How diet can improve your Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Not just diet but much more is covered in this infographic looking at Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

This include signs, symptoms , causes and treatments of Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well.

You can see our previous blogs on IBS here.

Abdominal pain – what are the signs, symptoms, cause and treatments of a stomach ache

A stomach ache is a term often used to refer to cramps or a dull ache in the tummy (abdomen). It’s usually short-lived and is often not serious.

Stomach ache and abdominal pain - your guide
Stomach ache and abdominal pain – your guide

Severe abdominal pain is a greater cause for concern. If it starts suddenly and unexpectedly, it should be regarded as a medical emergency, especially if the pain is concentrated in a particular area.

Call your GP as soon as possible or go to your nearest hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department if this is the case.

If you feel pain in the area around your ribs, read about chest pain for information and advice.

Stomach cramps with bloating

Stomach cramps with bloating are often caused by trapped wind. This is a very common problem that can be embarrassing, but is easily dealt with. Your chemist will be able to recommend a product which can be bought over the counter to treat the problem.

Sudden stomach cramps with diarrhoea

If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause may be a tummy bug (gastroenteritis). This means you have a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and bowel, which should get better without treatment after a few days.

Gastroenteritis may be caused by coming into close contact with someone who’s infected, or by eating contaminated food (food poisoning).

If you have repeated bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhoea, you may have a long-term condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Sudden severe abdominal pain

If you have sudden agonising pain in a particular area of your tummy, call your GP immediately or go to your nearest A&E department. It may be a sign of a serious problem that could rapidly get worse without treatment.

Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:

appendicitis – the swelling of the appendix (a finger-like pouch connected to the large intestine), which causes agonising pain in the lower right-hand side of your abdomen, and means your appendix will need to be removed
a bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer – a bleeding, open sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine)
acute cholecystitis – inflammation of the gallbladder, which is often caused by gallstones; in many cases, your gallbladder will need to be removed
kidney stones – small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and you’ll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
diverticulitis – inflammation of the small pouches in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in hospital

If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital immediately.

Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel (gastroenteritis). It may also be caused by a pulled muscle in your abdomen or by an injury.

Long-term or recurring abdominal pain

See your GP if you or your child have persistent or repeated abdominal pain. The cause is often not serious and can be managed.

Possible causes in adults include:

irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a common condition that causes bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation; the pain is often relieved when you go to the toilet
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – long-term conditions that involve inflammation of the gut, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
a urinary tract infection that keeps returning – in these cases, you will usually also experience a burning sensation when you urinate
period pain – painful muscle cramps in women that are linked to the menstrual cycle
other stomach-related problems – such as a stomach ulcer, heartburn and acid reflux, or gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining)

Possible causes in children include:

a urinary tract infection that keeps returning
heartburn and acid reflux
abdominal migraines – recurrent episodes of abdominal pain with no identifiable cause


[Original article on NHS Choices website]

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month April 2015 – Have you had bad or good experiences being treated for your bowel symptoms by your healthcare provider?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month
As many of you may know I cut my teeth, jobwise, as a market researcher. You know one of those poor saps who tries to persuade you to take part in a survey when you would much rather be having your dinner.

In fact in my later years in the trade a worked in the field of healthcare. This meant that I have to persuade people with particular conditions, caregivers, doctors, nurses and a whole bunch of other people to give us their valuable time to tell us what they think about a whole raft of products and services.

Since then I’ve been working, among other things, on this blog. One of its objectives has been to support various healthcare awareness initiatives.

So today is one of the odd occasions where the strands of my working life come together.

How so – I hear you cry?

We as you can see from the headline of this blog this month is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month.

Well the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) has decided to run some research this month. The aim of the research is to answer the question:

“Have you had bad or good experiences being treated for your bowel symptoms by your health care provider?”

You can take part by clicking here Indeed we would encourage anybody who has IBS to participate. The more knowledge we have then the better the quality of care!

Couple of things.

Firstly we have no affiliation with IFFGD. We only discovered the survey when we were doing some research for this blog post and decided to make it the main feature.

If you would like some more information on the early signs and symptoms of IBS please check out our blog post here –

Oh – the IFFGD describe themselves as follows “IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization that addresses issues surrounding life with functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders. Founded in 1991, IFFGD helps improve care by enhancing awareness, educating, and supporting research into treatments and cures for GI disorders. “

National Stress Awareness Month – Find out how to destress and promote a less stress inducing lifestyle

Yes I know another awareness month. Something to make my father blow a gasket as my mother would say.

But in this case thain is to try and prevent the poor old soul from blowing a gasket.  Why?  Well as the title of this blog post suggests this month is National Stress Awareness Month.  Which has in fact been running for over 20 years now.

Eliminating stress from our lives is of vital importance.  The medical consequences of stress can include low fertility, irritable bowel syndrome, heart attacks, strokes , peptic ulcers and even make your asthma worse.

So as you can see we do really need to chillax for the good of our health. We have covered a the signs  and symptoms of stress in the past at a previous post which might be of interest

We would also recommend a great article on National Stress Awareness Month from Beliefnet where they share 10 great reasons to celebrate National Stress Awareness Month –

We have produced a graphic below which we hope you will share to promote National Stress Awareness Month.

Finally please feel free to share any stress busting tips in the comments section below.

Thanks very much.

National Stress Awareness Month
National Stress Awareness Month


Flatulence – Three natural ways of fighting flatulence.

Lots of us suffer from flatulence. (My grandmother called it “passing the wind” but that is another

 The Fighting Temeraire
The Fighting Temeraire

matter).  Indeed it has been the source of schoolboy jokes for generations and listening to my children I assume it always will be.

Flatulence can be caused by diet or by swallowing too much air.  It is also a symptom of a number of medical conditions; these include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (see our previous blog on IBS, Celiac disease (have a look at our blog on Celiac we ran earlier this year, gastroenteritis and our old friend constipation.

So what can help get rid of flatulence without resorting to medications?

Well there seem to be three major options:-

a)      Yoghurt.  I’ve taken to making my own yoghurt over the last few months.  I was making some this morning which in fact gave me the inspiration for this blog.  Natural yoghurt with a live culture is considered a great way of preventing flatulence.  It does so by restoring the balance of microorganisms in the human gut.   Charcoal tablets.  I have to say these sound worse than flatulence and I’ve never tried them.  That being said they come highly recommended.  According to experts charcoal tablets absorb some of the toxins associated with flatulence.  You should consult a medical professional before you use charcoal tablets as they aren’t right for everyone.  It has also been suggested that they can help with weight loss.  And apparently we have been using charcoal for the last 3,500 years but I do wonder who thought of it first.

b)      Diet.  Some foods are associated with flatulence so it is worth reducing their presence in your diet.  They include sprouts, prunes, beans and lentils, cabbage, onions and apples.

That being said what works for you?  I’d be really keen to hear your suggestions.  Also can you suggest other flatulence causing foods to eliminate from our diets? Feel free to use the comments box below.

Thanks in advance.