If you experience IBS you’re probably very familiar with chronic pain in your gut. Some researchers have come up with a new phrase for this – maybe you have an ‘itchy gut’.
IBS can be debilitating, painful, emarrassing and can result in anxiety around eating food. As an IBS nutritionist most of my clients are unsure what to do to avoid the dash to the nearest toilet, or how to stop the odourous excessive gas.
It hasn’t been clear to researchers why IBS patients experience so much pain, but we know that there is a kind of rewiring of the nervous system which increases pain signals to the brain.
Research into itchy gut
A new research project has looked at the ways itchy skin transmits information and translated that to the gut.
They found the receptors that mediate pain and itching in the skin, also mediate pain in the gut.
The gut receptors can be sensitised to transmit more sensation in people with IBS.
This means your symptoms are like itching in the gut.
Sometimes when we itch our skin it’s our body’s way of getting the irritant out. In the gut this ‘itching’ could lead to diarrhoea, or cramps as your body tries to get whatever is irritating it out.
Future cure for IBS?
The research team into this ‘itchy gut’ theory hope to create a treatment that can block the message from the gut to the brain to reduce symptoms.
Whilst this might provide relief it doesn’t get to the root cause of symptoms.
This is a very important area of research, which will support between 10-20% of the population who have IBS. It’s especially key for those who take ongoing daily pain medication for the cramps, sometimes opioid.
It is really important to consider WHY your symptoms are occurring, rather than just dampening them down with medication.
Supporting Your IBS Symptoms
I work with clients to look at your symptoms, and together we trial well researched dietary approaches, alongside functional testing where needed.
This makes nutritional therapy tailored to your symptoms, your lifestyle and your ability to make changes. You can read more about how I work and what is involved Gut Reset
We take it one step at a time, balancing taking action with your busy lfe and responsibilities.
Looking at your overall lifestyle and balancing stress, sleep, exercise and diet can all have a huge impact on IBS symptoms.
Do you need help with IBS? Making changes to your diet can be tough. I can help you if you need support with IBS or other digestive conditions, just get in touch for an appointment – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also see bog post – Testing for IBS from the NHS
Hi I'm Anna Mapson, registered Nutritional Therapist.
I can help you to:
- understand your digestion better, so you recognise your triggers
- eat a well balanced diet, with tasty meals that are simple to prepare
- develop better digestion and more energy
Find more about my 3 month 1:1 Gut Reset programme
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