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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > May 2016 > IDENTIFY YOUR IBS TRIGGER DIET or STRESS?

IDENTIFY YOUR IBS TRIGGER DIET or STRESS?

It’s uncomfortable, embarrassing and inconvenient – and it may even force you to avoid certain foods or situations altogether. But discovering what sets off your Irritable Bowel Syndrome can help you develop strategies to ease the symptoms
PHOTOS: GETTY, ISTOCK

AROUND ONE IN FIVE of us are likely to suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at some point in our lives. For some people, the symptoms can be mild and short-lived; for others it can be a chronic, debilitating and painful condition that affects our confidence, wellbeing and general enjoyment of life.

The causes are unclear (although gastroenteritis and emotional trauma are thought to be involved in initiating the condition), but there are two recognised triggers for IBS symptoms: stress and diet (‘mood and food’). The encouraging news is that by recognising what brings on the symptoms, many people can find effective ways both to relieve and manage their condition.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE IBS?

IBS refers to a number of symptoms ranging from abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation to an urgent need to go to the toilet. It’s known as a ‘functional disorder’ of the bowel, meaning that when patients undergo diagnostic tests, nothing abnormal shows up.

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About Healthy Food Guide

In May’s Healthy Food Guide, we reveal how to retrain your taste buds to cut sugar and salt cravings, help you decipher whether your IBS trigger is diet or stress, and bring you our recipe expert Phil Mundy's guide for cooking and eating healthily on a budget. Plus, new speedy suppers, easy jar salads for lunch and healthy ways with spring lamb.
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