Okay so you know you have IBS. Maybe you even have an idea of how and when it all started.
You know you have to look at your diet, maybe change your lifestyle and would love to come off any medications you are taking for IBS.
IBS is almost never due to just one factor. but
The food you eat can be largely responsible for this issue.
For me, it was dairy.
I had no idea that this was the cause until I stopped consuming it.
For many a food journal is the starting point.
Recording what you eat and how you feel everyday for a few weeks can be an eye opening experience.
Always remember some of your responses to food may take a day or two to appear.
Once you have created a journal and can clearly see what the connections are, you should begin an elimination diet.
Start with one thing and see how you react after not eating this item for a week.
If you are dramatically better then you may have hit on your number one issue.
If not take out suspect number two.
Continue doing this until you find the foods that are irritating your digestive tract.
Studies have found that when an elimination diet has been followed for a year it gets rid of bloating and distention 88% of the time,
pain 90% of the time, diarrhea reduced by 85 %, and constipation 54%.
75% of the people that had other symptoms like hay fever, asthma, eczema and hives saw those issues improve also.
43% of those with IBS eliminated the symptoms by removing dairy from their diet and another 41% saw incredible improvements.
Many of those with IBS have sugar processing issues.
Look for mannitol, sucrose, fructose in the foods that you eat.
A high percentage of IBS suffers cannot tolerate these sugars; citrus fruit being the biggest offender.
Avoid all sugar and fruit for 10 days and see how you feel.
When looking at processed food remember that sugar can also go by these names: maltose, corn syrup, fructose, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses and lactose.
Sugar also can be an issue for another reason.
For many, IBS is a result of an over abundance of bad bacteria in the gut.
This bacterium grows yeast which will create a hunger for sugar and processed foods which in turn will really aggravate the intestinal tract.
By cutting off the supply of sugar, you stop the growth and the damage from taking place.
To counter this overgrowth you should take probiotics.
It replenishes the good bacteria that will then grow and equalize the playing field.
Eat a diet that is low fat and high fiber.
For those of you with IBS and diarrhea – choose foods that are high in soluble fiber.
It absorbs the water in your intestines, bulks your stool and slows transit time.
It also calms the intestinal tract thus eliminating cramps and spasms.
If you have IBS with constipation then the added insoluble fiber acts as a broom and sweeps out the intestines and helps you to become regular.
When you are in the throes of a flare up, eat small meals and chew your food well.
The digestive tract can become irritated by a large quantity of food hitting all at once.
Those with IBS have a sensitive digestion and need to be mindful of the stress that this puts on their body.
Avoid alcohol it is an irritant, causes inflammation and puts strain on your liver.
Coffee, beans and cruciferous vegetables should be avoided as they are hard to digest.
These foods put too much of a strain on the body.
In our next issue we will discuss herbs as well as lifestyle changes that can be made that will also greatly improve your IBS symptoms.
If you wish to learn more and get on the path to healing, check out our IBS workshop starting in February.
Have a great week and remember.......
You Deserve to be Healthy!
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
At least 20% of all Americans have IBS.
It is the most common gastrointestinal complaint.
80% of sufferers are women and it usually makes it’s appearance in a person’s late teens to early 20’s.
This issue accounts for 10% of all doctor’s visits and over 50% of all gastroenterologist referrals.
What is even more shocking is the vast majority of sufferers never seek medical help; they just try to learn to live with it.
Irritable bowel syndrome has gone by many names in the past: spastic colon, spastic bowel, colitis and functional bowel disease.
While IBS does not change the structure of the bowel it can significantly effects the lifestyle of the suffer.
For those with IBS the interaction between the brain and the gut is just not working properly.
IBS sufferers have a colon that reacts to stimuli that never affect the normal person's colon. That unusual reaction is also much more severe.
If you are suffering from this condition chances are you probably know where every bathroom is in all places that you frequent.
Many people create their schedules around their bathroom needs.
Some find that early morning appointments are just too risky and therefore schedule everything for later in the day.
So what are the symptoms of IBS?
*Abdominal pain and spasms
*Bloating and gas
* Diarrhea alternating with constipation is most common but many have just one or the other.
* Stool is too hard or too soft.
* Going the bathroom more than three times a day or less than three times a week.
*Symptoms increase after eating, at times of stress and during menstruation.
* Mucus in your stool.
*Symptoms are greatly relieved after going to the bathroom.
*If you are bleeding, have a fever or are anemic these are not symptoms of IBS.
There is not a single cause of IBS, each person is different and has a different combination of factors.
Here are a few of the factors that can get the IBS ball rolling:
*25% of IBS cases are infection related.
The bowel gets inflamed and then gets into the pattern of being over sensitive.
* Food sensitivities and intolerances are issues in 2/3 of all IBS sufferers.
IBS is more common in for those from family with allergies and sensitivities.
The most common offending foods are wheat, corn, dairy, coffee, citrus and chocolate.
* Hormonal imbalances, many women have flare-ups during menstruation.
* Environmental sensitivities
*Flora imbalances due to Candida and the taking of antibiotics.
* Mind-body interaction
You are more likely to have IBS if you have issues with anxiety or depression.
The key to taking control of your condition is to narrow down what factors are affecting you.
You are the only one that can manage and remedy your IBS.
You will have to make some changes in your life and probably some of those will be major but a life without IBS is worth it.
In our next two issues we will discuss the steps that you can take to re-gain control of your life.
Coming up in February I will be offering an IBS teleseries workshop.
Look for more info next issue!
and always remember....
You Deserve to be Healthy!
I am a digestive health coach. I help my clients have more energy and a eliminate digestive problems by eating food they love!