I have suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for a number of years now and have learnt to control the condition with a combination of diet and exercise. Until recently I had got to the point when I was only suffering the problem every few months and usually when I had eaten something that I knew would trigger the symptoms. I was surprised then, when after my move back to Sevenoaks I found I was suffering from the condition every day.
At first I didn’t occur me what was wrong I assumed that the symptoms were a stomach bug, but after a month and half of symptoms I realised that the IBS was back with a vengeance. I went back to square one keeping a food diary, cutting out any known triggers completely and making sure I exercised every day but the symptoms still continued. That’s when I realised that the only thing that had changed was the fact that before our house move I was drinking water only from the filter tap. The new house had no filtration system installed and since we had moved house I had been drinking water straight from the tap. It seemed a long shot but I stopped drinking the tap water and started buying bottled mineral water. After a few days my stomach which had felt like a beach ball for nearly two months finally went back to normal and all the other symptoms stopped soon after.
Since then I have continued to drink only mineral water and will later be installing a new filtration system. I am now back to the occasional IBS flare up when I eat something I know will upset me but I like, such as cheese or red meat. I can only assume that there is something in the tap water that not only triggers my IBS symptoms but makes them much worse than usual. I have read reports that suggest fluoride in drinking water can trigger IBS but up to now have been sceptical and as I have no idea whether the tap water in Sevenoaks contains fluoride I am unsure whether this is the cause. What is clear, however, is that I can’t drink the water.