Frequently Asked Questions
My name is Suzanne Perazzini. I am the author of Low Fodmap Menus for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the creator of the Inspired Life Low Fodmap Coaching program, helping others eliminate the symptoms of IBS.
Why do I have IBS?
The exact cause is unknown but it is believed that the brain-gut communication link is faulty in those with IBS. This makes the intestines contract or spasm in an abnormal way, which causes pain. These contractions can speed up the passage of matter through the bowel resulting in diarrhoea or it slows it down resulting in constipation. The gut of an IBS sufferer is hypersensitive to digestive signals and to pain. Why this is so is yet to be discovered.
Why does a person get IBS?
The medical profession does not know why we get IBS but there are some links. For example, studies have revealed that the chances of getting IBS are higher in the sibling or child of an IBS sufferer. Whether that is hereditary or as a result of the same environment is unknown. Also, when a patient has had an infection caused by a water-borne germ with severe diarrhoea, then their chances of getting IBS are raised. A link between a traumatic experience and the onset or worsening of IBS also exists. A radical change in diet seems to trigger it too.
What are common symptoms?
Diarrhoea or constipation or a combination of the two, bloating, pain from cramping or trapped wind, feeling like you haven’t finished a bowel movement and mucus in the stool.
How can I confirm I actually have IBS?
There is no test for IBS but if you have gut issues and have been to doctor after doctor, had test after test, all of which have been negative or inconclusive, then you probably have irritable bowel syndrome. That’s what health professionals call it when they have excluded all other possibilities and they don’t know how to help you.
What is the cure for IBS?
There is no drug that reduces or cures IBS. The best you can hope for is help with the severity of some of the symptoms. It is well-known that drugs can help with diarrhoea and constipation, and that spasms can be calmed with certain medicines but it is only masking the problems and could be causing more harm than good through the side effects. IBS is affected by a brain-gut disturbance so, if therapy takes this direction and is conducted by a therapist experienced in IBS, then considerable benefit can be gained from this approach. Even though there is no cure, what we do know now is that reducing the Fodmaps in the diet dramatically reduces the symptoms of IBS.
How do I deal with the symptoms of IBS?
A low Fodmap diet could be your solution. Follow the FODMAP elimination diet for 2-6 weeks – it eliminates all foods containing high FODMAPs so you will be able to know clearly whether FODMAPs are causing your IBS or whether something else is going on too. For 75% of the population, it will have reduced the symptoms considerably and you will now move on to the next phase, where you introduce foods gradually one by one to see if there are some of the FODMAPs that you can tolerate.
What happens if I don’t get IBS treated?
You can take comfort from the fact that there seems to be no link between IBS and any worse condition, but nothing will change if you don’t take charge of your health. You will continue to experience the pain, embarrassment and discomfort that come with IBS.
There’s so much information on your site about the low Fodmap diet, so why would I need your coaching program?
Sure, you can do it yourself and take 6 months, maybe a year to figure out all the nuances of amounts and combinations as well as all the other pieces of the IBS puzzle. Much of the information on the internet about the Low Fodmap diet is either outdated or simply wrong, so you can’t trust what you find. With my program, you will get accurate information and will learn quickly in a matter of weeks how to implement the diet with ease while learning how to lead a balanced lifestyle which is so essential for an IBS sufferer.
What can I expect if I enrol in your coaching?
You will receive daily customized meal plans and recipes, one-on-one phone calls, a weekly training video to help you with the various challenges of living with this diet and IBS. There are also weekly exercises based around establishing a balanced lifestyle for managing your IBS and constant email support.
Why should I do your course instead of going to a dietician for advice?
You can go to a dietician as well but choose one who is well-versed in the low Fodmap diet – there are not many of them around yet. She/he will give you a list of foods to eat and to avoid, but that is only one of the IBS puzzle pieces, and she/he will be unable to give you ongoing support between visits. My program not only covers all the nuances of the diet and life with IBS, but gives you close continuous support from someone who has been through it all while you learn to use this diet.