What’s Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS?
It is a chronic condition that many people suffer in the world. Irritable bowel Syndrome is a major problem that affects about 10-15% of the world population. 25-45 million people in the United States are impacted by IBS. The disorder affects more women than men. Also the cost associated with IBS is stagggering. It is estimated to be 1 billion just in the USA alone and 21 billion dollars worldwide.
This study of IBS indicate different symptoms for different individuals. in other words, one person might have diarrhea and constipation, someone else might have stomach cramps, diarrhea, and bloating, or a combination of symptoms.
Types Of IBS
- IBS with diarrhea – loose or watery stool
- IBS with Constipation – hard, infrequent stools, or strain when having a bowel movement
- IBS with alternating constipation or diarrhea – Having a period of constipation followed by diarrhea
What Are The Triggers?
Keeping a food diary is a must if you want to be able to recognize what’s food is causing your symptoms. By keeping track of the food you eat you’ll know what causes your IBS attack and remove it from your diet.
- Too much fiber, especially the insoluble that is the skin of fruits and vegetables, can trigger an attack
- Food and drinks with chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, fructose, or sorbitol
- Large meals
- Carbonated drinks
- Fried and fatty foods
- Gassy vegetables like cabbage
Stress is an emotional symptom that can trigger IBS. There Is a connection between the gut and the brain, for instance when you see someone running to the bathroom or someone saying I feel “butterflies in my stomach.” This shows that some stress is felt by the person involved. while this might be felt by normal people without IBS, for IBS sufferers it causes a flare.
Best Natural Remdies For IBS
1.Low FODMAPS diet
What is a FODMAP diet? Stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. In layman’s terms, it means food with simple sugars. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, bread, nuts, legumes are high in FODMAPS.
An alternative for this would be a low FODMAP diet, which can relieve the IBS symptoms. Studies prove the use of low FODMAP has been a game-changer for IBS sufferers.
How does a low FODMAP diet work?
FODMPAP works in three phases:
- Elimination– Avoiding all high FODMAP products and following a strict low FODMAP diet under the supervision of a dietitian. A duration of about eight weeks is recommended.
- Reintroduction– The reintroduction of high FODMAP foods one by one every few days to see which food causes the problem
- Maintenance– Returning to a regular diet and knowing which food triggers IBS symptoms. Eventually, you might be able to tolerate it by reintroducing regular food gradually into your diet to see if you can tolerate it.
Natural home remedies are found to have fewer side effects, cost less, and are more effective than prescription drugs As many people including myself have sought help from conventional medicine without any relief.
2.Herbs For IBS
- Peppermint oil: Is one of the first herbs that was used for hundreds for years, it was for many common ailments like heache. It also helps common symptoms of pain, bloating, gas and constipation of IBS.
- Ginger: Reduces gas and bloating.
- Aloe vera: Has anti-inflammatory properties that lower inflammation in the gut
- Fennel seeds: Relaxes stomach muscles and also helps with gas and bloating
Let’s find out how probiotics work to reduce the severity of IBS
- They can be a great supplement that can support and increase the good gut bacteria
- They balance the gut microbiome. Slow down diarrhea and increase regular bowel movement
- They help to reduce inflammation in the gut. Inhibits the growth of disease-causing bacteria
You must choose the right probiotics with care. For probiotics to do their job, you need to take one that works effectively, the same type, right dose, for the same symptoms you are experiencing, and one that’s proved to be evidence-based is critical.
Acupuncture can improve IBS sufferers’ symptoms by relaxing the intestinal muscles, spasms and improving bowel functions. It has helped IBS clients experience less abdominal pain, diarrhea, and even has decreased number of stools.
5.Relaxation And Exercise For IBS
- Taking deep breaths and focuing on your thoughts.
- Gentle stretches can reduce stress which then eases IBS symptoms
- Taking a stroll can relax your body and reduces stress
- Sleeping adequately to make sure you are well-rested to face the day ahead of you and avoid overwhelm.
- Seeking professional help to discuss your IBS problems is important to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Here is a story of how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)that has helped one man in overcoming IBS after he was failed by conventional medicine and even trying the FODMAPS diet. Kevin Yu was referred to by a clinical psychologist who specializes in CBT, this is when he was introduced to diaphragmatic breathing which made a big difference in his life that he hardly experienced IBS symptoms if any he continues to practice deep breathing exercises.
Having a social group has a tremendous positive impact, helping each other can make a difference for IBS sufferers. So talking about it might help someone else and also yourself instead of hiding and suffering alone.
Talk about support group, check this out advocate support has created access to a restroom for anyone with IBS or other digestive disorders, it is known as Restroom Access Act, it is a law that was passed in about a dozen states.
IBS can affect anyone, also the symptoms for one person might differ from another, Some might respond better to a low FODMAPs diet, another person might benefit from deep breathing and relaxation exercise. Overall there are many ways one can explore to find what works for them.
Whichever path you take try not to battle this alone. Talk to friends and families and tell them what’s going on or join an online group with people who have the same problems so you can support each other when the going gets tough.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Medications (webmd.com)
- How to treat IBS without medication | Patient
- Probiotics and irritable bowel syndrome (nih.gov) t
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for IBS – About IBS