taken in capsule form.
There are different strengths available too, measured in a unit called CFU (colony forming unit). So it’s important to understand your body’s needs. A daily dose of 10-15 billion CFU is suitable for most people, but those undergoing significant alteration to their gut microbiome may require a higher dose.
With around 20% of the UK population suffering from IBS (and still people going undiagnosed), it’s more important than ever to take part in this year’s IBS Awareness campaign. Promote IBS Awareness Month and the importance of gut health supplements by sharing this article!