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Question Irritable Bowel Syndrome - December 23rd 2011, 11:01 PM

Just wondering who else has this?

and any advice on how to deal/ manage this?

Everyone needs help sometimes, and thats what friends are for.
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Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome - December 24th 2011, 04:34 PM

I don't have it but I've known a couple people who have. They avoided caffeine, spicy foods, and ate small meals. One took medicine before every meal and one didn't take any meds.

There's no one thing that will work. It depends on the person. Some people might be able to eat spicy foods and another not.

Also, exercise is supposed to be very helpful, as well as getting enough sleep and having good sleep habits.

Hope this helps some. Take care!
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Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome - December 27th 2011, 02:32 AM

Thanks for the advice!

Everyone needs help sometimes, and thats what friends are for.
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Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome - December 27th 2011, 05:35 AM

As a person with general digestive problems (including mild IBS symptoms, bloating, etc.), I can sympathize with you. From my experience, the most important thing is how you eat. I know a lot of people won't agree with me, but I think many people can be free of IBS symptoms if they are diligent enough about changing the foods that they eat.

While it's true that no one thing will work for everybody, there are definitely some pretty common things that can help.

Sugar Sugar is not your friend. Excess sugar can not only lead to inflammation, but it also feeds the bad bacteria in your GI tract. You should do whatever you can to remove sugar, especially from processed food sources. You may even want to limit your sugar from fruits, and take out all fruit juices. Stick to fruits that are lower in sugar (such as berries), and concentrate more on multi-coloured vegetables (such as beets, or green leafy vegetables).

Gluten I bet you didn't know that gluten can contribute to IBS. Even if you haven't been diagnosed as having celiac's disease, gluten will still stick to the walls of your GI tract. Gluten is sticky, and binds really well to itself. I know some people that have even given up all grains to help their IBS symptoms. I know the food guide says you need grains, but really, they're not necessary for your body. You just need to make sure you're getting all the right nutrients.

Nightshades This includes all peppers, tomatoes, chillies, and most spicy food. Some people don't react very much to nightshades, but it's something to keep in mind during a flare up. You don't have to remove them, but it's good to consume them less frequently, and in their natural, unprocessed form.

Dairy Dairy should be avoided in liquid form, because of the lactose. Many people show signs of problems with dairy, and they don't even know it. Some natural health practitioners think as much as 2/3 of people could have a problem with dairy in one way or another. This might be a problem with the hormones (that are even present in organic milk), lactose, or the casein. Goat milk is usually more tolerated than cow's milk, if you must have milk in the liquid form.

As far as dairy goes, I'd recommend having Kefir or greek yogurt. It's better if you make it yourself. I'd recommend not having 0% milk fat yogurt. Try for 2% to 10%.

Aged cheeses are fine for some people. Heavy cream and butter are usually perfectly fine. If you have a major problem with dairy, the only thing I"d recommed is ghee. Ghee is almost 100% lactose and casein free. It's basically just the milk fat. It can be used for cooking; even at high heats.

Soy, corn, and refined oils look up information on the dangers of soy. It really isn't a great plant to consume. Corn is high in fructose, and isn't digested really easily. Margarine is an absolute no-no. It contains lots of refined and processed oils, as well as whey, and other additives that make it unhealthy. Some people will argue that margarine is healthier than butter, but I'd argue the complete opposite. Yes, butter is fairly high in saturated fat, but it doesn't oxidize at a very low heat. If you have problems with regular butter, use ghee instead. As far as other fats, I'd recommend using coconut oil for cooking. Use olive oil, avocado oil and macadamia nut oil, but do NOT heat them. They oxidize at a low heat, and lose their nutritional value.

Smoked meats, shellfish and processed foods Smoked meats and processed foods contain nitrates. Nitrates can constrict blood vessels, which helps blood flow to the GI tract. In general if a food was possible to make 100 years ago, it's probably not good for IBS. Shellfish is just something that could be a mild intolerance, and I'll touch on this a little later

Vitamin D and Omega 3s I touched on this in another recent post of mine. If your balance of omega 3s to omega 6s is off, it will lead to inflammation. It can even contribute to worsening of symptoms for psychiatric disorders. You should have 1 gram of omega 3s for every gram of omega 6s. If you want to see that post, it's in the Diet and Nutrition section. The thread is called "Pescetarianism".

Vitamin D is very useful for digestive problems. There have been several studies (I can't find a link to one right now) about the contributions of vitamin D for treating IBS symptoms. Just make sure you have enough, and consider supplementing this.

Fat and cholesterol I'd just like to say a few things about fat and cholesterol. There's no doubt that you've been told some time in your life that fat is bad for you (especially saturated). However, if you do end up eating less sugar, it's quite possible that your fat (included saturated fat) intake will go up to maintain the right number of calories. I know you could be skeptical about this, but you probably don't have to worry about the increase in saturated fat. The increase will not be very significant.

If you want to know more specifics about what I'm talking about here, send me a message.


Other notes It's definitely possible that many of these things will not affect you at all. If your IBS is mild, you don't have to change everything about what you do. I think one thing you could potentially do is go to a natural health practitioner and do a supervised elimination diet to see which things do cause a reaction. Or you could try a few things and see how they work for you. Either way, it's always good to make healthy changes to your diet.

If you want a concrete guide to a dietary approach to relieving IBS symptoms, google "Specific Carbohydrate Diet". That's a little bit intense, but it should help most people, even if their symptoms are very severe.

One more thing- once you begin to have less symptoms, probiotics are always a good thing to have, because they can help your body with the necessary eliminations.

If you need clarification to anything I've said, send me a PM, or respond to this thread, and I'll get back to you quickly. I have a few more non-dietary things that could help, but I'll only post about them if you really want me to.

** This is my opinion based on personal experience. I am not a doctor, nor a dietician.
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