OUR stomachs are surely one of the most troublesome parts of our bodies - at any point anyone can be suffering from tummy ache, bloating, wind and cramps.
Whether you've been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),
which causes cramps, diarrhoea and constipation, or you just have an
upset stomach from time to time, the number of people affected by gut
problems is on the rise. In fact, 41% of Aussie children are now
diagnosed with bowel troubles.
Dr Anton Emmanuel, consultant
gastroenterologist at London's University College Hospital and medical
director at gut health charity Core, blames "excess hygiene in childhood
lowering gut immunity, stressful modern lifestyles, erratic eating
patterns and our greater intake of processed food". Better diagnostic
methods and awareness of gut issues also mean more people are seeing
their doctors to be diagnosed.
Many people with tummy troubles are careful with what they eat, yet
find symptoms remain. "I often see patients who are unwittingly making
their tummy symptoms worse," says Dr Emmanuel.
Here, we talk to
leading digestive experts about how we could be unintentionally
upsetting our gut. You should, however, always consult your GP if you
experience severe problems.