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Ask the expert: Can collagen help with IBS?

The short answer is “possibly yes”, and the long answer is “it depends on many different factors”...

This article was guest written by our in-house nutritionist, Jade Leighton BA Hons DipION mBANT rCNHC.


What is IBS?

IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a relatively common condition which affects the digestive system.

A key point to make is that “IBS” is just an umbrella term for a collection of symptoms. It provides absolutely no indication of the reason behind the symptoms or the root cause.

So that means that without understanding what is causing your symptoms - of which I would recommend working with a Nutritional Therapist or Nutritionist to figure this out - you are unlikely to get very far in the long term when attempting to improve or in fact heal your IBS.

 

What triggers IBS in the first place?

IBS is a complicated condition and is not always black and white in terms of a) what causes it, or b) how it presents itself as symptoms.

However, it is very common that the symptoms of IBS can exist from one or a combination of factors that may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Stress (nervous system dysregulation)
  • Unresolved trauma
  • A poor quality inflammatory diet
  • Food allergies or intolerances
  • An imbalanced microbiome
  • High alcohol intake
  • Persistent use of medications
  • Low stomach acid
  • Bacterial infection, yeast infection or parasitic infection
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Histamine intolerance
  • Pancreatic dysfunction
  • Gallbladder insufficiency
  • Thyroid imbalances (and more!)

It therefore probably isn’t a surprise to know that collagen is unlikely to be a miracle cure for complex imbalances! Nevertheless, collagen may well improve your digestive symptoms and overall gut health - which can really help.

 

How can collagen help with IBS?

Firstly, hydrolysed collagen is rich in amino acids such as glycine, proline and glutamine which are considered to have beneficial and anti-inflammatory effects on the gut lining.

While the research is limited, animal and in vitro studies show indication that peptides and amino acids may help to modulate inflammatory responses, and may support the integrity of the tight junctions in the gut lining.

Bone broth, which is rich in collagen has also been shown in animal studies to reduce inflammation in ulcerative colitis which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Additionally, in a small study looking at the impact of 20g daily of hydrolysed collagen on digestive symptoms, 93% of those who completed the study over 8 weeks experienced a reduction in digestive symptoms, particularly bloating.

The effects of using the collagen was notable after 6 weeks - so you may not notice improvements immediately, but this study and plenty of anecdotal feedback gives us a huge amount of confidence that our collagen is gut supportive.

Rise & Glow Collagen


What else can I do to help my IBS?

If you are experiencing unexplained gut symptoms, or have been diagnosed with IBS and given no clear guidance of how to manage it, then we recommend seeking the guidance of a qualified practitioner to support you.

It is also important to assess your stress levels and make sure that you are chewing your food effectively, and eating in a calm state, away from distractions and screens, as this will help to switch your body into its parasympathetic state - more commonly known as ‘rest and digest’ - ready to eat.

You may also want to assess your diet and ensure that you are not eating lots of ultra processed foods, high sugar foods, foods rich in seed oils, or drinking lots of alcohol, and instead, switch to cooking real, whole foods from scratch.

 

Collagen & IBS: Some key considerations

A huge benefit of our collagen peptides is that they are gluten and dairy free, as gluten and dairy are common food triggers that some people struggle to tolerate in certain types of IBS.

It’s also worth noting that there are some people (a small minority) who may not tolerate collagen supplementation. These people include those suffering from depression, as well as those with histamine or oxalate issues, so please be wary if you fall into one of those categories.

I hope this helps and that you are able to find someone to support you on a 1-to-1 level with your gut health - finding the causes underlying your symptoms is a game changer.

Hunter & Gather Collagen range

 

All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.

It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.

We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.

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