Latest gut health research: IBS causes & symptoms revealed
Refined bread, fizzy drinks, alcohol, dairy, biscuits... these are some of the biggest causes of IBS and digestion issues, as found in our survey of over 800 men and women*. 75% of people with gut health issues suffer a lack of energy, two thirds struggle with their weight, and 50% feel more stressed and suffer poor sleep. Our survey also shows probiotics are the most common and effective treatment, that not all probiotics are effective, and Gut Works®, a pre & probiotic with 6 clinically studied strains of healthy, active bacteria and 50bn CFU, is 3x more effective than standard probiotics.
How many people experience symptoms?
46% of people regularly suffer from symptoms of poor gut health and digestion, 11% experience extreme symptoms, and 35% of people suffer occasional symptoms. Only 8% of people don't experience any symptoms at all.
Why is gut health important?
Poor gut health affects every part of our daily life and can be debilitating. 75% of us will have less energy, two thirds will have trouble with our weight, and half will be affected by low moods, anxiety and stress, and suffer from poor sleep. Our focus, concentration and skin health are also affected.
Our gut and digestive system, and the nutrients they absorb from the foods we eat, are connected to our whole body, such as with our brain through the 'gut-brain-axis', and our skin through the 'gut-skin-axis'. 70% of our immune system is in our gut. Learn more about why your gut is your second brain.
To compound matters, there is a circular relationship between our gut health and stress. People with poor gut health will suffer higher stress and anxiety, and their IBS and gut health symptoms worsen when they're anxious.
The impact on daily life
If your gut health is affecting how you go about your daily life, you're not alone. 44% of people say their gut health restricts how they go about their daily life, a third of people avoid social contact and going out as a result of their gut health, while 30% of people experience mild depression.
These findings reinforce why at DR.VEGAN we provide free nutrition advice for people of all diets, with free access to our expert nutritionists. The results also highlight the effectiveness of the acclaimed pre & probiotic Gut Works® for relieving IBS, gut health symptoms, bloating and digestive discomfort, and shown to be 3x more effective than other probiotics.
Causes of poor gut health
There can be many causes of worsening gut health, from an imbalanced gut microbiome to illness and hormones. However the most common cause of worsening gut health is diet. Our research shows the top 14 foods that trigger gut and digestion issues, with refined bread the most common cause.
Among people who have a diagnosed or known food intolerance, dairy is the most common food intolerance, affecting a quarter of people. 10-20% of people are intolerant to either wheat, gluten or lactose.
10 most common symptoms of poor gut health
There are 10 common symptoms of poor gut health and digestion issues. Three quarters of people will experience bloating, and more than half will experience fatigue, excessive wind and gas. Our gut health affects our sleep, moods, and our resistance to stress. More than 40% will suffer insomnia, low moods, anxiety and weight gain as a result of digestion issues.
Solving digestive and gut health issues
The most common treatments for poor gut health are avoiding specific foods and drink, in order to identify what is causing symptoms (also known as an ‘elimination diet’), and taking probiotic supplements.
Avoiding specific foods that trigger symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, poor sleep and others is the first, best and most important step to better gut health. Discover the best tips and advice for your diet in these articles:
- 7 best foods to help you debloat
- How to naturally improve digestion
- Acid reflux? Best 3 foods to eat and avoid
- How to get rid of constipation
Probiotic supplements can also be very effective at addressing gut health and conditions including IBS. However, be careful, not all probiotics are the same and standard probiotics can be ineffective.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in our body, fighting off unwanted bacteria, fungi and parasites that otherwise cause symptoms, illness and disease. Learn more in 'What are probiotics?'.
The effectiveness of probiotic supplements varies enormously. This is down to the quality of the ingredients, the formula, the number of bacteria strains, the presence of prebiotics, and the actual number of probiotics being delivered to your gut. Standard probiotic supplements contain 20bn active bacteria or less, but just 16% of people find them very effective. By contrast, Gut Works®, the acclaimed prebiotic and probiotic with 50bn CFU, is effective for 82% of users.
Bloating, excessive wind and gas, constipation, diarrhoea, acid reflux, cramps and fatigue are the most common symptoms Gut Works® provides relief from.
How long does it take Gut Works® to work?
Research of 246 users of Gut Works® shows 53% of users begin to enjoy relief from symptoms within 2 weeks, while 88% of users enjoy relief from symptoms within 4 weeks.*
The time it takes for Gut Works® to relieve symptoms will vary by individual and depend on many factors including the nature of existing symptoms, diet, weight, age, lifestyle, exercise, existing medical conditions and others.
Diet and gut health
As we always say, your diet is the first and best place to start for meeting your health goals, and this includes relieving bloating, poor sleep, fatigue, weight gain, IBS and symptoms related to IBS.
Hear from our nutritionists with their expert tips, plus advice on the best foods and changes that you can make to your diet to improve your gut health:
- Why you should improve your gut health
- How to look after your gut through your diet
- What does your poo say about your health
- Best probiotics for IBS
- Common and unusual symptoms of IBS
Shop our range of vegan probiotics, vitamins and supplements.
* UK survey based on responses from 811 men and women, nationally representative, during August & September 2022.
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