Dr. Yishai Ron explains how to identify sensitive bowel syndrome - and how to live with it (Walla system)
About 5 to 20 percent of the population is diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome - a syndrome that is a collective name for a series of symptoms in the digestive system such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and more.
The symptoms can manifest differently in different people, and in varying levels of severity.
Dr. Yishai Ron, director of the service for neuro-gastroenterology and gastrointestinal motility in Ichilov, was a guest on the Expert Clinic podcast to explain how to recognize sensitive bowel syndrome - and how to live with it.
Dr. Ron explained that the syndrome is not a disease in itself but a collection of disturbing symptoms the patient, "when the main symptom is abdominal pain, which can be accompanied by swelling in the abdomen, and mainly - disturbances in the output, from constipation to diarrhea, and sometimes even a combination of the two phenomena."
why is it happening?
Dr. Ron added that in many cases it is not clear what causes the phenomenon since "the syndrome itself is multifactorial - there are many factors that influence, starting with internal factors, which are genetic factors, and mainly environmental factors, which include personality structure (people with a tendency to anxiety, depression), Previous infections in the digestive system and a change in the microbiome - people who suffer from a sensitive intestine have a different composition of bacteria than in healthy people."
It comes and goes.
A woman suffering from stomach pains (Photo: ShutterStock)
People who suffer from sensitive bowels have periods of flare-ups and periods of remission, when external stressors can cause an outbreak of abdominal pain.
"This is a very serious damage to the quality of life. There are studies that show that the syndrome does not change life expectancy even by a minute, but it severely damages the quality of daily life, to the point of dysfunction. We see students who have stopped studying because they are unable to attend classes, especially during exam periods when the stress very noticeable. We know that people leave jobs, especially jobs that are related to a lot of stress. It really causes disability," said Dr. Ron.
He added that for him, "the syndrome becomes a real disease when it disrupts the daily routine of that woman or man who needs To go to work or study or any other commitment."
"Poor nutritional behavior"
"Between two-thirds and almost 85 percent of patients associate the symptoms with food, and this is a very disturbing issue, especially in the Western world," said Dr. Ron, "we are talking about poor nutritional behavior in many of the patients, all kinds of rituals and beliefs, including the influence of the media For example, one of the biggest fads today is a gluten-free diet, however, "recently, guidelines from the European Union of Neuro-Gastroenterology came out that clearly rule out this trend of an uncontrolled break from bread, since it contains components that are important to our diet, as above for fruits And vegetables and so on regarding milk sugar." However, he clarified that "we routinely do tests for lactose if needed, and also for fructose."
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So what should you eat?
The most well-known nutritional treatment in the context of irritable bowel syndrome is the FODMAP diet - each letter in this combination symbolizes a carbohydrate chain rich in fructose molecules, which makes it difficult for the intestine to function and contributes to the development of bacteria inside it.
"We deprive the patients on this diet for 6 weeks of the same FODMAP components and see the results," said Dr. Ron, but he emphasized that "in terms of my insight as a doctor, we are omnivores - creatures that can also eat meat and mainly consume fruits and vegetables.
In fact, the healthiest diet in the world is the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in bread, fruits and vegetables, and a little meat, mainly in the form of fish, and of course olive oil and all, things that are considered a healthy diet in the world."
Still, it is important to emphasize that nutrition is not everything and that hypersensitivity of the digestive system can cause pain, even when eating healthy, so if you suffer from the digestive system - it is important to seek clarification.
"We don't pretend to cure, but we can make it significantly easier, so that the syndrome will become a kind of shadow that walks alongside the patient, and will not actually become a disease."