What You Need To Know About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Its Symptoms And Treatment

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What Is IBS? Symptoms And Treatment For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS?

It's a functional bowel disorder that can cause pain and other symptoms and is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the U.S.

It is often confused with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is a more severe autoimmune disease.

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It is estimated that approximately 10 percent of Americans are living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The pathogenesis or origin of this disorder may involve biological, psychiatric, and social factors, thus studies show that there are many different types of treatments for IBS, which may work for different people.

Common physical symptoms of IBS include frequent:

  • Abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Spastic colon
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Additionally, studies have shown a relationship between IBS and depression, anxiety, and other emotional challenges.

If you're experiencing these symptoms, you need the best IBS treatment, which is a change in your diet.

Diet is one of the most important ways to treat IBS — specifically, cutting gluten, pasteurized dairy, and sugar from your diet.

Here are 8 other tips for a successful IBS diet plan to alleviate your IBS symptoms.

1. Eat organically

Pesticides such as glycophosphate are known to alter the balance between pathogens and beneficial biota in the gut.

Such imbalances can be the main cause of IBS in many individuals.

2. Have small meals

Eat a small meal every 2 to 4 hours.

This means that you will be eating 5 to 8 meals per day.

3. Eat non-starchy vegetables

Eat non-starchy vegetables 1 to 4 times daily. Organic (pesticide-free) vegetables are best.

Non-starchy vegetables include raw sauerkraut, broccoli, celery, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, spinach, salad greens, kale, spaghetti squash, cauliflower, bok choy, collard greens, and more.

4. Eat enough protein

Eat 5 to 25 grams of protein every 2 to 4 hours.

Proteins may include non-commercial, grass-fed meat such as beef, buffalo, ostrich, elk, raw dairy products, safe fish, organic chicken, organic turkey, or pasture-raised eggs. It is essential that you eat some animal protein each time you eat.

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5. Eat healthy fats throughout the day

Healthy fats include, but are not limited to, grass-fed butter, grass-fed butter oil, grass-fed meat, ocean-caught fish, fish oils, coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, avocados, pasture-raised eggs, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

Eat nuts and seeds in small amounts only.

6. Have foods with high enzyme content

These include raw dairy, raw or lightly cooked non-commercial meats, and Lacto-fermented food and drinks such as yogurt, kefir, raw cultured vegetables, and kvass.

7. Eat probiotic-rich foods

Boost healthy bacteria in your gut by avoiding highly processed foods and eating more probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt or fermented foods like kimchi.

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8. Make soups from with bone broth

Eat soup that has been prepared using soup bones.

As a general rule, once you start healing your gut, you should start feeling improvements in a couple of weeks to a few months.

That said, some will respond within days and be fully healed in weeks.

The key is to know that healing is possible, but how long it takes depends on the exact nature of the IBS and how severe the dysfunction.

Doctors may prescribe IBS medication, such as antispasmodics or anti-depressants, but natural home treatments can be an effective alternative with fewer side effects.

  • If your diet is lacking in probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt or fermented foods like kimchi, consider taking a probiotic supplement.
  • Increasing your vitamin D intake may help, as studies have shown that low vitamin D levels are common among people who have IBS, and research has suggested that vitamin D supplements could ease IBS symptoms.
  • Regularly cleaning your colon to ensure ongoing healthy bowel movements can help to alleviate IBS symptoms.
  • Address emotional challenges. The correlation between depression or other emotional stressors and IBS is one reason that antidepressants are frequently prescribed for those with IBS. IBS can lead to depression and anxiety, but depression and anxiety can also make IBS worse. Seeking out psychiatric counseling or therapy may help you heal from IBS.

IBS symptoms can have a serious impact on your quality of life, but there are potentially many different paths you can take to heal from IBS.

Making dietary changes, seeking out emotional support, and improving your gut health are some of the most important steps to take to treat this common disorder.

If you think you may have IBS, you need to consult with your doctor.

Disclaimer: The material on this page is presented for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or prescribing from a licensed healthcare professional. Consult with your doctor before altering or discontinuing any current medications, treatment, or care, or starting any diet, exercise, cleansing, or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health condition that requires medical attention.

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Kristina Amelong, CCT, CNC, is an I-ACT certified colon hydrotherapist, nutritional consultant, and the founder of the Optimal Health Network. If you have questions or concerns about home colon cleansing or IBS prevention or management, you can reach out to her on her website for more information.

This article was originally published at Optimal Health Network. Reprinted with permission from the author.