Diarrhoea is unpleasant and uncomfortable, a recent survey shows that up to 10 per cent of the UK population may suffer from frequent diarrhoea.
It’s not just going to occur after food poisoning or travel. There are many factors which can cause an imbalances digestive system, with food and mood being the main triggers.
Research of 1,000 diarrhoea sufferers reveals that many believe the main cause of it to be stress or anxiety.
“Diarrhoea can be very isolating due to the discomfort, fear and embarrassment people feel because of the condition,” says Dr Nick Read, gastroenterologist and psychotherapist from the IBS network.
“Unfortunately, for many people it’s a recurring problem experienced several times a week, which can dominate their lives. Leaving the home is an ordeal which is planned around toilet stops, while the stress and axiety of having an accident further aggravates the condition.”
The research, conducted by the makers of Imodium, found that one in three people admit to having an ‘over-active’ bowel and the effect of this can significantly impact on quality of life, with 65 per cent saying that it stops them from carrying out their normal routine.
Many sufferers are unwilling to talk clearly and openly about their condition, meaning that they can feel alienated from family and friends.
The research also indicates that eating habits are increasing digestive healtyh problems, although 74 per cent of people are aware that eating quickly affects their digestive health, 65 per cent still admit to rushing while eating, showing that they are ignoring advice about the subject.
Dr Read continues: “Many things can ‘tip the balance’ of our sensitive digestive systems, not just infections but the way we ‘feel’. For frequent sufferers, it’s often changes in food and mood that can trigger a bout of diarrhoea, though some women can experience symptoms around their period due to hormonal changes.”
Amanda Hamilton, nutritionist says: “It’s just this kind of bust lifestyle that can lead to frquent bouts of diarrhoea suffered by many. With the hectic lives we lead, meals often become our lowest priority but it’s extremely important to get into good eating habits in order for our body to function properly.
Amanda advises you on the everyday eatin habits that can upset your digestive system.
Eating too quickly – it takes up to 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full, so eating more slowly means you’re likely to end up eating less. When you gulp down food, you often end up swallowing air too – this can lead to trapped wind and uncomfortable indigestion.
Eating too many fatty and spicy foods – these can upset the balance of the gut and irritate the intestines. When this happens the body produces more water to dilute the irritants resulting in dirrhoea. Some people are more sensitive than others to rich or spicy foods, so know your limits.
Eating big, heavy meals – these take longer to digest, so your system has to work much harder.
Drinking excess alcohol – after a night of heavy drinking the intestines absorb the toxic alcohol and lose their ability to absorb water. This leads to a release of fluid from the intestinal lining, which can result in an attack of diarrhoea that lasts until the alcohol has left the digestives system.