My own IBS story

I had IBS symptoms very early on as a child, but never complained about them. As if it was normal to feel nauseous nearly every morning. I had a severe asthma and that was at the forefront in terms of medical care. The IBS symptoms were experienced daily; especially after breakfast. I remember the unskippable glass of milk under mum’s watch and how nauseous and foggy I was every morning at school.

However, about fifteen years ago, I started developing more debilitating symptoms. I had unexplained headaches, fogginess, cramps, bloating and more frequent diarrhoea/ constipation and also weight loss. I sought help and I thought I will have some kind of medication and this will be resolved. But didn’t know then how this is actually far from the truth. After many hospital appointments,  two colonoscopies (this is when a camera is inserted in the colon to look around the colon and samples are taken), one fibroscopy (when a camera is inserted through the mouth to look at the stomach ) my symptoms were persistent.  The tests are important to rule out red flags of other diseases like cancer. I was told I had a severe IBS. Depends on doctors, I was given antibiotics, anti spasmodics and as a last resort I was prescribed antidepressants. I was also given an appointment with an NHS dietitian but when she saw me; she thought that I was exaggerating and very self restrictive. The dietitian was already very tired and impatient that she gave me a couple of booklets on FODMAP and showed me to the door. It made me feel like it was my fault I am unwell.

I have found eliminating and reintroducing foods was the best indicator of the symptoms triggers. Mine were gluten, dairy and high FODMAP foods but also some that are low on FODMAPs.  I also take some supplements like calcium.  IBS is very individual, triggers vary from one person to another and will change over time. It is always advisable to talk to a health professional to support you find the triggers and help you eat healthily to ensure you have a good nutrition covering all your needs and optimise health and wellbeing.

How to reduce your blood pressure

High blood pressure increases greatly the risk of heart disease and strokes. both can change drastically how we enjoy life; therefore, it is important to bring blood pressure high readings within a normal range.

Lowering our salt intake can make a difference to our blood pressure. The maximum recommended intake is about a teaspoon (6g) per day but many of us have a lot more as there is salt in foods we don’t even expect. Eating less salt is also beneficial for:

Gut health as it can affect the bacteria living in our gut and this negatively impact our health.

Affect our bones. Too much salt can cause calcium loss leading to thinning of the bones.

Damaged blood vessels: It has been shown that salt can damage lining of blood vessels and make them stiff.

What else can help:

Research shows that losing 5 to 10% of body weight can help lower blood pressure.

According to several studies, garlic (as supplement) might have a lowering blood pressure effect.

Find out more at NourishAll how we can support you to make lifelong changes to your health.

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If you are a chocolate lover, It has been shown that eating a square or two of dark chocolate (70% cocoa and above) a day helps lower blood pressure.