Any book recommendations for IBS/gut bacteria - IBS Network

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Any book recommendations for IBS/gut bacteria


Hi, I am new to this forum. I don't have a diagnosis for IBS but have seen my GP recently due to bowel problems. I had campylobacter in September 2019 and my bowels have never been the same since ie passing mucus, flatulence, wet pumps, as well as weight loss and feeling nauseous. I have had all the usual blood tests and I am now waiting for the results of stool tests - FIT test and calprotectin. I am very interested in reading a book about IBS and gut bacteria as it seems to me that the campylobacter has upset the balance of bacteria in my gut. Can anyone recommend any helpful books? Thank you for taking the time to read this post

7 Replies

Michael Mosley' s the clever guts diet is pretty good for info about gut bacteria. It doesn't go into much detail about ibs but it does give some pretty good facts about how the gut works. Just be aware that if your sensitive to fodmaps (and a lot of people with ibs are) you might not be able to eat a lot of the recipes described in the second section of the book.

Hope this helps

Thank you - I will have a look at Michael Mosley's book

Exactly how I got my IBS. I'm not aware of a book but you can do online research. Depending on the severity of the champylobacta will depend on what action you should take. If it was severe then be cautious of leaping into probiotics. You can cause more damage to the balance of your gut than good.

In the most severe case you can have fecal transfer. Failing that you should be looking at fasting for around 2 weeks then start a 3 month course of pre and probiotics, sticking with bland food through this period. With luck you should be through the worst and on the mends. Then a life time of watching your diet and fluid intake. Mildly severe you could fore go the fasting.

The fasting weakens the yeast enzymes in the gut otherwise you will strengthen them to your determent. Prebiotic as the probiotics require something to live on unless your are just mildly affected. Look for a probiotic that does not require refrigeration is the best way to ensure they are still active.

Once on the mends look at digestive enzymes to help with digesting food robbing the yeast time to explode in the gut. There are some natural digestive enzyme in some food.

The best advice I can give is to research and understand before you start taking any cures.

It will be long and slow but can be done if careful.

Good luck

Thanks for the advice - it is difficult to know where to start and how to fix the problem but you've given me some ideas, and yes it will be important to do some research first.

I can't recommend a book - most information that you need is online nowadays. Here is some information about IBS that I have shared with others in this group:

IBS can be due to a number or combination of factors - these can be stress (including stress from early life experiences) which impacts the communication between the brain and the digestive system. There are lots of free webinars online at the moment regarding mindfulness meditation which might help. Plus you can ask to be referred for CBT or something similar to reduce your anxiety - I would have thought online appointments are available. Exercise can play a major role in IBS in terms of reducing stress, helping your gut microbiome and regulating bowel movements.

There is also not absorbing certain types of carbohydrates called FODMAPs very well, the residue ending up in the colon and bacteria feeding off them causing symptoms. Ordinarily feeding gut bacteria is a really good thing - when you feed good gut bacteria these produce by-products that have great health effects in the gut and throughout the body. However, in some people with IBS bad bugs might have the upper hand over good - these bad bugs may cause symptoms such as pain or disordered bowel movements. It is interesting that you mentioned campylobacter. Often IBS can start after a gut infection. Mine started after food poisoning from a trip to Mexico

There is an interesting infographic on this here:


This is why it’s worth trying probiotics such as Alflorex (which has been scientifically studied for IBS) or Symprove to crowd out the bad bugs and make their numbers die down. If that doesn't work you can try the FODMAP elimination and reintroduction diet. This is normally under the guidance of a nutritionist via GP referral - this may not be possible at the moment so you can read about it online. If you download the Monash University FODMAP app it will tell you which foods contain FODMAPs and in what quantities. You can eliminate all FODMAPs for 2 weeks and then introduce each type of FODMAP one at a time starting in small quantities, increasing over a 3 day period and wait up to 4 days for symptoms. I go much slower than this - only introducing a small amount (1/4 to 1/3 of a normal portion size) of the same food for 3 days and then increase if tolerable or no symptoms and cut back to the previous amount if symptoms for longer and then try to increment again . I've read your microbiome can adapt to handling a new food if introduced very slowly and your bad bugs are under control with a good probiotic. Ideally you want to eat as many FODMAPs as you can since they are good for your health. Many people with IBS don't have diverse gut bacteria - it has been found that people who lack a diverse microbiome are more prone to diseases in general. In the long run, if you can get your symptoms under control, the ideal situation is to have a very varied diet - lots of different coloured fruits and vegetables, a variety of protein and carbohydrate sources including cereal fibres. This may seem a long way off, but with the right treatment all of this is possible. Last year all I could consume to control my IBS was white rice, protein and limited low fodmap veg. Using the approach above (particularly introducing Alflorex) I am now able to consume far more foods - more than I've ever dreamed of including wholewheat bread which is unheard of for me.

If you are also suffering from pain, you may be suffering from visceral hypersensitivity (functional abdominal pain) - there is info about it here:

It is where the brain interprets the normal activity of the bowel as pain - this is due to a wearing down of neurons in pain control centres of the brain which can be caused by PTSD, neglect or abuse in childhood, extreme stressful events etc. The first line treatment is nerve pain agents such as low dose amitriptyline. There is a theory that being on something like amitriptyline for 6-12 months can help the pain control centre neurons to regenerate. Note that amitriptyline can cause constipation, but this can be helpful in people who are diarrhea dominant. Unfortunately I couldn't tolerate these. Linaclotide (for IBS-C only) & Alflorex have helped me with this intestinal pain.

You may also find assistance with anti-spasmodic medication such as mebeverine (Colofac) or enteric coated peppermint.

You can find some info on self management here:

Rucksackrose in reply to xjrs

Thank's for the reply - useful information which I will look into

IBS For Dummies.

I have a copy of it myself, it’s one of the Dummies series and a very informative book.

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