IBS Effects On Heath & Skin

Mar 28, 2024 | Body, Health, Nutrition, Skin Care

Irritable Bowel Syndrome ‘IBS’ is a common digestive disorder that affects the large intestine (colon).

The main characteristics of IBS are abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, and changes in bowel movements (diarrhoea, constipation, or both). These symptoms tend to come and go in flare-ups that can last for days, weeks, or even months. While IBS is commonly known for its impact on the digestive system, it can also affect the skin.

The most common skin symptoms of IBS are in fact related to chronic inflammatory and stress responses which can exasperate inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, generally sensitivity, even hives.

While it’s not life-threatening and doesn’t cause permanent damage individuals suffering with IBS can experience physical symptoms, which can be uncomfortable and can lead to feelings of frustration and low self-esteem.

Emotionally, individual suffering with IBS may experience stress, anxiety and low mood. They may also feel overwhelmed and struggle with body image issues and feel unable to cope with symptoms that can be difficult to manage.

Causes Of IBS
The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it’s likely a combination of factors.

Muscle Contractions In The Gut
In individuals with IBS, the muscles in the intestines may contract more frequently or weakly than normal, leading to pain and cramping.

Food Intolerance
Certain foods may trigger IBS symptoms in some individuals.

  • Dairy (especially if you are lactose intolerant)
  • Fatty foods
  • Foods containing wheat (if you are gluten-sensitive)
  • Too much fibre (especially from fruit/vegetable skin)
  • Chocolate
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Caffeine

Even some healthy foods can generate digestive discomfort to include beans and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Food Intolerance Test Available In Clinic – Click To Learn More

Microbiome Imbalance
The gut microbiome is the community of bacteria in your intestines. An imbalance in this microbiome may play a role in IBS. In addition, our gut and skin are both connected by the immune system and the gut microbiome. An imbalance in the gut microbiome associated with IBS might also contribute to skin problems.

‘Can Gut Health Affect Your Skin?’ – Click To Learn More

Impact On Nutrient Absorption
IBS can sometimes lead to difficulty absorbing nutrients from food. Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A, D, and zinc, can contribute to health implications to include skin issues like dryness, eczema, or acne.

Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is one of the key features of IBS and plays a significant role in its development and symptoms.

Stress & Anxiety
The gut and brain are closely linked. Stress, anxiety, and depression can worsen IBS symptoms. Chronic stress can contribute to chronic inflammation and hormonal imbalances which can exasperate the IBS symptoms as well as inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and generally sensitivity.

‘What Is Stress & Anxiety’ – Click To Learn More
‘Effect Of Stress On The Skin’ – Click To Learn More

Symptoms Of IBS
The most common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Diarrhoea, constipation, or both
  • Stress related issues
  • Inflammatory skin concerns; acne, rosacea, dermatitis, eczema
  • Mood related concerns

Diagnosis of IBS

If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of IBS, it’s important to speak to a wellness practitioner or a GP to ensure that any potential problems are addressed as soon as possible. They can help to diagnose and treat the condition, as well as provide you with the support and resources you need to manage them.

Diagnosis is typically based on your symptoms, medical history, a physical exam and possible food diary. Ruling out other conditions may also be part of the diagnosis.

There is no single test for IBS. However, by under taking a Food Intolerance Test or a Stress (cortisol) Test it could ascertain any food intolerances or stress that could be contributing to IBS symptoms.

12 Strategies To Aid IBS Symptoms
Although there is no cure for IBS, there are strategies available that can help manage the symptoms, reduce the risk of long-term complications and improve quality of life.

The best strategies for IBS depend on each individual and their symptoms. Lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, regular physical activity, along with some natural remedies, holistic treatments and medical interventions can help to reduce symptoms.

1. Adopt dietary changes to identify and avoid trigger foods can be very helpful. Keep a food diary to find the link between food and symptoms.

2. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Eat foods to support your gut microbiome, avoid trans fats, sugar, alcohol, processed meat and foods and for some people, certain allergens like gluten. Antioxidants found in healthy foods counter-act the inflammatory process.

3. Ditch the bad habits such as alcohol, smoking and late nights. Avoid eating on the go to allow your body to rest and digest meals.

4. Avoid food and drinks that are too cold.

5. Stress management strategies are recommended to help regulate the colon and reduce inflammation, thus reduce IBS symptoms. Taking measures to manage stress with cortisol-lowering practices such as gentle yoga, specific breathwork, meditation and walking around nature are very helpful. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help manage stress and improve coping skills for dealing with IBS.

6. Over-the-counter anti-spasmodic medication can help relieve cramping. Diarrhoea and constipation medication may also be required at times. Always ensure you have a selection to hand in case of need.

7. Useful supplements such as peppermint supplements provide relief. Pre and probiotic supplements support gut health. L-Theanine & Lemon Balm, Ashwagandha, Magnesium, Saffron can support the reduction of stress and anxiety. Vitamin B’s can ad the regulation of the nervous system.

8. Anti-spasmodic chamomile and peppermint tea can relief cramping symptoms if drank regularly. Whereas fennel and ginger tea can aid bloating symptoms. Turmeric provides excellent anti-inflammatory benefits and cinnamon soothes the stomach.

9. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water (not too cold) throughout the day.

10. Exercise or move daily supports the removal of bodily toxins. Yoga twist poses provide relief to IBS symptoms.

11. Take time for yourself to relax and aim for 8 hours of sleep at night.

12. A hot water bottle or heat bean bag provides a comforting and soothing affect to stomach cramps.

Skin Care Treatments

IBS can cause any array of skin symptoms.

The stress response can trigger the stimulation of excess oil in the hair follicles as well as inflammatory reactions where skin conditions such as acne, redness and irritation can occur.

Seek a professional skin aesthetician to assess your skin condition and treat accordingly.

With over 35+ years, The Emporium Treatment Clinic senior aesthetician, Angela is able to help you to take the appropriate measures. So why not pop in and visit us in Marylebone, London, or call if you feel you need a consultation.

Some of the treatments that might be suitable are; Bespoke Facial, Skin Storm Hydrafacial, Green Peel® Herbal PeelingBlemiderm Acne Skin Peel, Chemical Skin Peel to target specific skin concerns and Laser Skin Care treatments.

Body Treatments
A warm, relaxing, detox mineral body wrap such as the ‘Universal Contour Body Wrap‘ can provide benefits to reduce bloating and relief symptoms as well as reduce stress, eczema and psoriasis.

Holistic Treatments
A holistic treatment is a form of approach that considers the whole person, body, mind, emotions, and spirit in the quest for optimal health and wellness. Treatments include Acupuncture, Massage Therapies, Herbal Medicine to name but a few.

It’s also important to remember that you’re not alone. There are many support networks and resources available for those living with endometriosis to help you cope. These can help to provide emotional support and understanding, which can be invaluable in managing the condition.

We Can Support You!

Here at Emporium Treatment Clinic in Marylebone, we provide expert advice in skincare for home use or professional in-clinic treatments.

In addition to the Emporium Treatment Clinic core practice, selected elite independent practitioners provide an array of health, nutrition & wellness services and treatments.

Our team of experts combine a wealth of knowledge, and have collaborated to provide the ultimate synergy of diverse strategies to provide you not only with a clearer, glowing complexion but, most importantly, to nurture health and well-being from within.

Treatments are available at the Emporium Treatment Clinic, Marylebone, London. Contact Angela for any advice 07930661971.


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      Author: Angela Taffinder the founder of Emporium Treatment Clinic. A practising Aesthetician for 35+ years, holistic and wellbeing advocate and yoga instructor. The creator of Yoga & Vitality.

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