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By Elizabeth Harfleet

I am seeing an increasing number of children in my practice with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and other digestive problems. Parents are also affected and are obviously anxious to find a solution to their child’s suffering.

IBS is particularly widespread and unpleasant for sufferers. It is a chronic condition which affects the way the gut functions. It can cause a wide range of symptoms which can be distressing and frequently disrupt both school and home life. For example, abdominal pain and altered bowel movements are common amongst those with IBS.

Around one in five of all people in the UK develop irritable bowel syndrome at some time in their lives. As such it is a fairly widespread problem.


Today’s children and young people are growing up with far more dietary and environmental hazards than did previous generations. Children are generally not major fans of a simple, natural diet, high in plant based foods and water! And despite the popularity of many television programmes which promote a healthy lifestyle and diet, the message does not always get through.

As a consequence, children are more likely to experience the consequences of a refined and high sugar diet.

The digestive tract will feel the impact of this first. It is possible that food intolerance could also play a part in childhood IBS symptoms. Foods containing wheat, dairy products, eggs and yeast can be amongst the key dietary culprits for both children and adults with IBS.

A scientifically validated food intolerance test, undertaken with guidance from a qualified nutritional practitioner can help to identify any problem foods and potentially improve the symptoms of IBS.

Food intolerance tests can be ordered online and carried out by the patient in the comfort of his or her own home by taking a pin prick blood sample. The sample is then sent off to a laboratory for testing. There are different kinds off tests from the very simple which simply tell you if you have a food intolerance to more complicated ones which check your reaction to over 110 different foods.

About the Author: Elizabeth Harfleet is a Manchester based nutritionist offering specialist advice about how to relieve IBS symptoms naturally:


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