Common Gut Problems
IBS is a debilitating bowel disease that affects 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives.
Symptoms can vary per individual but often include:
- Irregular Bowel Movement
- Excessive and Smelly Wind
- Persistent Indigestion
IBS is caused by an imbalance in the digestive tract; improvement in stress, nutrition and other lifestyle factors can contribute to manage the symptoms.
Caused by an imbalance in the gut flora and yeasts in the intestines and the more pathogenic species of both have become dominant in the gut, causing poor breakdown and digestion of food, lack of proper conversion of vitamins and hormones, impaired nutrient absorption, with the added symptoms of excessive intestinal gases, bloating, abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Occurs when the villi lining the small intestine have become too permeable. When healthy, the villi are semi-permeable to allow nutrients to be absorbed (assimilated). If the 'glue' that holds the villi together degrades due to dysbiosis and inflammation, larger molecules can penetrate the walls of the small intestine during digestion.
There is a belief that these larger molecules can include viruses, bacteria, parasites and other endo-toxic material that would of normally be blocked. This stresses the immune system causing excessive inflammation that can lead to chronic auto-immune conditions in the gut. Whilst at present no scientific studies have proved that permeability of the gut, from leaky gut, has negative consequences to health, there is strong correlation between several gut diseases and having a more permeable (leaky) gut.
An auto-immune disease, where the body incorrectly identifies gluten as the enemy so any food that contains gluten causes an immune reaction resulting in inflammation in the gut, leading to poor nutrient absorption, malnutrition, and creating disease and deficiencies in other areas of the body.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis are two of the most common diseases that come under the umbrella of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Crohn’s disease can affect the whole length of the gastro-intestinal tract from mouth to anus, causing gut inflammation, abdominal pain, ulceration of the intestines and impaired nutrient absorption.
Ulcerative Colitis just affects the large colon (bowel) but is characterised by inflammation and ulceration of the large bowel.
If Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are not well managed, necrotising and diseased parts of the intestine have to be removed due to complications of septicemia (blood poisoning). The end result can be a permanent ileostomy or colostomy bag.
Any sudden bloating, abdominal pain and change in bowel habits, as well as a rapid, unexplained loss of weight or unexplained tiredness needs investigating by a GP.