IBS can be difficult to diagnose because of the wide and often conflicting range of symptoms experienced. For example, some with IBS will have constipation, others will have diarrhoea and yet others will see saw between the two extremes.
Although both men and women suffer with IBS, it is more common in the female population. It’s estimated that as high as 20% of the population have IBS.
It is generally considered “incurable” but Mizan practitioners have had very good results with IBS. Once you start massaging the womb and lower abdomen, you can’t help but improve the digestive and elimination system as well. Find your nearest Mizan practitioner here.
Symptoms of IBS can include:
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Changes in bowel habits – constipation or diarrhoea
- Excessive burping
- Aches and pains – including back pain
If you suffer from IBS you will know that it can be debilitating. There is not one solution that will help everyone, but here are eight tips to help with IBS.
#1. Eliminate the baddies
High fructose foods can be a problem for those with underlying IBS symptoms – unfortunately fructose is increasingly appearing in many foods (not only fruit) and often hidden. Pizza, burgers, many fruit juices, dried fruit, ketchup, fizzy drinks, natural sweeteners, as well as many vegetables and fruits.
Other foods to watch out for are those that make you gassy, such as apples, pears, cauliflower and broccoli.
Lactose is another trigger for IBS, though those who suffer from IBS and lactose intolerance are often lactose deficient.
Many people are also troubled by alcohol and for some, even the smallest amount will trigger their IBS.
#2. Start exercising
Regular exercise can really reduce IBS symptoms. In addition, exercise reduces stress, which is also a trigger for IBS.
#3. De-stress your life
It’s almost impossible to avoid stress, but if you can learn to balance its negative effects. Identifying your stress triggers, getting enough sleep and just unplugging from the world for 20 minutes daily will help to balance your nervous system.
Regular exercise is helpful. Meditation and Yoga are also great ways to detach from the stresses and strains of everyday life – meditation actually releases stress and reverses the effects of the fight or flight response mechanism.
Magnesium baths are also a great way to relax and promote a good night’s sleep whilst topping up your magnesium levels.
#4. Vitamin D
A study by the University of Sheffield found that a large proportion of IBS sufferers were vitamin D deficient. It was only an exploratory study but a larger and more definitive clinical trial has now been set in motion. One researcher that had suffered with IBS for over 30 years, reported a significant improvement in symptoms following an introduction to a high-dose of vitamin D3.
#5. Keep a food journal
Incredibly helpful in knowing your personal trigger. Write down what you eat each day, note any flare ups.
#6. Drink more water
If you do not have an adequate fluid intake each day, you will almost certainly put strain on the digestive system. Drink two glasses of warm water each morning, before you have anything else, and then continue to drink water throughout the day. It is better to take regular small drinks than few large ones. And be careful of the temperature – the coldest water you should take is room temperature, better if you can have it warm.
#7. Eat smaller meals
Sufferers of IBS can often reduce pain by eating four or five smaller meals rather than two or three large ones. Smaller meals are easier for the digestive system to cope with.
#8. Add probiotics and prebiotics
The importance of probiotics is well known. These live bacteria help keep the digestive system in a happy place. Prebiotics, the cousins of probiotics are less known.
Both probiotics and prebiotics are important for gut health. Probiotics are live microorganisms that live inside your gastrointestinal tract, aiding digestion by cleaning out the gut so that things keep flowing. Like all living things, probiotics need to be fed in order to remain active and healthy, and to benefit you as much as possible.
Prebiotics act as food for probiotics. In other words, probiotics eat prebiotics. They are a type of indigestible fibre that live in the large intestine. The more prebiotics the probiotics have to eat, the more efficient these live bacteria work, and the healthier your gut.
- Live yoghurt (coconut yoghurt is an excellent replacement for dairy)
- Sauerkraut (and any fermented vegetables)
- Pickled fruit and vegetables
- Raw chicory root
- Raw jerusalem artichoke
- Raw dandelion leaves
- Raw garlic
- Raw leeks
- Raw and cooked onions
- Raw asparagus