North Cyprus – Health Tips by “Dr Irena”

“Dr Irena’s” Health Tips – No. 8

We recently had contact with a retired UK doctor who nowDr Irena photo lives in North Cyprus and met her at Kamiloglu Hospital – Kyrenia Medical Centre where she was looking after reception/patient liaison along with other English speaking people who are giving their time to ensure a good medical service for English speaking expatriates.

Irena kindly offered to write some articles about basic health issues which may be of interest to our readers.

Comment by Margaret Sheard

I personally found the following article very interesting as many years ago I suffered with IBS and after much pain with severe cramps experienced over a period of time I underwent a series of tests, some of which were extremely embarrassing, the result of which was I had IBS of some type.   I was recommended to take note of what foods I was eating and after a process of elimination found that dairy products were my “enemy” and so now although I eat dairy products in moderation I have found the secret, in my case, is not to have too big an intake of a mixture of these products during a 24 hour period.

I rarely suffer with IBS nowadays and if I do I know it is because I have eaten too many of the wrong foods.   Of course IBS affects people in different ways and it is up to the individual to decide what is right and wrong for them, but at least I found my nemesis and can now lead a fairly normal life food-wise.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) definition

By Irena Hulson

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by the presence of a cluster of symptoms that includes Stomach painabdominal pain, altered bowel habits, increased gas, bloating cramping, and food intolerance.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a “functional” disorder. This term refers to the changes in the functioning of the digestive system that results in the collection of symptoms referred to as IBS, meaning that it is a problem with the movement (motility) rather than any damage to the tissues of the digestive system.

Irritable bowel syndrome was also called spastic colon or functional bowel disease mucus colitis, or nervous colon. IBS is not the same as colitis, which is a group of separate conditions also referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

What causes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unknown. It is believed to be due to a number of factors including alteration in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract motility, abnormal nervous system signals, increased sensitivity to pain, and food intolerances. Some factors believed to cause IBS include:

  • Abnormal movements of the colon and small intestines (too fast or slow, or too strong)
  • Hypersensitivity to pain from a full bowel or gas
  • Food sensitivities, possibly caused by poor absorption of sugars or acids in food
  • Gastroenteritis a viral or bacterial infection of the stoIBSmach and intestines, may trigger IBS symptoms
  • Psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression are observed in many people with IBS, though they have not been found to be a direct cause of IBS.
  • Reproductive hormones or neurotransmitters may be off-balance in people with IBS.
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Genetics has also been thought to cause IBS, but more research is needed. Simply by taking steps to prevent the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it is possible; you can avoid IBS triggers that cause a flare up of symptoms. Try making a list of foods this may help you identify your personal triggers. Triggers and symptoms may vary depending on your type of IBS. And when you’re having a bad day, remember to persist with healthy management of your condition.

Realize that it’s not always easy to live with IBS but diet can certainly help matters

Diet Triggers for IBS Constipation

Some foods can worsen IBS-related constipation. These include:

  • Refined breads and cereals
  • Refined foods such as chips and cookies
  • Drinks such as coffee, carbonated drinks and alcohol
  • High-protein diets.

Prevention Strategies:

  • Try to increase your fibre intake by two to three grams per day until you’re eating 20 to 25 grams per day. Good sources of fibre include whole grain bread and cereals, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Try eating dried fruits.
  • Drink eight 8 glasses of plain water a day.
  • Try ground flaxseed or linseed. It can be sprinkled on salads and used in cooking e.g. stews casseroles etc.,Foods

Diet triggers may include

  • Dairy products
  • Low fibre diet
  • Dehydration
  • Eating large meals
  • Eating low carbohydrate meals
  • Eating high fat content meals

Editor’s Note

“The opinions, advice or proposals within the article are purely those of the author and do not, in any way, represent those of



2 replies »

  1. Another excellent bit of information for those that suffer from IBs like myself. Thank you Dr Irena for this good wholesome information on this annoying health issue. It certainly is more then the information my doctor provided for me in his session.

    • Thank you for your comment Sermen, glad the article was of help to you. I am sure there are many people who are familiar with a lot of the information contained in the article and I also found it very informative.