Did you know around 1 in 10 of us now has IBS? Yet sadly it’s still super misunderstood.
As a result, it’s easy to end up looking for answers in all the wrong places and getting fake news (IBS-style) from unreliable sources – and that can lead to all sorts of myths and misinformation about the condition. Cue the confusion.
We’re here to bust the biggest IBS myths and give you only the latest no-nonsense real science, so you can take care of your tummy and take back control of your health.
So, let’s set the record straight on 3 major IBS myths we hear too often…
But first, what actually is IBS?
Essentially, IBS (which stands for irritable bowel syndrome) is a chronic condition that affects how your tummy works (aka the long tube that drives digestion from top to bottom).
It’s actually thought of by experts as a disorder of the gut-brain connection, where the communication between your tummy and your brain is out of balance.
Some of the most common symptoms include stomach pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
1. MYTH: Sugar causes IBS flare ups
Sure, having too much sugar isn’t a great idea for your overall health – as eating plenty of plants with tummy-loving fibre is key. But in termsof how your tummy works, sugar is actually pretty easily absorbed. And being easy to absorb usually means smoother sailing, with fewer tummy troubles (like gas or bloating) in the process.
The thing is, foods you might have suspected as IBS triggers, such as cakes and chocolate bars, don’t just contain regular sugar – but also give you high amounts of fat that can slow down digestion and trigger tummy issues.
Also, there are a bunch of different types of sugar. Some sugars could cause symptoms if you have a specific intolerance (like lactose or fructose), but often you’d need to eat them in high quantities to feel the side effects.
So, instead of being simply about the sugar, it’s often the portion size, fat content and FODMAPs you’re reacting to in those ‘high sugar’ foods. Find out more about FODMAPs below and in our blog here.