Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) currently affects up to 45 million people in the US, two-thirds of which are women.
It’s been labeled a “functional disorder” meaning there is no actual disease present.
Well, what IS present with IBS is chronic and often debilitating abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating—all signs that your digestion is anything-but-normal.
So it only makes sense that if you support your body and help it carry out digestion the way it’s supposed to, you can feel tremendous relief!
Here are some of the most common triggers of IBS and how you can help turn them around:
The Standard American Diet
People who have a typical modern diet are most definitely eating very little fiber, truckloads of processed foods and meals that are next-to-impossible for their bodies to digest efficiently.
Help your digestion along by eating simpler meals. Pair meats OR starches (not both) with vegetables and a green salad, while avoiding the protein-starch combination in your meals. Proteins and starches require opposing digestive enzymes and when eaten together these catalysts can weaken each other in the stomach and impair digestion.
Probiotics provide a helpful dose of friendly bacteria which breaks down starches and fiber, thereby helping to reduce gas and bloating.
Digestive enzymes can pinch hit where your body may be lacking in enzyme support. (This is common among the elderly, people using acid reducers and people who have had gastric surgery.)
Food allergies and sensitivities
Many people have food allergies or sensitivities and don’t even know it...all they know is that they’re suffering from very frequent pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea (typical IBS symptoms).
True food allergies are easier to detect because you usually get symptoms quickly after eating the offending food, and oftentimes get a rash or other reaction.
But food sensitivities are sneakier. You won’t necessary get symptoms right away—it might take you up to 72 hours to feel the effects, and at that point, you’re clueless as to what may have triggered your attack.
Be sure to get appropriate testing for both allergies and sensitivities if you suspect these may be affecting you.
Stress can most assuredly compromise your digestion. Your mind and GI tract are connected through a series of impulse pathways called the "brain-gut axis" and what affects one affects the other.
Do what you need to do to relieve stress. Getting regular exercise (with your doctor’s OK) is a great place to start.
Many medications can ruin your digestion including:
- - Acid reducers and antacids
- - Pain relievers/NSAIDs
- - Antidepressants
- - High blood pressure medications
- - Cholesterol medications
If you are on any medications that ruin your digestion, it’s time to talk to your doctor about alternatives. For example, fish oil is helpful with high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, and vitamin B12 helps with depression.
Come on over!
I speak with expert authority about IBS…because I suffered from it for 15 years. It was even the subject of my thesis for my nutrition Master’s degree!
But I have been completely symptom- and medication-free for the last 25 years solely due to my diet, improved digestion, and probiotic supplementation.
I will never forget all of the tremendous sufferings I endured with IBS, as well as the drug side effects to boot, and trust me, life is very sweet indeed when you can finally close the door on it.
Come on over and see how great you can feel.