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The irritable bowel syndrome

Dr. Adrian Weingart

The irritable bowel syndrome

This disease is becoming more and more common these days and causes serious problems for around 14 million Germans. But what is irritable bowel syndrome - or an irritable bowel actually? How can this disease be treated? And how exactly does all this relate to the intestinal flora? You can find out all about it in this blog post.

Table of Contents

1. What is irritable bowel syndrome?
2. What are typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?
3. What causes this bowel disease?
4. Are intestinal flora and irritable bowel related?
5. What can I do about it?
6. DIY home remedies to strengthen your intestinal flora

1. What is irritable bowel syndrome?

The irritable bowel syndrome, also known as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short, is a disease of the digestive tract - more precisely, a functional disorder of the intestine. This is usually due to the fact that the intestinal flora of those affected is not healthy. This causes a number of symptoms, such as bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Compared to healthy people, certain harmful or disruptive strains of bacteria are more prevalent in the gut.
Irritable bowel occurs about twice as often in women as in men. According to the current state of gastroenterological research, it is not yet possible to say why this is so. In general, the exact causes for the occurrence of this disease are still relatively unclear. However, connections between food intolerances, infections and stress have been scientifically proven. Nowadays, scientists are increasingly assuming that there is not just one, but several "reozguts". This is because researchers have now been able to identify different subspecies, which differ mainly in the symptoms or discomfort they cause. In addition, science assumes that irritable bowel syndrome can be caused by interactions between the brain, the psyche and the gastrointestinal tract. This happens via the gut-brain axis. This is because the central and enteric nervous systems are in close contact via nerves, messenger substances and hormones.
Experts now suspect that the intestinal nervous system - also known as the abdominal brain - is overactive in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. This can cause problems in the digestive tract and can affect the psyche. Some studies have been able to scientifically prove that irritable bowel syndrome is often associated with depression, chronic stress, mental trauma and anxiety disorders. In principle, however, this disease cannot be described as a mental illness.

2. What are typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

An estimated four to ten percent of all Germans suffer from recurring diarrhea, abdominal cramps, constipation or flatulence. Due to the still unexplained causes of this disease, treatment is made more difficult and is often unsatisfactory. The symptoms are incredibly varied and usually occur in combination with each other. These include nausea, heartburn, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.

3. What causes this intestinal disease?

Now comes bad news, because irritable bowel syndrome can have a wide variety of causes and has only been around for about a year. 10 years, which is very little time from a scientific point of view. Accordingly, there is relatively little information about this disease.
If symptoms such as frequent diarrhea, flatulence or abdominal pain occur, the affected person usually goes to the family doctor first. If he does not know what to do, he refers to a specialist in the field - an internist or gastroenterologist. Normally, they then carry out a gastrointestinal examination or an ultrasound examination. But here, too, the doctors usually do not find an answer to all the problems, because irritable bowel syndrome occurs in very different ways and can manifest itself in various ways. Here we have listed important factors that can influence the occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome:
  • Nutrition: It is well known that nutrition can have a significant impact on our health. It also plays an important role in the occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome. Because patients who have an irritated bowel can usually report a connection between certain foods and reduced well-being. These are usually certain carbohydrates, sugar alcohols and types of sugar, such as lactose or fructose. Gluten, gluten proteins and other substances contained in wheat can also cause problems.
  • Genetics: Studies show that people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome usually have genetic changes. This seems to be the reason why either the number or the structure of the so-called receptor molecules is changed. By the way, these are located in the cell wall of the intestine. This in turn leads to the fact that the transmission of stimuli in the intestine is impaired and results in overstimulation of the digestive tract.
  • Intestinal flora: Researchers have found that the composition of the gut microbiome and gut flora is different in people with IBS compared to healthy people. This is reflected in the fact that certain bacterial strains occur more frequently. On the other hand, the number of bacterial species present is usually reduced. Taking antibiotics, the influence of chronic stress and gastrointestinal infections also have strong negative effects on the composition of the intestinal microbiome and thus also on intestinal health.
  • Inflammation: Chronic, subliminal inflammation of the intestinal mucosa can be one of the reasons for the development of irritable bowel syndrome. This is mostly the case in patients who suffer from frequent diarrhea.
  • Intestinal movements: Normally, the situation in a healthy intestine looks like this: the intestine moves regularly and rhythmically. But the gut doesn't make these movements without a reason. No, he does this to move the intestinal contents, i.e. pre-digested food, and thus transport it through the body. However, if the intestine is not healthy, this can result in the intestinal movements changing, slowing down or speeding up considerably. If the bowel moves much more slowly, this can result in constipation. If the muscles move faster than average, this has the opposite effect. As you can probably guess, the result is a very uncomfortable symptom, which is diarrhea. In addition, cramps in the intestinal tract can lead to severe and uncomfortable abdominal pain.

So one thing is already certain: there are many different factors that have an impact on the probability of contracting the disease. Irritable bowel patients need patience, because both the precise investigation of the causes and the healing and treatment of an irritable bowel require close observation and time.
Some doctors then advise not only to change your diet and find out which foods you feel the symptoms after. More and more it is also strongly recommended to take good bacteria, i.e. probiotics, which should bring the intestines back into balance.

4. Are intestinal flora and irritable bowel related?

The causes of irritable bowel mentioned above sometimes have a strong and sometimes less strong effect on the intestinal flora. From this it can be deduced that the irritable bowel is directly related to a changed intestinal flora. The reverse conclusion is that with a positive change in the intestinal microbiome, the symptoms of an irritable bowel can disappear. However, this has not yet been fully clarified scientifically. However, many gastroenterologists and doctors see significant improvements in symptoms in the positive change in the intestinal microbiome.

5. What can I do about it?

The most effective methods to date for rebuilding your gut flora are changing your diet, taking pro- & prebiotics and avoiding excessive, chronic stress. Of course, the best thing to do is to pay attention to all of these things and improve them if necessary in order to strive for long-term improvement. Nevertheless, everything starts small - our little helpers in the intestines would also agree.
In general, if the intestinal flora is out of balance, this has negative effects on human health. It is interesting to know that studies have shown that the stool of people with a healthy intestinal microbiome differs significantly from that of the sick person. This in turn suggests a disruption in the intestinal microbiome. To bring this back into balance - to "fix" it - taking probiotics can help. Because these contribute to strengthening the intestinal barrier and thus help to ward off pathogenic substances. They also inhibit the growth of harmful germs and prevent them from settling on the intestinal mucosa. But that's not all, because they can strengthen the immune system and also stimulate intestinal movements!

6. DIY – home remedies to strengthen your intestinal flora

We believe that the most underestimated factor in relation to the influence of the intestinal flora is stress. Physical and mental stress has a direct impact on the variety and number of bacterial strains in our intestines due to the release of stress hormones.
To keep your intestines healthy and in balance, we have put together a small collection of tips that we are completely convinced of:
  • Take a phone-and-laptop-free break and focus on the here and now.
  • Prepare a cup of your favorite tea or hot chocolate. (however, these are best without sugar or sweetened cocoa, since sugar does nothing to help with stress)
  • Practice in your favorite sport or replace it with some stretching exercises, which have a calming effect on our nervous system.
  • A walk in the fresh air (without a cell phone) or just open the window and breathe in and out deeply.
  • 15 minutes of yoga with the appropriate breathing exercises (pranayama) also help significantly to minimize the perceived stress.
  • Saunas and sun also have stress-reducing effects. (just pick what appeals to you the most)

If you have already incorporated all of this into your daily life and are longing for more, you can also support your intestinal flora with our specially developed pro- and prebiotics. Sounds good? Then just have a look around here:

Dailybacs women
Dailybacs men


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