You may have heard of IBS but have you heard about it's tougher older brother, IBD? Below is the lowdown on the IBD facts and our top tips on how to relieve the symptoms.
You’ve Heard Of IBS, But What About IBD?You may be familiar with the inflammatory digestive condition IBS, which is estimated to affect one in five people in the UK. But what is IBD? To put it simply, IBD is an autoimmune umbrella condition for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, both are very chronic ongoing illnesses that are hidden internally and can easily go undiagnosed. IBD differs from IBS as it is a more severe ongoing condition with no periods of relief. The inflammatory illness can affect men and women and is more common for people in their 20-40s.
How can you tell if you suffer from IBD?
The main symptoms of IBD are often very painful and embarrassing including diarrhoea and frequent bowel movements, severe cramps, joint pain, bloating, bleeding from the rear, lethargy, anaemia, weight loss, weight gain and spells of feeling feverish.
How Can I Ease IBD?
There are variations of how mild and severe IBD can be and we have provided a few tips on to relieve your suffering:
“Probiotics are a hot topic of the digestive health world, including IBD. Research has been mounting over the years to suggest that probiotics can be extremely beneficial in helping with IBD, and helps to promote general gut health,” explains Nutritionist Cassandra Barns.
Pro-Ven Adult Probiotic 25 Billion (£13.95, Boots) contains Lab4, the most comprehensively studied group of friendly bacteria of any product in the UK. This provides real benefits in supporting digestive and immune health.
Cut The Coffee
You may be aware that coffee has a laxative effect and therefore can irritate your bowels further if you already have inflammation.
“Instead of having a coffee, try a ginger tea as this has a number of benefits for IBD in that it can help to prevent indigestion, gas and bloating. Ginger also acts as an anti-spasmodic and it relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract. It is also known to reduce anxiety, which for some people can worsen gastrointestinal symptoms,” says Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at SuperfoodUk.com
Walk It Off
Try to move as much as possible to help combat against stress, which can be a trigger for the symptoms of IBD.
“Exercise is a great stress reliever. Take a brisk walk to stimulate anti-anxiety effects, this helps to clear your thoughts and feel more relaxed,” explains Shona.
Studies by the University of Utah suggest that yeast may be harmful if you suffer from IBD and worsen inflammation in your intestine lining. Try to avoid foods that contain high levels of yeast such as bread, beer and marmite.
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