Lisa is a qualified Nutritional Therapist. She has been practising nutrition for 12 years across a broad spectrum of health conditions. She has a special interest in Rosacea, and her research, together with hands­on experience, led to the writing of her thesis entitled “The Nutritional Management of Rosacea”.

Following on from the previous newsletter about the constipated bowel, this week I will be covering some other common digestive issues experienced by the Rosacea sufferer.

In my clinical experience with clients addressing Rosacea, around 45% initially present with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as diagnosed by their GP.

What Is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is an umbrella term used to describe varying degrees of a group of symptoms such as abdominal pain, distension and altered bowel function. IBS is most commonly used to describe alternating constipation and diarrhoea. It can present from a hyper-secretion of mucus in the colon and may cause or be aggravated by varying degrees of anxiety or depression.

Unfortunately, in many instances where a GP has diagnosed IBS the patient is also told that it is something she or he must learn to live with. This is not the case and if left untreated may prove detrimental to long term health in many more ways than

What Causes IBS?

Studies indicate a multitude of imbalances that may contribute to the development of IBS and in my experience no individual has all of them. This makes Clinical Laboratory Testing extremely helpful in determining causative factors on an individual basis. Test results greatly assist in addressing the right item and the symptoms associated with IBS can be successfully eradicated.

Among the list of possible causes are (in order of priority):

1. Extremely Poor Diet that is high in refined sugar and grains (white bread, pasta, rice et al.) and processed foods (the label is extensive with ingredients not easy to pronounce, and the food does not resemble anything seen in nature). This kind of diet primarily results in malnutrition and a high level of toxicity.

2. Parasitic Infection (IBS often develops after a bout of food poisoning or exotic travel)

3. Dysbiosis (an imbalance between beneficial bacteria and non-beneficial bacteria in favour of non-beneficial). This often comes about by use of medicinal drugs such as antibiotics, steroids, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (e.g. Ibuprofen) and/or extreme prolonged stress.

4. Intestinal Permeability (increased permeability of the intestinal lining that allows toxins and undigested food to enter the bloodstream causing an immune reaction. When the intestinal lining is not fully intact, food particles and toxins irritate the bowel causing rapid evacuation.

5. Candida (yeast or fungal) Overgrowth

6. Maldigestion can result from insufficient production of HCl (stomach acid) and/or digestive enzymes output and/or gall bladder obstruction / weakness.

The first and foremost action the IBS sufferer should take is to manipulate the diet in such a way as to provide highly nutritious foods that are easily digested. A balanced diet will provide healing nutrients that your body will use to begin repairing itself.

What Dietary Changes Can Help the IBS sufferer?

Exclude These Foods/Drinks:

• Cow’s Milk and dairy products such as cheese, cream, ice cream and confectionery containing milk powder.

• Wheat, gluten and wheat bran

• Oats, rye, barley and corn

• Yeast

• Potatoes

• Chocolate

• Fatty foods

• Citrus fruits (orange, satsuma, lemon, lime and grapefruit)

• Tea and coffee

• Alcohol

• Salads, tomatoes, pulses and cabbage

• Onions and garlic

• Acidic foods (vinegar)

• Spicy foods

• Nuts (difficult to digest for those with compromised digestion)

• Shellfish (highly allergenic to those with compromised digestion)

• Artificial sweeteners & artificial additives

Foods Falling in between those recommended to avoid and those recommended to include that you need to experiment with to assess any adverse reactions in your personal case are:

• Shellfish (high potential allergen to those with compromised digestion)

• Eggs (also high potential for allergenic reactions)

• Starchy vegetables: potato (all kinds), carrot, parsnip, beetroot, plantain, pumpkin, and pea)

• Non-citrus fruits (these should be limited to one portion daily and taken early in the day rather than late). Most IBS sufferers find stewed apple or pear is well tolerated and enjoyed.

Foods/Drinks To Include:

• Water (hydration is paramount in IBS or any case of Diarrhoea) Drink a glass of water every 2 hours during a flare up and sip it slowly.

• Lean, and clean protein is essential to repair and renewal of cells in the body, including the cells of the intestines. Some good examples are grass-fed beef, organic free range chicken/turkey, wild-caught Alaskan salmon and sardines.

• Home-made Bone Broth (request recipe from [email protected])

• Organic non-starchy vegetables juiced in their raw state if tolerated or lightly steamed; vegetables should play a significant role in the IBS diet to provide electrolyte minerals.

• Healthy fats: avocado, coconut oil, ghee, extra virgin olive oil, and organic butter.

• Raw cultured Goat milk products (such as Kefir and Yoghurt) provide a good source of beneficial bacteria. These are speciality products that are not easily found in the local supermarket. Request details of her recommended supplier from [email protected]

The second point of address for those with IBS is to contact a Nutritional Therapist with expertise in the field of digestive health and request an assessment based upon your personal health profiles.

The Nutritional Therapist will advise, in order of importance, which tests are most appropriate to your particular case. Following your test results, your Nutritional Therapist will develop a treatment plan to address any underlining causes of IBS in conjunction with the presenting Rosacea.

In clinical experience, when IBS is adequately addressed, Rosacea also responds very favorably.

This Week’s Quote:

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” François de la Rochefoucauld

Find out more about Food Intolerance Test