Intolerant sufferer

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – series, post 3.

The 3rd post in the IBS series explores the possible connection with IBS symptoms and food intolerances. Let's get started by talking about food intolerances and the symptoms these intolerances can trigger in the body. The terms ‘food intolerance and ‘food allergy’ are very often confused, but they are truly different things. In this post, we're covering only the intolerances.

Food intolerance is an ailment with a wide range of symptoms, such as; gut symptoms, bloating, migraines, low mood, weight gain, fatigue and skin problems. These symptoms are not life threatening, but will affect the overall quality of life substantially.

With food intolerances, the symptoms tend to come on slowly, often after many hours (up to 72hrs later) since the problem food has been consumed. Classic symptoms include bloating and stomach cramps. These are the same with IBS. It’s also possible to be intolerant to several different foods, which can make identifying the trigger foods quite difficult.

If you suspect that you are suffering from food intolerance, there are two ways to reliably identify intolerance – one, through an exclusion diet – where specific foods are cut out completely one at a time to see whether there is an effect.

This is a very complex process and most likely will require some additional guidance from a nutrition professional to ensure good long term results. It is extremely important to include a wide variety of foods in your diet to avoid missing out on essential nutrients or creating other issues by excluding too many things at the same time.

The other way to figure out if you are indeed suffering from food intolerances, is through a simple food intolerance test. The testing itself is a simple process, but even after the test has been carried out, there is still need for careful diet planning and management to ensure sustainable results and to steer away from creating nutrient imbalances or deficiencies.

Since most IBS sufferers have some food triggers, your IBS symptoms can be easier to manage if you know what your food triggers are. Although controlling your IBS symptoms isn't just about managing your diet, it’s also about creating a balance in all aspects of life. Finding the right diet goes a long way towards creating that balance - and towards recovery from IBS symptoms and getting your life back on track.

After you know what your intolerances are, the focus is on building a diet that excludes the irritants, but is balanced, healthy, versatile and flexible – yet still includes all the important nutrients that you need. This is where guidance and support from a nutrition professional comes in handy. Ensuring all the aforementioned criteria are met is critically important for successful long-term symptom management and general wellbeing. After all, it's your health and wellbeing - your future - you're trying to improve!

Contact Nutrition Coach Taru and start feeling better soon. Reach her at

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