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IBS and digestion

IBS is most common between the ages of 20 and 30 years and IBS is twice as common in women as in men. Prevalence in the general population is estimated to be between 10% and 20% though the true prevalence may be higher as it is thought that many people with IBS symptoms do not seek medical advice. Each year, typically approximately 10% of the population will experience IBS symptoms, with up to half of these presenting to primary care clinicians. Over 3 million people a year are suffering!

Irritable bowel syndrome is not a disease state as such, but a functional disorder, in absence of disease in the gut. It is characterised by:


Pain and Cramping
Abdominal pain is the most common symptom, usually in the lower abdomen and typically decreases following a bowel movement or passage of wind. Bloating and general discomfort are common, nausea and loss of appetite may also be present.



One of the most common symptoms of IBS is diarrhoea. Accelerated bowel transit in IBS can also result in a sudden, immediate urge to have a bowel movement.



IBS can also cause constipation as well as diarrhoea. Constipation-predominant IBS is the most common type, affecting 50% of people with IBS. Constipation in IBS includes abdominal pain that eases with bowel movements.


Alternating Constipation and Diarrhoea

Mixed or alternating constipation and diarrhoea affects about 20% of patients with IBS.

Other common digestive complaints we see are:


Reflux and GERD




Coeliac disease

Food intolerance and sensitivities

Fatty liver 

Inflammatory bowel disease 


The good news is that there is much you can do to help once you understand the underlying drivers. We have acids, enzymes, bile, mucus, peristalsis, the microbiome, being made by our digestive organs; stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, liver, kidneys, and gall bladder. Are they all working in harmony or is one organ taking the load of another?  


We also have external influences our organs may not be happy with, infections, food intolerances,  viruses and bacteria, antibiotics and medicines, drugs and alcohol that can upset this delicate balance.


A functional medicine approach can help you understand what is going wrong in the gut, and where natural approaches can enhance function and reduce symptoms. It starts with a health questionnaire and then detailed questioning in your first assessment consultation.  


Can supplements help?


We take a food first approach, but supplements in the short term can support, such as:


Stomach acid

Mucus membranes protection

Digestive enzymes


Bile and liver support 


Soluble fibre 

Histamine breakdown 

Short chain fatty acids 



Functional medicine testing 


We have a range of panels and providers too extensive to list on our website, and would not offer testing without a consultation, as you could be wasting your money. Stool testing generally offer the most comprehensive way at looking at digestive function, and can help provide you with clarity on why there is long term distress. Infections, parasites, worms, as well as dysbiosis (imbalanced microflora) are just some of the biomarkers we can look at. 


We always take a bespoke approach to testing to provide the best value and most appropriate advice. You can book in a call here to discuss your options:   

Customer review

“Julie was very approachable and kind, supporting me not only with nutrition but also with the motivation to make changes. Julie took the time to get to know me, my likes and dislikes and how I might best make the most of our sessions. This meant that the time was spent in an effective and way with clear actions and outcomes.”

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