4 IBS Symptoms You Should Not Ignore and 5 Natural Remedies
We could not let the month of April pass and not equip you with knowledge about Irritable Bowel Syndrome aka IBS - a gastrointestinal disorder that affects 25 to 45 million people in the United States. And about 2 in 3 are female. IBS is not so easy to diagnose. Characterized by what might be considered regular bowel inconveniences, many cases can go undetected. While the cause of the disease is unknown, it is thought to stem from a brain-gut abnormality.
According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, IFFGD IBS is a “complex motility (motor) and sensory disorder”, that could be masked as a stomach ache or case of diarrhea. Here are four symptoms that you should not ignore:
1. Reoccurring abdominal pain and discomfort
Stomach aches are a natural part of life. However, if a pattern of stomach aches and/or pain develop with no other cause; you want to seek medical attention.
We have all had a case or two of diarrhea. Diarrhea is loose frequent bowel movements that are usually caused by infections, parasites, food poisoning, medications, IBS or IBD. Diarrhea can be dangerous because it dehydrates the body quickly.
Quite the opposite of diarrhea, constipation is the inability to empty the bowels because of hard feces. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease “constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal (GI) problems, affecting over 42 million people in the United States.”
4. Change in frequency and form
This is perhaps one of the most telling signs regarding IBS. If one develops a rhythm of diarrhea and constipation coupled with reoccurring pain, it’s time to have this checked. Also if this new rhythm causes a disruption in your regular daily activity, seek medical attention.
Once you have sought medical attention, it's time to do your part. And we like to always empower our readers to “do” their part and own their health regardless of the diagnoses. We have the power to change our lives. So it's time to employ these 5 IBS natural remedies.
If your gut is not happy a good place to start is with probiotics. According to Dr. Mary Jane Brown, Ph.D., RD probiotics have been noted to reduce symptoms of IBS. These live organisms do a fantastic job on the digestive system by reestablishing the health of the gut. While probiotics can be taken in supplement form, the best way is via live probiotic cultures found in fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut and other soy-based products. One of my personal fermented favorites is kombucha!
2. Keep a food journal
If you want to explore what is causing your IBS, keep a food journal. Begin eliminating foods noted to cause adverse effects. And then slowly reintroduce them one-by-one to determine the possible culprit(s) of your digestive issues. Simply put, the food body connection is real and determining which foods are best for you is essential. This will also help introduce healthier recipes and options for your unique system aiding you in creating an overall healthier lifestyle.
I have personally been using exercise as a viable option for Gastrointestinal (GI) tract health for years. We all know that exercise is good for your heart and often partake because of it physical benefits. Exercise also has an amazing ability to relieve stress and is great for emptying the bowel. When the bowel does not completely empty, the environment becomes putrid and bacteria can take root. Because constipation is a common ailment that plagues over 43 million people, it is not farfetched that IBS or other GI tract issues can occur.
4. Peppermint Oil
There are a number of essential oils that aid in digestive health. However, peppermint oil has been noted as the essential oil that benefits those with IBS. A hybrid of watermint, spearmint, and peppermint oil is noted by the American College of Gastroenterology to be highly effective in reducing abdominal pain - spasms in the GI tract and colon. In a study at the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, a 50% reduction in IBS symptoms was noted in 75% of patients who used it.
5. Release Stress
Simply put, stress impairs our health. That means that our bodies may not be in its optimal state thus becoming susceptible to many types of diseases. Finding a way to decompress and release the weight of the world will add great benefits to your overall health.
We checked in with Dr. Shaughanassee Williams, the Women’s Health Guru and owner of HealthyHer Center for Women to offer you some final thoughts. Dr. Williams added that “research suggests female hormones may contribute to its increased prevalence in women and that stress can trigger or worsen symptoms. While it is unclear if weight is a factor that contributes to IBS, physical activity definitely helps with decreasing symptoms.” Dr. Williams also emphasized stress management and dietary changes to include:
• Increasing fiber
• Exploring gluten free options
• Lessening alcohol consumption as it may irritate for some
• Cutting out certain carbohydrates, dairy and drinks that are carbonated and caffeinated
• Incorporating physical therapy that loosens the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles affected by IBS may also help.
Do you have IBS or think you might? Which remedies do you utilize for your IBS symptoms? Drop a line in the comment section and let us know.