The Science

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of symptoms that occur together, including pain in your abdomen and changes in your bowel movements, which could be diarrhoea, constipation, or both. With IBS, you may have these symptoms without any visible signs of damage or disease in your
digestive tract.
Some people have mostly the diarrhoea type and this is called IBS – D (diarrhoea)
Others have mostly the constipation type, called IBS – C Others may have both types, called IBS – M (mixed)

What causes IBS?

Doctors aren’t sure what causes IBS. Scientists think that a combination of problems may lead to IBS. Different causes may lead to IBS in different people.
IBS is defined as a Functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder and is considered to be linked with brain- gut interaction—how your brain and gut work together. Studies have shown that problems with brain-gut interaction may affect how your body works and cause IBS symptoms.
For example, in some people with IBS, food may move too slowly or too quickly through the digestive tract, affecting their bowel movements.
And another example of cause relates to personal sensitivities whereby some people with IBS feel pain when a small amount of gas or stool is in the gut. Whereas other people, in the same situation, would not feel the same bloating or discomfort.

How common is IBS?

Studies estimated that between 10% and 20% of people in UK have IBS
Who is more likely to develop IBS?
IBS most often affects people between the ages of 20 and 30 years and is twice as common in
women as in men.
Although, recent research showed that there is also a significant prevalence of IBS in older people.


Factors that can increase your chance of having IBS include:

To learn more about what foods can trigger an IBS flare-up and how FODMAP is proven to help most sufferers, click here to read the full article.

How was the science behind FODMAP discovered?

The low FODMAP diet was developed by a research team at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. The Monash team were the first to investigate whether a low FODMAP diet improved IBS symptoms and then they established exactly how the diet works and it is effective in the management of IBS. Monash University also created a rigorous food analysis program to measure the FODMAP content of a large number of Australian and international foods.