Find out what causes irritable bowel syndrome—and what you can do about it.

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What is IBS?

From mild bloating to severe constipation, IBS is a name given to a variety of digestive symptoms. It’s a widespread problem: figures suggest that 10 to 20% of the population suffers from IBS. It’s also more common in women.

You may find that your IBS symptoms are constant, or they may come and go. This can bring periods of relief, but also frustration—as it makes it even harder to work out what’s triggering your digestive problems.

The good news is there’s a lot you can do to tackle IBS naturally.

What causes IBS?

IBS can have several causes. Some of these include:


Small intestine bacterial overgrowth can hinder your intestines’ ability to do their job properly. In fact, it’s estimated that 84% of IBS cases are down to SIBO.

Food sensitivities.

These are a known trigger of IBS. If your immune system reacts to a certain food, it can impair your digestion.

Chronic stress.

This can be both a cause and symptom of IBS, as your gut and your brain are talking to each other constantly via the gut-brain axis.

Leaky gut.

Intestinal hyperpermeability, otherwise known as leaky gut, can trigger an immune reaction. The resulting inflammation can lead to digestive disturbance and IBS.

Childhood trauma.

Family conflict, severe illness or the death of a loved one childhood increase the risk of developing IBS later in life.

An over-sensitive nervous system.

Research has found that IBS sufferers tend to have overactive nervous systems, which affects the digestive process.

Find out how to beat IBS for good, speak to our experts.

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3 natural remedies for IBS

IBS can be resolved easily in some, while others will need more support. Start with these three steps:


Keep a food diary.

This can help you to make connections between certain foods and your symptoms.

Keeping a food diary

Reduce your your stress.

This is known to play a role in IBS. Learn what makes you relax, and make it a non-negotiable part of your schedule every day.

Meditation for mindfulness

Try a probiotic supplement.

These have been found to alleviate symptoms, especially when combined with dietary changes.

Taking probiotics

Or take our free online symptom checker:

Healthpath can help you to identify what’s going on:

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