ibs eating tips - I'm Whispering! IBS An Unpleasant Subject
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I'm Whispering! IBS An Unpleasant Subject

What is IBS? It is known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and also has a variety of names such as: Mucus colitis, Nervous Colitis, Spastic colon, Nervous colon, Irritated colon, Unstable colon. It is actually one of the most common intestinal problems and often responsible for work absenteeism.


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Many women unfortunately deal with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome months before they seek help. Many are just too embarrassed to seek help. IBS is prevalent in the US and affects one in five adults, three times as many women as men. In a recently conducted poll, 58 percent of health care practitioners said IBS was easy to diagnose. Yet the 3,000 women sampled in the survey said it took more than three years and trips to three different doctors to finally get an IBS diagnosis.

Irritable bowel syndrome, also called spastic colon, is a very common bowel disorder in the United States and indeed in most of western society. In fact up to 50% of visits to gastroenterologists are because of irritable bowel syndrome.

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.

Abdominal bloating, pain, and gas Mucus in the stool Feeling as if a bowel movement hasn't been completed Irregular bowel habits with constipation, diarrhea, or both The cause of IBS is unknown. Symptoms are thought to be related to abnormal muscle contractions in the intestines. However, when tests are done, they find no changes, such as inflammation or tumors, in the physical structure of the intestine.

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.'

Irritable bowl syndrome is painful, but not serious, and most people who have it can lead active, productive lives if they change their diets, get regular exercise, and replace needed nutrients. So rather than to suffer in silence, please know that you are not alone and do seek help from a health care provider if you cannot find comfort or have unanswered questions or concerns. Optimal health is attainable by making sure your body has the three basic biological requirements, enzymes, friendly bacteria, and minerals.

Of course many people don't even think about the causes of spastic colon because they can't see it. If they had bad bacteria growing on their skin, or on a wound that was visible it would be obvious, but the colon is inside the body and most folks don't even give it any thought as long as it is working as it should. That's where Bowtrol Colon Cleanser comes in. Bowtrol Colon Cleanser is an all natural product that cleans and cleanses the colon, removing all of the old fecal matter build up and the bacteria that comes with it. By using Bowtrol Colon Cleanser to get rid of this fecal matter building, in conjunction with moderate exercise and good eating habits, in other words a healthy lifestyle, a sufferer of irritable bowel syndrome can be well on the way to a less spastic colon and a more enjoyable and pain free life. Health eating by the way should be low on fat and processed sugar and high on fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, like beans and peanuts. Healthy eating and use of Bowtrol Colon Cleanser can lead to a better life.

It is very important that pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome does not wake you up at night. If it does, contact your health care provider to rule out other more serious conditions. Also there is no association between IBS and weight loss and/or bleeding. If you have either of these symptoms, again, contact your health care provider immediately.

IBS can persist for many years. An episode may be more then severe than the one before it, but the disorder itself does not worsen over time or lead to any serious diseases such as cancer. Symptoms tend to get better over time.

Another important resource is blue-green algae which contains vitamin K, needed to build intestinal flora for proper digestion, and chlorophyll for healing and cleansing of the bloodstream. Freeze dried blue-green algae is enzymatically active to aid in digestion and assimilation of nutrients among a host of other benefits to our overall health.

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.

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.'

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.

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No one likes having irritable bowel syndrome. Many people do realize that most of the pain is taken away through a bowel movement. This seems quite natural since the human body really needs to have two or three good, healthy bowel movements per day, and through these bowel movements fecal matter is discharged that may have built up on the walls and lining of the colon. If you give it some thought, it makes senses that too much retailed fecal matter would make a person feel under the weather. That is nasty stuff our bodies want to get rid of. Fecal matter contains a great deal of bacteria, and old fecal matter contains bacteria that has grown and multiplied, and that is not good for the colon or the rest of the body.

If you have not yet been diagnosed with IBS, try to rule out other causes of stomach problems such as eating a new food, nervousness, or stomach flu. Try home treatment for 1 to 2 weeks. If there is no improvement of if your symptoms worsen, make an appointment with your doctor.

If you have been diagnosed with IBS and your symptoms get worse and begin to disrupt your usual activities or does not respond to home treatments If you are becoming increasingly fatigued If you are symptoms frequently wake you up at night If your pain gets worse with movement or coughing If you have abdominal pain and fever If you have abdominal pain that does not get better when you pass a stool If you are loosing weight and you don't know why If your appetite has decreased If there is blood in your stool

One resource to look at would be 'friendly bacteria' as they play a vital role in our overall health. There are billions of bacteria residing in the gastro-intestinal tract. Some of them are 'friendly' bacteria while others are harmful with the potential to cause disease. Friendly bacteria fight against harmful micro-organisms by altering the acidity of the region they inhabit making it inhospitable for unfriendly bacteria. They produce specific antibiotic substances, and they deprive unfriendly bacteria of their nutrients. The overuse of antibiotics, antacids, or laxatives, can often disturb the bacterial microflora of the bowel. Probiotics is a term used to describe organisms that benefit life by inhabiting the intestinal tract. Acidophilus benefits the small intestine. Bifidus benefits the large intestine. They replenish the 'friendly bacteria', and are needed for digestion and for the manufacture of the B vitamins.

Irritable bowel syndrome also called IBS is one of the most common disorders of the digestive tract. Symptoms of IBS often increase with stress or after eating and include

About the author:
Melinda Kempenich is the mother of three children and the wife
of a state representative from the great State of North Dakota.
Her goal is to help everyone find optimal health.

Home Treatment: If constipation is your main symptom Eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Add fibre rich food to your diet, but do this slowly so that you do not develop severe cramps Add unprocessed wheat bran to your diet. Start with 15g per day then gradually increase to 60g Try a product that contains a bulk forming agent such as Citrucel, FiberCon, or Metamucil. Start with 15g a day and drink extra water to prevent bloating Use laxatives only if your doctor recomends them. Get active. Increase your physical activity. If diarrhea is your main symptom Try the dietary suggestions for relieving constipation. Fibre rich foods and wheat bran can help reduce diarrhea Avoid foods that make diarrhea worse. Try eliminating one food at a time then add it back into your diet and see if symptoms develop. Many people find the following foods or ingredients make it worse: alcohol caffeine nicotine beans broccoli cabbage apples spicy foods foods high in acid such as citrus fruits fatty foods like bacon, sausage, butter, or oil, dairy products sorbital olestra starchy foods such as bread, rice or potatoes MSG If diarrhea persists a non prescription medication such as lopeamide found in Imodium may help. Check with your doctor if you are using lopeamide more than twice a month. To reduce stress keep a log of the events in your life that seem to trigger your symptoms then try to correct the underlying issues get regular and vigorous exercise When To Call Your Doctor:

 
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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.

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.'

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

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!''

Kim, who also suffers from bad diarrhea, says: 'I tried taking digestive enzymes with acidophilus and found significant relief within three days. I am not afraid to eat now, but find that I still cannot eat very much refined sugar or high fibre vegetables. I have also added a cup or two per day of peppermint and chamomile tea. When I do have an episode it occurs late in the day and by the next morning I am feeling back to normal.'

So how does one diagnose IBS? Unlike other medical conditions, there are no good screening tools or tests for IBS. Once diagnosed, there are several options for treatment. It's important to understand that there is no cure for irritable bowl syndrome. The goal of treatment is to lessen the symptoms. Depending on your symptoms, your health care provider may include one or a combination of different approaches. These may include diet therapy, especially if food triggers can be identified. Fiber supplements, drugs, psychological counseling, behavior therapy, and hypnosis may also be suggested. Some scientists believe a virus or bacterium may play a role as well as stress and diet.

Prevention: There is no way to prevent IBS. However symptoms often worsen or improve because of changes in your diet, your stress level, your medications, the amount of exercise you get, and for other reasons. Identify the things that trigger your symptoms. This can help you avoid or minimize attacks.

Sources: AWHONN (Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses), Cell Tech, Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

There are different types all with different symptoms and none of them are pleasant. One type includes excessive abdominal pain and cramping. Another is signified by constipation. Still another common IBS or spastic colon ailment includes vomiting, diarrhea, fever or even combinations of all of the above. In addition water retention and bloating are common. Also changes in bowel habits.

Melinda Kempenich is the mother of three children and the wife of a state representative from the great State of North Dakota. You can find more informative articles and information on health at her website Health So Serene @www.healthsoserene.info If you would like to receive a free brochure on Enzymes, Probiotics, or Super Blue Green Algae, please visit her website or e-mail her at mybabies58623@yahoo.com, she'd love to hear from you. You may also send a written request to her at Melinda Kempenich, 9005 151st Ave SW, Bowman, ND 58623-8857

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.'

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!'

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.'

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.'

While the exact cause of IBS is unknown. In people with this problem the nerves lining the colon are thought to be more sensitive than normal to bowel contractions and the passage of gas and fluid, causing pain and cramping. The nerves that control the muscles in the gut may overreact to stimuli like gas or the passage of food following a meal. This may cause painful spasms and contractions that speed or slow the passage of stool through the colon, resulting in diarrhea or constipation. Together, these actions create a painful cycle. Symptoms are often numerous and vague. In some women, having a bowel movement will often relieve the pain.

Your doctor may prescribe medications for you to take in addition to doing home treatment. There are no tests that can diagnose IBS but your doctor may recommend testing to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. The amount of testing your doctor will do depends on your age, the pattern, and severity of your symptoms, and your response to initial treatment.

About the author:
Sher Matsen author of Healing Herbs For The Mind Body & Soul
offers you alternative choices for treating disease and illness
at Herbs That Heal
' Copyright Sher Matsen, All Rights Reserved - You may republish
this article with an active link to our site.


 
 
     
 
 





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