Trying To Calm Your IBS?

If you struggle with IBS, then you know how desperate you can start to feel for any form of relief. That’s where I can help! The ideas below will work better for some people than others, so it’s important to give several remedies a try and see what helps your body strike the right balance.

Manage your stress

Since stress is one of the factors known to trigger an IBS flare-up, learn to short-circuit it with meditation, yoga, or a simple breathing exercise like this one. Sit comfortably, or lie down. Turn your attention to the air going in and out of your body. When upsetting or anxiety-producing thoughts intrude, focus completely on your breathing. Practice this daily. Then, whenever you feel yourself becoming tense and anxious, use it to calm yourself.

Keep a diary of your IBS symptoms, noting what types of problems you have and how severe they are. In this journal, also jot down any stressful events you face in your day. Occasionally look back at your diary. If you see more IBS symptoms just before airplane flights or meetings with your boss, for instance, there may be a connection. Once you’ve detected situations that seem to trigger IBS symptoms, look for ways, like using the breathing technique above, to cope with them better.

Go easy on your intestines

Minimize fried foods, meats, oils, margarine, dairy foods, and other fatty foods. They cause your colon to contract violently, which can lead to diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Stay away from spicy foods. The capsaicin in hot peppers, for example, makes your large intestine go into spasms, which can cause diarrhea.

Cut down on caffeine. It can worsen IBS by irritating your intestines.

Avoid foods known to cause flatulence, including cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Don’t chew gum or candy that contains artificial sweeteners. Among the common sweeteners in these products are sorbitol and mannitol, which can have a laxative effect. They’re very difficult to digest. When bacteria in your colon eventually break down these ‘nonabsorbed sugars, you get gas and diarrhea.

Stop smoking. Nicotine contributes to IBS flare-ups. Also, when you smoke, you swallow air, and people with IBS are very sensitive to having air in their gut.

Graze, don’t gorge

Eat smaller meals more frequently rather than a couple of large meals each day. Taking in too much food at once can overstimulate your digestive system.

If you usually bolt down your meals, go more slowly and pay more attention to chewing your food. Fast eaters often swallow too much air, which turns into bothersome intestinal gas.
– via Best Health Magazine Canada

Do You Need IBS Meds?

For some people with IBS, medication becomes an absolute necessity. But for others, a few simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference in the world to put you back in control of your health.

If you haven’t yet, give a few of the ideas below a try to see what makes the most difference for your digestive system.

Sometimes medication may prove necessary, but often you’ll do better to identify and address the underlying causes of the digestive problem. According to Dr. Rubman, the proper functioning of your digestive system has an awful lot to do with what you put in your mouth, what happens to it before it reaches the large intestine, and whether you have the appropriate balance of bacteria in your large intestine. Dr. Rubman has some simple and practical suggestions on how you can consistently support your body’s normal bowel function and bacterial balance in a safe and natural way…

  • Be picky about what you eat and drink. Avoid sodas and other sugary treats, caffeine, alcohol and fried or processed foods, all of which impede digestion. Try to eat more whole foods, healthy fats (e.g., found in salmon, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds) and complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and steamed veggies. What about yogurt that contains live cultures, which is often recommended to encourage bacterial balance in the intestines? According to Dr. Rubman it’s fine, but don’t expect a miracle cure. In his view, this promise is yet another marketing scam. A better alternative is the use of other probiotics.
  • Monitor food combinations, as these directly influence how quickly and efficiently food is digested, explains Dr. Rubman. For example, don’t combine “white” foods (such as white sugar, white flour, white bread, white potatoes, etc.) with saturated fats (for example, red meat or dairy products). Taken together, these can require as long as two to three hours to digest, during which time microorganisms in the food can colonize the stomach lining and cause digestive disturbances.
  • Keep fluids with meals to a minimum, and chew food thoroughly. The natural process by which saliva is added to food as it is chewed, to break it down thoroughly in the mouth, sets the rest of the digestive process in motion. So, our habit of washing down food with water or other beverages turns out to be counter-productive. Fluids may also dilute stomach acid, making digestion less efficient.

If you are 35 or older, consider taking supplemental digestive enzymes. Since aging tends to diminish our digestive enzymes, taking a them as a supplement helps the body break down foods into compounds that make nutrients easier to digest, and also work to decrease the number of colonized microorganisms in the stomach.
– via www.naturopathic.org

What has been the best home remedy you’ve found for your IBS?