HEALTH & BALANCE

Helping you live a healthy happy life


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WHY CHOOSE ORGANIC?

organic-farming-busy-bee-holistic-healthIt’s ‪#‎OrganicSeptember‬. Let’s go ‪#‎organic‬. It HEALS you. It SUPPORTS Mother Nature. In this short post, I would like to tell you my key reasons for going organic.

Many of my clients don’t see the reason behind this VITAL change in their shopping habits. They consider themselves ‘healthy’ just because their fridge is full with vegetable and fruits. Well, if they come from toxic farming, then guess what – their goodness is almost killed by the way they have been grown. Many chemicals use oestrogen based ingredients which work as the ‘pill’ (stopping the bug from making babies). But did you know that this oestrogen then enters our body, creating an increase in our natural levels of oestrogen which in turns stimulates fat storage and even ‘breasts type’ chest in men. Yes, that’s right, guys, maybe the food you eat is giving you that feminine look;) Same applies to women, we might be struggling to lose weight, because there is too much oestrogen in the body which is also responsible for irregular periods.

Then what about fertilizers? Plants goodness comes from the soil. If it is devoid of minerals then the plants will be without minerals too. The fertilizers are the killers of soil goodness meaning that
THAT BANANA is actually A SILENT KILLER, bringing you more BAD than GOOD. UGLY TRUTH, I KNOW;(

Here’s my TOP TOP: It’s not about having many vegetables and fruits so you can call yourself ‘healthy’. It’s about the right quality. Choose less and buy ‘more’ for your health. It’s better to have just a few of the good ones than many of the bad ones – this way the budget will stay the same too:)

TRY IT THIS MONTH AND FEEL THE DIFFERENCE. Even if it is just buying one thing, every step helps. I recommend choosing vegetable & fruit boxes from Bonativo. If you prefer supermarkets, Sainsbury’s supermarkets have a good range. My favourite is Ocado as I can get both my meats and fresh produce at great prices and they do £20 off for your first order.

I would love to hear your experience with going organic and your reasons behind it. Share in the comments below or connect with me on Twitter :).

In Health & Balance,

Maya xxx

 

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IMMUNE-BOOSTING SOUPS

In winter, keeping warm and strong are essential if we want illness to stay away and abundant energy to come our way. This time of the year is also suitable for cleansing the body and giving the digestive system a good break so we can embrace the spring season with a stronger body and less toxins. Thus, my favourite meal for the season is a nourishing immune-boosting soup. Below you can find my favourite recipes:

1. Carrot & Kale Warm-up

carrot-kale-soup-busy-bee-blog

60-70g kale (2 handfuls)

500ml water (add more or less depending on how thick you like it – this amount is for medium-thick)

200g carrots

1 scoop (25g) SunWarrior Natual Blend Protein or another pea protein brand

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. turmeric (if you like this Indian spice)

1 tsp. Himalayan or Celtic salt

2 tsp. Cold-pressed sunflower oil (extra virgin oil works too)

protein-soup-busy-bee-blog

Put the vegetables in a pot to boil with the water. Add the salt, bring to boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Transfer to a BPA-free or glass blender (hand blender also works), add the protein, ginger, and turmeric and blend together.

Serve straight away with the sunflower oil and extra salt if needed. You can also add sprouted buckwheat for a more filling meal. If you are on-the-go, use this thermos bowl to carry it with you.

2. Carrot, Leeks &  Broccoli Wrap-up

kale-soup-busy-bee-blog

150g broccoli

150g carrots

60g leeks (depends on how strong you like their taste to be felt)

500ml water (add more or less depending on how thick you like it – this amount is for medium-thick)

1 tsp. Himalayan or Celtic salt

1 scoop (25g) SunWarrior Natual Blend Protein or another pea protein brand

1 tsp. dried oregano and parsley

2 tsp. coconut oil or ghee

Put the vegetables in a pot to boil with the water. Add the salt, bring to boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Transfer to a BPA-free or glass blender (hand blender also works), add the protein, oregano, and parsley, and blend together.

Serve straight away melting the ghee or coconut oil inside. Add extra salt if needed. You can also add sprouted buckwheat for a more filling meal. If you are on-the-go, use this thermos bowl to carry it with you.

3. Carrot, Spinach & Avocado Cream

avocado-soup-busy-bee-blog

200g carrots or squash

70g spinach

700ml water (add more or less depending on how thick you like it – this amount is for medium-thick)

1 scoop SunWarrior Natual Blend Protein or another pea protein brand

1 medium avocado

1-2 slices lemon

1 tsp. Himalayan salt

1 tsp. paprika or chilli

Put the vegetables in a pot to boil with the water. Add the salt, bring to boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Transfer to a BPA-free or glass blender (hand blender also works), add the protein, paprika, and lemon, and blend together.

Serve straight away. Add extra salt if needed. You can also add sprouted buckwheat for a more filling meal. If you are on-the-go, use this thermos bowl to carry with you.

As you can see, these are easy to make and only take 15-20 minutes. The ingredients will provide you with vital vitamins and minerals to strengthen your immune system. The spices will warm you up and kill bacteria. The rich combination of protein and fat will keep you sated and look after your brain and skin health.

Enjoy!

In Health & Balance,

Maya xxx

 

 

 

 


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HEALTH IS THE NEW WEALTH

The health and fitness industries are now the centre of wealth for many companies which have eagerly jumped on the bandwagon of creating the next superfood product or breakthrough exercise plan. Unfortunately, despite this booming health focus, our nation is still battling with obesity, cancer and diabetes. The medical industry is not doing us any good either. Preventable medical errors rank as No. 3 killer in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer while in the NHS hospitals medical staff errors lead to nearly 12,000 patients dying every year.

Being hugely disappointed by the medical industry and many of the new ‘healthy’ trends, I am now on a mission to discover of discovering the underlying beliefs that stop us from taking care of ourselves. In this post, I will share my findings and what I think is necessary to have TRUE HEALTH AND WEALTH.

Health-System

What are the main obstacles to Health?

Medical-driven thinking

Our government has taught us that our healthcare system will keep us healthy and turning to doctors is all we need to live happily and healthily ever after. Many of us see doctors as authority figures who know more than we do about our bodies. However, according to a report from the University of California, 50% of doctors do not have a personal physician – something that they advocate to patients, 20% don’t exercise, and only 7% believe that they drink too much alcohol. And we regularly give control of our health over to these imperfect models of unhealthy living.

Our culture and addictive medical system believe technology and testing will save us. We think that everything scientific must be true. However, I believe science must leave room for the wisdom of nature.  Thoughts and consciousness influence our lives. What we believe today shapes our tomorrow. Thus healers and doctors must recognise our emotional individuality and dig deeper in our past, childhood and present thinking to uncover the root causes of disease.

Damaging information

Much of the information online follows a ‘one-size fits-all’ approach. I experienced this when healing my digestive issues by reading websites and magazines, trusting ‘healthy-looking’ models. But it’s not about the looks. The pressure of body appearance has created this wave of ‘fit sick’ people who look healthy but suffer health issues on the inside. When I started bodybuilding, despite my improved physic, my digestion went on a downward spiral, my period disappeared and my sleeping got disturbed. That’s because we follow diets that work for others. We follow training programmes without paying attention to the body’s feedback. Therefore, I believe the diet and exercise of the future are bespoke. When I work with clients, no diet is the same but tailored to individual goals and lifestyle needs.

Damaged beliefs about health

Many still think that eating veggies and fruits is enough to be healthy. Sadly, health is viewed as time consuming and not involving tasty foods. The word treat still relates to junk food. But how can something so nutritionally poor, made at the expense of our health, be a treat?

This is worse in the corporate world. Pastries and cakes are prevalent, even at places like the staff food corners of Google and Mozilla where the sweets and crisps outnumber the fruits and nuts. Not even that but the quality of the healthy foods is poor too. No organic and local farmers support. So how can these companies be claiming  to be committed to staff wellbeing when they are feeding people garbage food? Our bodies are like cars whereby the  (no need the as no specific) food is the fuel. So if we want our petrol car to perform well, would we put diesel in it? Nutrition is what must take to improve our performance.

global-healthcareWhat is the new Health?

My dream is for people to realise that we are only as good as our Health is. We can’t achieve our personal and business goals without it. We would be of no good to our employers, family and friends, and most importantly ourselves if we become ill or have no energy.

But how do we start the healthy living in this jungle of confusing information?

  • Don’t be just another Patient

We should see Health as Bespoke and Holistic whereby the human body and mind are seen as a unity which needs to be healed not just cured. We need to address the imbalances that underline the symptoms because Illness occurs to show us that we are not living life well. The symptoms have their root causes often in emotions, beliefs, past stressful situations and childhood. When we take medication just to cover them up we don’t necessarily address the factors that led to the symptom in the first place.

  • Believe what you want to Experience

Our Beliefs are energetic forces that create the basis for our health. It is not stress itself that creates immune system problems. It is the perception that the stress is inescapable and we can’t prevent it. This perception suppresses the immune system because our bodies are influenced and structured by our beliefs.

Our subconscious holds the key to our healing. Many left-brain mainstream practitioners still regard this as woo-woo and do a test after test. However, we need to firstly analyse the thoughts, emotions and beliefs. They (insert comma) along with our brain communicate directly with our immune, nervous and endocrine systems and with the organs in our bodies.

  • Create Health Daily

Every day is a new opportunity to create health for the mind, body and spirit. Our bodies constantly renew and repair. Our red blood cells, for example, regenerate every 28 days and we get a new liver every 6 months. That’s why we need to include daily practices and take it one step at a time. Here are my first steps for better mind, body and spiritual health:

Body health – reduce the No. 1 killer – sugar and processed packaged foods – support your local farmers and switch to organic farming. It’s about time to start paying the farmer, not the doctor.

Mind health – practice being present and breathing for 5 min a day – give your mind a break and watch how your intuition gets stronger and you make better decisions.

Spirit health – start loving and accepting yourself the way you are. Often what we think of as wrong with us are only our expressions of our own individuality. Nature never repeats itself. We are meant to be different. There are people out there looking for exactly what you have to offer. Let them know you exist. Take care of yourself and life will do the same for you:).

With health & balance,

Maya xxx

 

 

 


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How to Make Cashew Milk

Lactose intolerance is becoming more widespread these days, especially among my clients suffering from IBS issues. While in this case, taking lactase – the enzyme we need to digest lactose – will help reduce the symptoms, many of us IBS fighters suffer from milk protein intolerance. This means that the enzyme trick won’t help and we would be required to either forget about this creamy delight or try some alternatives. This is where nut milks come not even useful but also more delicious and nutritious. They are packed with good fats necessary for healthy skin and heart, along with protein and fibre.

One of my favourite recipes is with cashew nuts –  the easiest and most fuss-free milk you can start off with. Below are a few ideas, inspired by Madeline Shaw and the EatGreenCake blog.

cashew-milk

1. Cashew Nut Milk 

  • 100g of cashews
  • 300ml water
  • 1/2  vanilla pod
  • tiny pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Soak the cashews in salty water to cover them for 4 hours. Use a pinch of Himalayan salt.
  2. Drain the water in a sieve, add the soaked cashews with the water, vanilla and salt. Blend together for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Keep for up to 5 days in the fridge in a sealed container

 

2. Chocolate milk

chocolate-cashew-milk

  • 200ml of cashew milk
  • 1 tbsp of raw cacao
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 avocado or banana

Directions

  1. Place everything in the blender for a minute or two.
  2. If it needs more sweetening add stevia or good quality organic honey. If you need more bulk add SunWarrior Chocolate Powder – mixed blend or Vital Protein Pea Vanilla protein powder. This smoothie will last for 2-3 days in the fridge.

 

3. Green milk

green-smoothes

1/2 cup cashew milk
1/2 cup water
1 raw avocado
1 large bunch spinach, kale
3 – 4 cubes of ice

Here’s how
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender and top with cacao nibs, blueberries, and hemp seeds.

Hope you enjoy the recipes busy bees and let me know how you get on:)

With Health & Balance,

Maya xxx


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THE REASONS BEHIND IBS

ibs-painThe diagnosis and treatment for IBS are determined on symptoms and a thorough investigation from the doctor or health practitioner. Thus it’s vital to understand how you feel and identify the reasons behind it.

Firstly, we as patients must describe the severity and frequency of the pain. ‘Chronic’ symptoms are long-lasting and persistent while ‘acute’ ones appear suddenly or have only started recently and hence are short-lived. It’s about the pain duration not the way it feels. For example, if diarrhoea occurs once a day or just a few times in a month, this is not classified as ‘chronic’ and might be due to poor hygiene or bacterial infection rather than something more serious.

After analysing your bowel movements, we then need to move to the abdominal pain which is the prime symptom of IBS. Studies show that the pain occurs due to ‘visceral hypersensitivity’ whereby the gut is very sensitive to bowel and bodily changes. This suggests that the pain is not actually in the gut but in the brain. The gut and the brain develop from the same part of the human embryo which explains why our intestines have such a rich nerve supply. We have all heard the expression – ‘Listen to your gut feeling’ – and it’s not surprising – your gut is your ‘little brain’.

gut-and-brain-connectionIn addition, the gut shares many nerves and chemical transmitters as the brain which shows their interconnection, known as the Gut-Brain axis. Nerve signals are exchange daily between the gut and the brain which includes stress responses and ways of controlling anxiety and fear. The majority of people, however, do not feel this process and experience hardly any discomfort (pain). However, since we are all different, in many IBSers, the environmental pressures often lead to increased brain sensitivity which is then transmitted or felt in the gut.

Imagine, for example, a stressful situation, such as taking a test or public speaking. We all experience both emotional and physical responses which is our nervous system’s way to meet a challenge. Emotionally, we might feel fear, anxiety or doubt, accompanied by  physical sensations such as muscle tension, sweating, breathlessness or abdominal cramps. We differ in how we react to such stressful events and for many the response is felt in the gut which may be even hereditary. These people are known as the ‘Gut Responders’. I classify myself as such and have found this reaction to emanate from my childhood. I was a very emotional kid, expressing all my feelings often to the extreme. I also went through several love and friendship traumas that I believe had left their print on my ‘insides’. My mother was also quite a sensitive woman and used to suffer from stomach upset at young age. So, my dear busy bees, dig deep into your past and stressful life events to find patterns and occurring symptoms.

The gut-brain connection also explains the vise versa process. If the gut is experiencing constipation, bacterial infection or food intolerance, the brain will respond with fatigue, poor sleep and a headache. Research shows that eating spicy or too fatty meals right before bed might lead to interrupted sleep or even nightmares as the digestion required fires up metabolism which activates the brain. When it comes to identifying the pain origin, the situation becomes more complex as nerves pass from the abdominal organs to the spinal cord, connecting to other nerves that send information to the brain. If for example, a nerve from the gut enters the spine where a muscle nerve is, the pain may seem to be from that muscle, known as ‘referred pain’.

irritable-bowel-syndromeThe gallbladder is another example. Since it lies under the lower ribs on the right, we would expect pain at this place. However, the ‘true’ pain is felt in the middle of the upper abdomen, spreading to the right shoulder blade. It is only during gallbladder inflammation that the pain reaches surrounding tissues, causing symptoms on the right-hand side of the upper abdomen.

The next step is to notice when the pain comes. Is it after a particular meal or physical activity? What makes the pain better or worse – is it posture, heavy breathing or a way of eating? Are there any other symptoms, such as blood in urine or headaches? Since the whole gut appears sensitive, it’s it the nature of the pain not the site that is important. Women might also notice increased pain in the days leading up to a period.

After the pain investigation follows the stool examination as there is often a change in the frequency and appearance of the stools. Below is a guidance, widely used by me and my colleagues in this process:

stool-chartStools at the lumpy end are hard to pass and require more straining which is associated with constipation. This is defined as 3 bowel movements or less per week plus 2 or more of the following symptoms:

  • straining and lumpy hard stools
  • sensation of incomplete bowel movement or blockage
  • using hands to assist the bowel movement and straining.

Constipation

Scientifically, constipation can be confirmed by either measuring the ‘whole gut transit time’ (WGTT) or by weighing the stools over a 24-hour period. The first method involves swallowing special markers that show up on x-rays while the latter requires faces collection over a day. The WGTT method is most reliable but since both techniques take time and effort, the stool guide is considered good enough to determine constipation.

Bloating

Bloating usually comes with constipation. This is when the abdomen swells and is caused by constipation or gas. Excess gas is due to the fermentation of foods residues by the bacteria in the large intestines, or air swallowing which characterises anxiety. If the latter is the cause, we expell the swallowed air by belching. If you do this, then your gas doesn’t come from the bowel.

Diarrhoea

It occurs when we pass two or more loose stools each day and can be a result of the following:

  • increased secretion of fluids
  • reduced fluids absorption
  • chemicals that increase the flow of fluids into the bowel
  • increased bowel motility (movement)

In addition, IBS-D may be triggered by increased over-production of prostaglandins –  hormone-like chemicals or increased bowel mobility. Infection is another common reason this comes from food poisoning or poor hygiene. The difficulty comes in specifying the type – is it too frequent bowel movements or just loose stools?

In many case, we also see alternation between constipation and diarrhoea. Thus the key to understand your IBS type is to analyse the stools. ‘Overload and overflow’  happens when we pass small hard stools for a week to 10 days and because the bowel has not emptied completely, the amount that builds up gets triggered later to cause a bout of overflow diarrhoea. In this instance, the diarrhoea is what gets treated while actually the underlying cause is chronic constipation which will get worse as the treatment prescribed aims to confirm it even further.

When it comes to IBS-D, we need to be aware that certain medication can cause the issue as a side effect. Some include  antibiotics, beta blockers, calcitonin, cancer drugs, iron preparations, metformin, magnesium salts, statins and thyroxine.

This is the general symptomatology of IBS and we all need to go through this process to better understand our ‘guts’. There are, of course, other symptoms, such as tiredness, headache, joint pain and nausea.  They key is to be your own detective and really tune in with your guts:)

Hope the above helps. Please feel free to share with friends and family and post your comments below.

In Health & Balance,

Maya xxx

 

 


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Gut-friendly Sunflower Pâté

Sam Faiers Love Your Gut4This week August 11th – 17th is Gut Week 2014. Organised by Love Your Gut and the IBS Network, the week-long event aims to raise awareness about gut health and encourage more people to recognise their symptoms by listening to their ‘gut’ feeling. In recent years, lots of attention has been brought to this issue as no matter how healthy our diet is and how many high quality supplements it contains, if our body is unable to metabolise, absorb and utilise these nutrients, all our efforts will bring minimal to no results. As an IBS fighter myself, you know I am very passionate about this issue and hence have eagerly joined this initiative. On my twitter feed you can find daily tips on gut health, along with useful articles.

Today I want to introduce a gut-friendly recipe that is recommended by Love Your Gut and that I also enjoy with a few extra additions to make it even more nutritious.

Roasted red pepper, rosemary and sunflower seed pâté

This is a simple, nutritious spread that can be eaten as a snack with rye crackers (if you are fine with Gluten) or rice/buckwheat crackers for the more sensitive IBSers.  It’s also nice with boiled white potatoes which we know can help with IBS-D.

Serves 4-6

Roasted red pepper pate-1Ingredients

  • 3 large organic red or orange peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 75g organic sunflower seeds
  • a pinch of smoked paprika
  • Himalayan salt
  • juice of half an organic lemon
  • 1 tsp rosemary needles, chopped
  • 5g coconut oil

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 130-150°C/Gas mark 6. This temperature will preserve the nutrients in the vegetables which is important when we suffer from IBS-D as the frequent toilet visits deplete the body from minerals, such as potassium and salt. The added Himalayan salt is another trick for this purpose:)

Place the peppers on a lightly oiled with coconut oil baking tray and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the skins begin to blister. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Peel the skins from the peppers. This is important as the skin can often irritate the gut lining due to the inability of our body to digest cellulose.

If time allows, soak your sunflower seeds overnight in filtered water with a pinch of salt. This will activate the nutrients and enzymes necessary to digest the seeds, making it easy for thr digestive system. You might have noticed that often after eating nuts or seeds your tummy feels heavy which is due to these enzymes-inhibiting nutrients in the seeds and nuts that protect them from being eaten and going rotten.

After soaking, rinse well with water. Place the sunflower seeds on another baking tray and place in the hot oven for 5 minutes to toast a little.

Place the peppers, sunflower seeds, smoked paprika, lemon juice and rosemary in a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

If you would like to add a protein kick, add a scoop of unflavoured pea protein. I use Vital Pea Protein as its from organic origin and the manufacturing process removes the difficult to digest components in peas that often upset the gut lining. Below you you find a discount code for the brand too:) Pea makes it even creamier and is suitable after exercise to repair the muscle tissues.

  Per portion (62g)(based on 4 people) Per 100g
Calories 123kcal 199kcal
Fat 9.1g 14.8g
Protein 4.1g 6.7g
Carbohydrate 6.2g 10g
Sugars 2.8g 4.5g
Fibre 2.4g 3.8g
Sodium 2mg 4mg
FODMAPs None

Discount code: JF0K8S

Give the recipe a try and let me know how you get on in the comments or tweet to me @BusyBee_Blogger. Don’t forget to check #GutWeek14 and #LoveYourGut for my gut health tips.

In Health & Balance,

Maya xxx

 

 

 

 


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WHAT IS IBS – WHAT WE MUST KNOW

IBSIrritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that has recently entered the health arena with the number of people, experiencing the symptoms growing every day. Unfortunately, despite numerous research and literature on the subject, IBS is still misunderstood and misdiagnosed with only 50% of IBS cases being related to diet and the remaining 50% being seldom examined and individual specific. IBS has now become the ‘buzz’ word used by many doctors to define unexplained changes in digestion and gut health and many patients are left with a generic list of recommended foods and pain killers to take all their life. This is not a fair approach and is neither healthy nor sustainable.

The causes for IBS are often deep-rooted in the patient’s health history, emotional state and environmental influence. And I am the perfect example of this. Having gone from periods of severe stomach pain and frequent bowel movements in childhood, not fully resolved by the medical professionals, to severe complications later in adult life, I went on a quest to fight IBS alone through education and experimentation. I spent long years battling with the symptoms of intense pain, diarrhoea, bloating and constipation to now realise that the only way to ‘cure’ this condition is to embrace your gut health, find your own IBS type and learn how to manage it. This and subsequent posts will describe my experience and learnings, hoping to help more of you – IBSers.

First, let’s have an overview of what we must all know about IBS.

IBS involves the intestines (bowels), especially the large bowel (colon). We have 3 types of IBS: IBS-D (diarrhoea mainly); IBS-C (constipation) or IBS – D+C with the symptoms being as follows:

  • diarrhoea, constipation or both
  • bloating
  • excess gas or wind
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea and back pain.

However, a diagnosis can’t be made seldom on these. A thorough medical check needs to be conducted to exclude more serious options. How to test for IBS    Many doctors used to believe that IBS was caused by emotional issues that later upset the gut because no signs of disease could be found in the bowel. Psychological factors are indeed potential triggers but should not be used to solely explain the condition. The belief that IBS was ‘all in the head’ meant that it was dismissed by many professionals as a minor problem, leaving patients confused and even depressed.

IBS is not a life-threatening condition but a condition, threatening the quality of life. The abdominal pain may be very severe, making the bed your new best friend while the sudden bouts of diarrhoea often create stressful situations when being out and unable to respond to the ‘urge’. That was me a lot of the time and as a person, deeply in love with exercise, not being able to visit the gym was making my emotional state even worse. I even had clients telling me that they had to learn the exact locations of every single toilet when going in town or visiting new places.

As you can see, IBS is not a minor issue and even seeing a specialists, such as a gastroenterologist may not always be enough. The condition must be dealt with care due to its effects on social and emotional wellbeings – research shows that the symptoms are comparable or sometimes worse than depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Why is IBS still misunderstood?

Gut healthThe diagnosis of IBS is given after a detailed discussion of symptoms with the doctor. There is no particular symptom pattern to confirm the condition but certain tests must be performed to exclude dangerous diseases. Unfortunately, there is no single test to show IBS and thus many doctors see it as any case of abdominal pain that has unexplained causes. Quite often, even after taking a detail medical history, blood and stool tests, along with endoscopy (internal examination with a mini camera, attached to a tube that looks at the stomach or large bowel), abnormalities are not discovered and the solution is not clear. In such cases though, we as patients should still be grateful that the dangerous diseases are excluded. Thus since we can’t name a particular cause for IBS, it is defined as a condition in which abdominal pain occurs over a long time, accompanied by irregular bowel habits. If the following ‘Red Flag’ symptoms are present though, further instigation is required:

  • Weight loss
  • Blood in stools
  • Abdominal pain or diarrhoea during the night
  • Anaemia
  • Fever

As you can see from the variety of symptoms, IBS includes several conditions and with no exact test to confirm it, it is of no surprise that some doctors can’t fully ‘cure’ it. As a result, some recommend either inappropriate treatments or give a list of foods to avoid, leaving us, the patients, feeling even worse.

What’s the future for IBS sufferers?

I believe that enough research has now been conducted on the condition to provide us with enough protocols to follow depending on the symptoms, giving IBS sufferers hope and control over their treatment. As a Nutritionist, this is where I am investing my time and energy to make sure my knowledge is up to date, allowing me to tailor my approach to the individual and their type of IBS. It still frustrates me when I clients share their disappointing experiences with the medical professionals and how little help they have received.

The truth is that not many doctors study nutrition to the extent that we do or even worse they don’t use their free time to read the latest research and explore this part of  HEALTH. If, for example, your doctor qualified more than 10 years ago, chances are that he or she had fewer than 12 years of training in nutrition. Looking after a person’s Health is not about popping a pill or treating the symptoms. It’s about taking a holistic view of their lifestyle, diet and fitness and if knowledge is not enough, seek help and collaborate with other professionals. Even I do it with fellow Nutritionist or Functional Medicine Practitioners when the case is too complex for my knowledge. It’s about HEALTH, not MONEY or REPUTATION. It’s about time to remove the silos between the medicine and nutrition and bring us all together for the greatest GOOD – HUMAN HEALTH.

I hope this gives you a general idea of IBS and how you can approach your initial treatment. You can find more about each type in subsequent posts. And remember, IBS is not your enemy anymore. It can be ‘cured’ through lifestyle ‘management’ – we need the discipline to take control. If you want to get my guidance on this journey, get touch:).

In Health & Balance,

Maya xxx