Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or IBS) is one of the most common digestive issues. In the UK, an estimated 1 in 5 people struggle with IBS some point in their lives, with women being more at risk than men. But what actually is it?
What causes IBS?
It’s not entirely clear what causes IBS. Some studies have shown that the gut of people with IBS tends to be more sensitive and reactive, which might be caused by a trauma or other upsetting events. These traumas – or risk factors – include an attack of gastroenteritis or following a course of powerful antibiotics.
How do I know if I’ve got IBS?
IBS symptoms differ for different people, but common ones include bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, constipation and flatulence. You may feel more tired than usual, or struggle with nausea, backache, headaches or heartburn.
How do I find out if my symptoms are IBS?
There are several IBS self-tests on the market, such as Lorisian, which allow you to test in the comfort of your own home. If in doubt, or if these tests are positive, speak to your GP.
How do I treat it?
First, identify your triggers. Are there certain foods that bring on an episode? Common triggers include onions, red wine, diary and chocolate. If you find a food trigger, adjust your diet.
Regular exercise has also been shown to help with IBS, as it reduces stress and aids better sleep. Stress can be a big trigger, so try and identify and causes of stress in your life. Is there anything you can do to reduce stress?
At Chemist Direct we have a complete range of over the counter IBS products, so there’s surely one that will work for you. If you require prescription medications and have a doctor’s prescription, our sister company Pharmacy2U can help you by delivering your medication straight to your door!