What Everyone Needs to Know About Sensitive Bowel

August 22, 2020Research

What Everyone Needs to Know About Sensitive Bowel

August 22, 2020

Maybe you’re one of those people who can’t just eat anything. Perhaps a meal from a new restaurant or a new recipe can have detrimental effects on your bowel. Having a sensitive bowel could be a sign of many things and quite often would require medical attention. But quite often, it is possible than one has Irritable bowel syndrome.

There is no definite known cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Possible causes range from bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tracts to oversensitive colons, etc. Therefore, in order to identify whether a person truly has Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it is crucial to investigate his/her diet, to check for trends associated with the symptoms. For instance, abdominal pain or diarrhea associated with the consuming dairy products is not be considered to be Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but rather a separate condition known as Lactose Intolerance.

Thus, in determining Irritable Bowel Syndrome your Primary Care Physician will carry out some or all of these investigations:

-Stool microscopy, culture and sensitivity

-Faecal occult blood test.

-FBC (Full Blood Count)

-Kidney function test


Prevention and Treatment

Although terribly inconvenient, it is a relatively manageable condition.

  • A systematic approach is to treat the symptoms whether they are predominantly diarrhoea, constipation or a combination of both with drugs like antidiarrheal agents and laxatives. In addition, a change in diet is also advisable. Doctors often recommend a diet low in Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols (low FODMAP diet). This diet has been shown to significantly improve symptoms experienced by Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers as well as improve their quality of life.
  • Alcohol is also a major aggravator and so intake should be limited. It is advisable to avoid beer altogether because it is high in indigestible carbohydrates.
  • Drink plenty of water! Water is vital to every organ and aids healthy digestion. Drinking a glass half an hour prior to a meal will also prevent overeating.
  • Have a regular meal pattern and try not to skip meals.
  • Do not rush meals.
  • Sit down to eat and chew food well.
  • Avoid eating too late at night.
  • Exercise regularly: walking, cycling, or swimming. 30-45 mins of aerobic exercise is recommended 3-4 times a week to help with high blood pressure and cholesterol. If finding time is difficult, incorporate it into daily activities. For example, taking the stairs instead of using elevators.
  • Stress and anxiety may also be causing Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. There are many complex connections between the brain and the gut. Psychological factors, the nervous system, and muscle contractions in the gut all interact with each other, causing Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. This is known as the brain-gut axis. Therefore, stress management can be effective in easing symptoms.
  • Create time for relaxation. Make the most out of leisure time. Try relaxation techniques such as reading a novel or getting some exercise.
  • Get enough sleep- 7-8 hours of sleep is recommended to ensure you are well rested for the day’s activities.

If you suspect you have symptoms similar to those discussed in this article, it is important to discuss your symptoms with a doctor, in order to get the best medical care. Please feel free to reach us if you have any questions via mail  to hello@ettaatlantic.com.

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Lekki, Lagos State

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