diet and ibs - Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Helps to Minimize Symptoms
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Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Helps to Minimize Symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common problem with the intestines. In people with IBS, the intestines squeeze too hard or not hard enough and cause food to move too quickly or too slowly through the intestines. IBS usually begins around age 20 and is more common in women.


Let's take a look at the intestinal areas that can go wrong. The gastrointestinal system needs an optimum level of good bacteria or your chemistry will change. The main reason you lose your bacterial balance is the use of antibiotics, unfortunately we sometimes need these drugs in order to get infections under control, but the side effect of this type of medication alters the bacterial balance in the intestines. Once the body has lost its bacterial balance it takes some time for the disease to set in. The inflammatory response that the body sends to the intestines is designed to heal what ever damage it encounters. It can not heal a lack of beneficial bacteria so the inflammatory response can not do what it is designed for and instead begins to attack the intestines. Now that the damage is getting worse and the beneficial bacterial level is low, your chemistry begins to change and the foods you were able to eat before become your worst nightmare. You are now developing intolerance's or an allergic reaction to certain foods and symptoms begin appearing at an alarming rate. This is the most humbling and humiliating disease ever, because in many cases having to run to the rest room 10 to 25 times per day is common. 1 in ever 5 people has this disease and the majority is women. Stress is also a major player in all the IBS diseases and the more stress you feel during the day the worse your disease will get.


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 These diseases, such as inflammatory bowl disease (IBD), crohn's, colitis, etc., have inflammation at the source of their problems. Inflammation is the bodies' response to injury or illness, in the case of these diseases the inflammatory response turns on the bodies' digestive track and actually attacks it. This means it is an auto-immune disease. There are only two areas where your intestinal system can go astray, either your bacteria or your chemistry or it could be both. Irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) is a general term used for all the conditions in this class. IBS has no one cause and no one cure.

Different food combinations can cause IBS symptoms in different individuals: keep a detailed record of everything you eat and drink, and of all bowel movements and their consistency.

Lets talk about the third important step in your recovery; control of chronic inflammation. It has been proven that free-radicals are involved in every disease and illness out there but it has also been proven that chronic inflammation is also involved in the vast majority of diseases and illness. Scientists are calling chronic inflammation the silent killer. When there is any type of injury, trauma or disease, no matter what the action is, there is a reaction from our body to protect and heal itself - inflammation. We need inflammation in order to heal, its basic function is to make the tiny vessels in our tissue become larger so the white blood cells, that normally don't fit, can now squeeze into these small spaces and begin the healing process. With IBS the inflammation response becomes angry, and instead of helping the body, it turns on itself creating chronic inflammation.

Consult a qualified practitioner/therapist for: Counseling and Hypnotherapy Both have been shown to be very effective in reducing the symptoms. Hypnotherapy has a particularly good record.

If you suffer from constipation rather than diarrhea, you could try magnesium supplements instead, as these can have a slight laxative effect. Digestive enzymes and probiotics

Read about Herbal Remedies Supplements Natural Home Remedies. Also read about Breast Enlargement and Breast Enhancement and Dogs Cats Health, Pets Health Guide

Aromatherapy

Essential oils of peppermint or sassafras help relaxation and reduce painful spasms.

Acupuncture This can be beneficial in helping to relieve IBS. Read out for herbal medicines. Check out herbal supplements and skin disorders

Methylsufonylmethane or MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur used to control infections of the intestinal tract. You can also try, Green food plus w/MSM-Supreme greens, this formulated product is packed full of antioxidants and gives the nutritional equivalent of 2 lbs of fresh vegetables. There are a number of other items such as colustrum, bee propolis, sea silver, chlorophyl, and juicing.

Looking at your diet Laura describes how a close examination of her diet helped her IBS: 'I was placed on every kind of medication, and sometimes they worked in the short term, sometimes they didn't work at all. The doctor finally suggested trying to alter my diet in cycles, and we discovered that eating meat was my problem. I became a vegetarian and no longer have constant problems. Sometimes I even go years without any pain at all. It's worth all the effort you put into it when you finally feel better.'

Scientists have also been in a buzz about the amount of antioxidants this fruit contains. The Mangosteen fruit juice has an amazing 25,000 antioxidants. Science has proven that this fruit has the most powerful and the largest number of antioxidants in nature to date. The Mangosteen fruit juice has been providing thousands of people with medicinal benefits.

Flaxseed Watching your diet is sometimes not enough to completely control the symptoms, and natural or herbal supplements can help, as Marion discovered: 'After about six months of a horrendously restrictive diet (ultra low-fat vegan with no raw veggies or fruit except banana) and a lot of Metamucil, I managed to get it sort of under control. But if I deviated from the diet, the chronic diarrhea would come back. Someone I met told me that she had helped her IBS by taking a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed with a glass of water or juice every morning. I thought it was another crackpot cure, but eventually I decided to try it. She had told me that pre-ground flaxseed didn't work because flax seed starts to oxidize as soon as you grind it and that whole flax seeds are no good either, because they cannot be digested properly. After years of IBS, in about two weeks it just went away. I cannot believe that I now have perfectly normal, regular bowel movements.'

Let's look at juicing; the body has trouble with the hard fibers in most fruits and vegetables due to the inflamed gastrointestinal tract that is no longer functioning properly, juicing actually removes the hard fibers in the necessary foods and still gives you the number two recovery need and that is antioxidants. You must take in a large number of antioxidants every day to fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules or atoms that are missing an electron, antioxidants are either molecules or atoms that have an extra electron. You can not escape from free-radicals and the damage they do, they are in air and water pollution, in the junk foods we eat, and even in the medications we take hence the words "side effects". Free-radicals go around attacking healthy cells in our bodies trying to steal the electron; anti-oxidants will give up their extra electron to a free-radical which in turn stops the attack on healthy cells. Now you can see the importance of taking in a large number of anti-oxidants every day. Most fruits and vegetable have anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 anti-oxidants each, which does not seem like a lot compared to the amount of free-radicals you are taking into your body every single day; about a billion. Vitamins and minerals also contain antioxidants so supplementation is important. You need to do some research and try to find fresh supplements; they tend to lose their potency the longer they sit on the self.

Calcium tablets Linda, who suffers from severe diarrhea, says: 'What has helped me for more than two years is calcium carbonate, an over-the-counter supplement. I take three tablets a day, one at each meal. The most success has come from using any formula of calcium supplement that is like Caltrate 600 Plus with vitamin D and minerals. The only side effect is at the beginning of taking the calcium you may have some gas or indigestion, but this usually goes away after taking a regular dose for a few days.'

Fiber, water and yoga Pam, who struggles with constipation, has developed a combination of things which work for her: 'I drink Metamucil (psyllium fibre) every day and try to relax, pray or meditate, even do a little yoga. The more I make myself relax and take time to de-stress the better I can manage my problem. I know time for yourself is very hard to come by sometimes but I have to if I'm going to manage this. I try to drink at least three bottles of water a day. This is also hard sometimes but I have to take care of me the best I can. I also take a mild anti-depressant. This has helped a bunch in my stress department and in turn has helped my IBS.'

It is estimated that about 30 percent of people in the West has suffered from IBS at some stage, and 13 percent of those do so regularly. IBS appears to be brought on and exacerbated by anxiety, stress, and nervous problems. Symptoms often appear worse during menstruation. Other causal factors include food intolerance.

Treatment Diet and Nutrition Research shows that eating more fiber, in the form of oats, dried beans, peas, fresh fruit and vegetables, can greatly reduce the symptoms of IBS, but improvement may take months rather than weeks. Also, bear in mind that wheat bran, often prescribed as the standard treatment for IBS, can actually make the condition worse for some sufferers. Eat plenty of natural, unsweetened live yogurt or take daily supplements of Lactobacillus acidophilus to boost the levels of healthy bacteria in the digestive system.

There are a large number of diseases of the bowl and they all have different symptoms, but there is one constant with all of these diseases and that is inflammation of the bowl.

Sufferers often find that they have to deal with the symptoms themselves, through self-help methods and supplements, rather than by using conventional medicines. However, this does not mean that there is no hope of improvement. By sharing their experiences, sufferers can learn a lot about what really helps to ease IBS.

If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you will know how difficult it is to treat. Doctors can be dismissive of IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating, and when treatment is offered it may only help for a short while before the distressing symptoms return.

Mina also found that dietary change helped control her symptoms, alongside traditional medication: 'I've made a number of changes to my diet. I've eliminated milk and mostly any dairy, fried foods, sugar for the most part, pop, alcohol, potato chips, spicy food, rice, pasta and bread. Most recently I'm eliminating flour. But my best friend for the last couple of years has been Imodium Quick Dissolve tablets. I don't ever leave home without them. I just have to make sure I don't overdo it. If I ever become immune to the wonder drug I am gonna be a real mess!'

 
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Symptoms Abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort are the main symptoms of IBS. However, symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people have constipation, which means hard, difficult-to-pass, or infrequent bowel movements. Often these people report straining and cramping when trying to have a bowel movement but cannot eliminate any stool, or they are able to eliminate only a small amount. If they are able to have a bowel movement, there may be mucus in it, which is a fluid that moistens and protect passages in the digestive system. Some people with IBS experience diarrhea, which is frequent, loose, watery, stools.

Soluble versus insoluble fiber Some nutritionists believe that IBS sufferers' intestines react differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, and this has been Stu's experience: 'After trying all kinds of drugs and healthy eating, my pains were still there. I found by accident that it wasn't so much what I ate but whether I ate it on a full stomach or not. My failsafe is pasta on an empty stomach, I get no reaction - it is soluble fibre that settles the colon apparently. I quickly searched on the internet for recipes high in soluble fibre and I have improved. Most significantly though I am on no medication and this puts me in control of the IBS, not the other way around. I think this is important as stress certainly can trigger the symptoms off. I don't avoid insoluble fibre as it is essential for the body, but I recommend that you eat it on a full stomach.'

Stress and IBS Daniel believes that his symptoms are related to his emotions and stress: 'I thought that when I was stuck on the toilet, experiencing the most severe cramps, thinking I was about to pass out from the pain, feeling like I was about to throw up, I was the only one. I'm still trying to work it out but I believe it has a lot to do with my psychological state. I say this because although I don't get too stressed out at any one moment, I do have general worries about money and life. I tend to find when I'm not worrying about these things I don't get the pain as much, if at all. It's easier said than done of course, I can't just stop worrying about money or my future, but being aware of these things seems to help - being optimistic and knowing that everything is only temporary. I have been taking Colpermin (peppermint capsules) as a preventative which often helps and for a while I took painkillers which I think helped.'

All the self-help tips in this article have come from IBS sufferers who have found a way to control their irritable bowels. Before trying any form of self-help, please make sure that you have your doctor's approval, and do check that anything you try will not interfere with any medication you are taking.

Peppermint Oil Peppermint oil is widely used for irritable bowel syndrome. It is thought to reduce the abdominal pain and bloating of irritable bowel syndrome, possibly by blocking the movement of calcium into muscle cells in the intestines and easing excessive muscle contraction there. Peppermint is considered a carminative herb, which means that it is used to eliminate excess gas in the intestines.

Inflammation starts with the COX 2 enzyme. COX 1 preserves platelet function (needed for blood clotting) and protects the stomach lining. COX 2 causes inflammation and pain. COX 2 has been found in brain and spinal cord tumors as well as in the brains of Alzheimer's patents causing degeneration of the brain tissue from the chronic inflammation.

A final word Lastly, please do make sure that you have been officially diagnosed with IBS and had your symptoms fully investigated before trying any self-help methods. As Joe found out, bowel symptoms can be due something other than IBS: 'I was diagnosed with IBS, but I went to get a second opinion. They did an ultrasound followed by a barium follow-through which showed major inflammation and blockage of my small intestine. The final diagnosis is Crohn's disease. It's a pity they didn't catch it before I was seriously ill, instead of fobbing me off with excuses of 'It's IBS, there's no cure so live with it!''

Orthodox medical treatment has been largely unsuccessful in the treatment of IBS. Antispasmodic drugs are often recommended but in many cases they are ineffective. The best way of controlling the condition is by reducing and learning to cope with stress, and by eating a diet that does not exacerbate the condition.

Let me summarize for you: reduce your stress level, improve your level of beneficial bacteria, consume large quantities of anti-oxidants, and take a natural anti-inflammatory. All of the above will help you to recover from these debilitating and humbling diseases.

Causes Doctors are not sure what causes IBS. The nerves and muscles in the bowel appear to be extra sensitive in people with IBS. Muscles may contract too much when you eat. These contractions can cause cramping and diarrhea during or shortly after a meal. Or the nerves may react when the bowel stretches, causing cramping or pain.

The South East Asians have been eating and using a fruit called Mangosteen for centuries to treat all types of aliments. Scientists have been studying the mangosteen fruit for the last 20 years; they are in agreement with the South East Asian people that it heals without side effects. The Mangosteen fruit decreases the level of COX 2 in your body. Mangosteen can aid in the healing process, it helps to ensure that inflammation doesn't turn into chronic inflammation which then leads to chronic disease. How dose Mangosteen do this? One word -Xanthones. Xanthones can only be found in nature. They have been widely studied for their medicinal properties. Xanthones support microbiological balance and sustain the immune system. Xanthones are stable, super charged anti-oxidants. Xanthones are diverse in their abilities to help heal the body; there is a natural anti-inflammatory xanthone within the mangosteen fruit juice. Xanthones can destroy more than one free-radical at a time, unlike normal antioxidants, due to carbon bonds that make them very stable. Each Xanthone performs a specific biological function inside the body unlike regular anti-oxidants. Two hundred xanthones have been identified in nature, 41 are in the Mangosteen fruit alone and you can compare that to the Aloe Vera plant which contains only one xanthone. One thing about xanthones you need to know is they must be consumed in their natural form.

The digestive system is actually a very complex organ that has a finely tuned team of mechanical reactions mixed with chemicals. The team goes into action once food enters the mouth where it mixes with saliva, the food then moves to the stomach where it meets with digesting enzymes and other chemicals. The food mixes with the stomach secretions that are released; the mixture now moves into the small intestine, this is where new team members enter into the game. The liver and pancreas are now in action releasing digestive enzymes that break down the complex carbohydrates, fats and protein into sugars, simple fats and amino acids; these are now absorbed by the small intestine. The next team member is the large intestine or colon, the responsibility of this team player is to break down undigested food, fiber and water, as this mixture moves through the colon it is dehydrated by the colon cells becoming solid as it moves and turning into stool.

The best solution is a natural food source that inhibits the inflammation and pain problems that are associated with COX 2 without disturbing the COX 1 that is critical in protecting the stomach lining and the bloods ability to clot.

Massage, Relaxation Techniques (Including Yoga, Meditation, and Biofeedback) All these therapies are beneficial. Herbal Medicine A soothing tea of camomile, peppermint, and fennel is recommended. Herbalists may prescribe cramp bark, golden seal, wild yam, and licorice.

Limit or eliminate foods that may make diarrhea worse, including caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, gas-producing foods (such as beans, cabbage, and broccoli), and the artificial sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol (often used in sugarless gum and sugarless candy).

Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS is more prevalent than we think. The primary symptom of IBS is abdominal pain and cramp after eating - resulting in diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating. Some may find mucous in the feces. These symptoms usually persist for at least 90 days before an IBS diagnosis is considered. Most people only have mild symptoms, and fortunately, a proper diet can usually minimize symptoms.






About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 14 years. She runs the IBS Tales
website at http://www.ibstales.com where you can read hundreds
of stories and tips from IBS sufferers.


 
 
     
 
 





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