Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Natural Remedies for Irritable Bowel SyndromeIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that many people struggle with. Statistics show that one in ten Americans display the symptoms of IBS, accounting for more than 2 million prescriptions and 35,000 hospitalisations each year. It is also the second highest cause of work absenteeism after the common cold.
Here are 6 changes you can do to dramatically reduce or eliminate Irritable Bowel Disease
1) Avoid all sources of gluten -- The first step for any patient that comes to my clinic with this problem is to go on a gluten free diet.
The human digestive system is not designed to digest grains. Most people understand this means avoiding all forms of wheat, but you also need to be aware that there are many other hidden sources of gluten in your diet.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, but itís also found in other grains such as:
Typically, avoiding gluten for a week or two is enough to see significant improvement.
In addition to gluten, food allergies can also play a role so be sensitive to that and start a trial and error process to determine which ones you have.
2) Get checked for parasites -- Another comprehensive strategy, to make sure youíre not struggling with a physical condition that could be simulating IBS, is to have your stool checked for parasites. Some parasites, such as giardia, can sometimes be a contributing factor that needs to be treated.
3) Reduce your intake of refined sugars -- most people think when I say refined sugars that I mean the sweet stuff. Although sugary soda pop have a lot of sugar in them did you know there is more sugar (carbohydrates) in your potatoes and pasta.
The bacteria in your intestines feed on all that sugar and can set up an unhealthy balance between the good and bad bacteria. This is known as dysbiosis.
4) Boost healthy bacteria in your gut -- Itís also important to make sure you have enough healthy bacteria in your gut. You can get healthy bacteria from fermented foods or a high quality supplement.
Now, once you lower the amounts of sugar and processed foods in your diet, youíre automatically creating a milieu that will support the growth of good bacteria and diminish growth of bad bacteria. But you can enhance that process further by eating fermented foods or taking a high quality probiotic.
5) Take your fiber Ė Taking additional fiber can also be very helpful to control IBS symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea. Fiber such as psyllium tends to be particularly helpful, and is my personal favorite. I use it nearly every day.
Psyllium is adaptogenic fiber, meaning it will adpat to your condition. Example, if youíre constipated it will soften your stool and help increase your bowel frequency, and if you have loose stools and frequent bowel movements, it will help with stool formation and decrease the frequency of bowel movements.
If you decide to use psyllium, make sure it is organic as nearly all the products out there are not, and the damage from the pesticide residue in most of the products far outweigh the benefit you would receive from the fiber itself. Metamucil is a classic non-organic psyllium.
Another good fiber is whole, organic flax seed. You can take a few table spoons of freshly ground flax seed per day. Another benefit of flax is that itís also a high quality source of plant-based omega-3 fats, particularly ALA, which nearly everyone needs on a regular basis.
6) Address emotional challenges Ė Last but certainly not least, Iíve found that many people with IBS have an unresolved emotional component that contributes to their physical problem. This is also one of the reasons why antidepressants are frequently prescribed. Meditation, prayer, and psychological techniques and tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) are all strategies you can use to effectively address your emotional challenges.
If irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that you or someone in your family struggles with, following these tips and recommendations can help you, and your family, to take control of your health.