IBS Cramping Your Lifestyle?

IBS Is No Joke

Backed up in the Bathroom? IBS is no joke.

Backed up in the bathroom? This tough to treat, harder to manage the disease is no joke. Enjoy these tips and tricks for better management of IBS.

Are you sick of feeling backed up, embarrassed of a loud ‘waterfall’ sound while using the john, or rocking a beer belly (though lack of beer consumption)? It might be time to try a lifestyle overhaul, especially if you have IBS.

 Affecting nearly ~10% of Americans, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) occurs when certain symptoms – abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation and diarrhea – occur at the same time. Every person affected by IBS struggles with symptom severity and duration differently.

Symptoms occur at least three days a month for at least three months at a time. Constipation and diarrhea might last for months. However, a bowel movement usually helps the gas and bloating go away.

Doctors can diagnose IBS based on symptoms, but like to rule out certain food groups for a chance your pain might be from allergies. Other ways diagnosis occur are through a collection of a stool sample, blood test, or colonoscopy (performed to rule out Crohn’s Disease). Unfortunately, doctors must focus on the relief of symptoms as there is no cure for IBS. Patients are asked to make lifestyle changes before a prescription is written out.

Check out these homeopathic considerations for lessening the lows of IBS:

Trigger Foods. Physicians recommend eliminating certain foods that may trigger stress on key organs such as fried or spicy foods, dairy, caffeine, indigestible sugar and beans. Some of these foods will have different effects on every individual.

Food elimination. Recognizing which foods create what reaction is essential for reducing symptoms in individuals with IBS. It is recommended to practice ‘food elimination’, or taking away certain food groups at a time for a long duration of time to identify which foods might be triggers.

Allergies? It is not uncommon for individuals to have IBS due to food sensitivity, such as gluten or dairy. Try a gluten-free or dairy-free diet to test your allergy sensitivity. It might be your jam! Our pals at Lake Line Wellness Center can assist with allergy testing as well.

Herbs to soothe an upset tummy. Nutraceuticals, like marshmallow root or amino acid L-glutamine help, soothe and nourish the intestinal tract and bowel. You can pick these up at Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen. Ginger, peppermint, chamomile, too.

Stress Impacts IBS. The nervous system controls automatic movement or motility within the digestive system. When an individual is stressed, nerves can be greatly triggered and the digestive system might overreact, especially the colon under pressure. Reducing stressors in everyday life can dramatically relieve symptoms of IBS.

Bulk up on fiber. One way a healthy digestive system functions properly is through the absorption and elimination of toxins within the colon. Fiber can help get IBS patients up to par.

Cease Sulfur. Tell mom you need to avoid Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cabbage due to tummy problems and we’ll back it up. High sulfur foods are proven to trigger IBS symptoms. Perhaps, carrots or green beans for your low-sulfur veggies tonight?

Hydrate, hydrate.  How much do you weigh? Split that in half. What’s the number? This is the number of ounces of water you should be intaking a day. If you weigh 200 lbs., you should take in 100 ounces of water a day which will help flush out toxins and keep your organs thriving. If you do not like the taste of water try adding a few drops of essential oils to the water.

Colon hydrotherapy. If you find that your IBS is out of control or your symptoms are severe, colon hydrotherapy might be for you. Cleanse the system, improve digestion and eliminate with ease. Read up on Rock Solid Health Colon Hydrotherapy.

Speak with your local nutritionists for an opinion on IBS health and the reduction of uncomfortable symptoms. You are not alone in this uneasy battle of Irritable Bowel Symptoms and we’re here to help!

Gluten-Free: A “sticky” hot topic

millet-with-mushrooms-and-kale-gluten-free

Is Gluten-free right for you and your loved ones?

Gluten-free has become a hot-button topic.  There are those who roll their eyes when they hear someone is gluten-free.  And then there is the look of great concern thinking that the person requesting the gluten-free menu must have celiac or some other horrible condition that is preventing them from partaking in the “gluey” goodness of bread!

For our family it is personal we all have different variations of sensitivity.  My husband’s reactions to gluten are mild, but knows he doesn’t feel as great when he has too many bready foods.  My daughter receives tremendous gastrointestinal distress.  Me, due to Hashimoto’s, there is a myriad of reasons why I avoid it.

What Is Gluten and why does it matter?

Before discussing whether or not a gluten-free diet is right for you, it’s important to understand what is gluten and what is gluten-free. Gluten is made up of two proteins found in the husk of grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. It is responsible for giving food elasticity and providing a chewy texture. The small intestine surface of your gut is covered with villi – tiny, finger-like projections that act as gatekeepers to the rest of the body. These gatekeepers reject gluten to various degrees in people differently. This may be why some people are sensitive vs intolerant. This rejection has an effect on the absorption rate of many of the nutrients that are key to our well-being, including calcium, vitamin A and Iron.

 

Although gluten sensitivities were once considered rare, it is now estimated that gluten-related disorders could affect 10% of Americans.

Many people unknowingly suffer from a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, which can cause a slew of negative side effects:

  • Abdominal pain, IBS, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Brain Fog- difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Mood changes such as depression or anxiety
  • Ongoing fatigue
  • Muscle and joint pain, numbness in the arms and feet
  • Eczema, skin rashes, dermatitis
  • Nutrient deficiencies which could lead to learning disabilities

 

 

 

A person with celiac disease has an autoimmune condition. When people with celiac disease eat foods with gluten, it triggers an immune response that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. This can cause malabsorption of nutrients, anemia, osteoporosis, and other medical complications. Frequent symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, malnutrition, skin rashes and fatigue.

Cutting gluten out of your diet can be a challenge

Gluten byproducts are widespread throughout the food supply. For example, due to cross-contamination, many foods — such as oats — do contain a small amount of gluten, which can cause serious problems for those with a sensitivity or intolerance.

Gluten is not just in bread, also often added to other foods to modify the stability and structure of products, such as salad dressings, condiments, and deli meats. It is important if you are diagnosed or suspect you may have a strong intolerance to gluten that you learn to read the labels on food.

However, for those who are sensitive to gluten, following a gluten-free diet benefits many aspects of health. A few benefits one may reap by limiting gluten are:

  • Amps up fat burning
  • Provide a burst of extra energy
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Eases digestive symptoms like gas, bloating or diarrhea and IBS 

For others, gluten-free could be the key to reducing behavioral issues and improving symptoms of autism. Research has continued to unearth many potential benefits the least of which is supporting an anti-inflammatory diet.

Not sure if gluten affects you? 

Try 3 weeks of eliminating gluten to see if you experience less:

  • Inflammation
  • Gut distress (gas, bloating, diarrhea, etc)
  • Mental fog
  • Physical fatigue

Some benefits you could experience:

  • Greater focus
  • Improved health conditions
  • Better sleep
  • Natural weight loss

How can a person go gluten-free without feeling overwhelmed?  Get an easy start by remembering to stick to a simple list of whole foods:

  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Roots
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Legumes
  • Rice
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Fish

It’s when we want to figure out the “cheats” that we complicate it. Take a look at this comprehensive list from Healthline.com for an in-depth list of what to avoid and what to try. As a bonus, I found this great recipe from Dr. Axe with millet, mushrooms, and kale. Perfect for that sticky gooey craving without the gluten.

Visit with your trusted health practitioner or nutritionist to determine if this is right for you.  And trust your gut.  Your gut knows if you should or shouldn’t be gluten-free.

For our family, it was a must.  Even my husband, who loves his sticky bready foods, sees the benefits of gluten-free.