Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by a massive variety of chronic digestive ailments, including bloating, excessive gas, stomach, back, and groin pain, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and more. Technically a diagnosis of exclusion, those who suffer from it are often also depressed, because no real diagnosis, means no real cure.
Making radical life style changes can help big time, and although it may seem impossible, it’s not. And once you feel great for the first time in years, you’ll have no problem wanting to continue along the path to good digestive health.
There are many things one can do to improve the symptoms of IBS, including the following:
Consume only foods that are simple for your body to digest.
What does this mean, exactly? It means literally eat foods that your digestive system can process without much effort. Nothing heavy, and nothing that your body will naturally want to fight; you have to get rid of the common triggers. Here’s a list of common offenders to stay away from:
Caffeine and alcohol
Eat plenty of fibre, but make sure you do it properly.
Replacing dead and non-nutritive foods with ones that contribute to healing your gut is important. For many people who suffer with IBS, constipation is a real issue. To combat constipation, you have to be eating enough fibre-rich foods, but you also have to drink enough water so that the fibre can move along properly, to do its job.
Here are a few foods that are high in fiber:
Beans (black, navy, pinto, garbanzo (chickpeas) and kidney beans)
Legumes (peas, green beans)
Fruits (apples, pears, berries, watermelon, plums, peaches)
Vegetables (leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, artichokes)
Roots (sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, and other tubers)
Whole grains (quinoa, oats, couscous, millet, and sprouted wheat)
O3NC (add 1/3 cup daily to smoothies and/or oatmeal)
Dried fruit (figs, dates raisins, and prunes)
Stay very hydrated.
This is so important, because water helps to break down the foods you eat. It keeps your whole body moving the way it was designed. If you allow yourself to become dehydrated, you limit what your body can do for you.
Manage your stress.
This is massively important for people suffering with IBS. There is a well-known brain-gut connection, and when you’re stressed out, your digestive system responds to that. By staying relatively stress-free, you can manage your gut flare-ups. Here are some ways to help manage stress:
Know your limitations when it comes to work and family
Get help when you need it
Walking and running
The last point in the stress category gets its own little section, here. Exercise not only helps to manage stress; it also helps to keep the stomach toned and the digestive system moving. By literally moving your abdominal muscles, you help your digestive system work better.
So get moving!
Take probiotics and digestive enzymes, and eat fermented foods.
This last point is really all about maintenance. One of the known contributors to IBS is deleted digestive enzymes. Your enzymes can be low because of a variety of factors, including diet, stress, and other lifestyle issues, such as alcohol abuse and chronic illness.
So let’s get them back!
You can purchase probiotics (friendly bacteria) and digestive enzymes at your local health foods store, or grocery store pharmacy.
As for the fermented food, it contains natural digestive enzymes, too. The following foods are great for digestive health, and for those with IBS:
Pickled vegetables (different than conventional pickles)
This article was published by O3NC in B.C, Canada.