May 2, 2016
368 Irritable Bowel Syndrome [2 May 2016]
April was IBS Awareness Month, a topic I have been neglecting for a while. Better late than never!
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder of the colon (large intestine). Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease involves inflammation and is more serious (which I will discuss another time).
There are many possible causes of IBS. A GI tract infection (“food poisoning”) can trigger IBS. Severe stress can also trigger it or make it worse. Antibiotics can kill off the good gut bacteria allowing pathogens (including the yeast Candida albicans) to flourish.
There are several key components to dealing with IBS.
• Reduce stress.
• Temporarily avoid foods to which you may have a sensitivity – dairy, cereal grains, and caffeine.
• Chew your food thoroughly and take digestive enzymes.
• Reduce sugar, fatty foods and processed meats. Temporarily eliminate cruciferous vegetables and onions and garlic which are high in sulfur and could trigger IBS.
• Take a good multi-strain probiotic. Eat cultured vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi. Better yet make your own (see #326).
• Add fiber to improve elimination and feed the beneficial intestinal flora.
• Ensure you are drinking enough water.
• Give your gut a treat with soothing herbs like marshmallow root, slippery elm, fenugreek, skullcap, peppermint and fennel.
• Supplement with the amino acid L-Glutamine and the monosaccharide N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine (NAG), both needed for healing the gut lining.
I have several formulas developed specifically for helping with IBS. A shelf-stable probiotic with L-glutamine is a convenient way to get both those nutrients. Another company has several supplement formulas for IBS – a combination of 26 herbs to soothe and support the colon; a formula with glutamine, NAG, and a few more herbs, to help the colon heal; and a line of high potency probiotics.
These tips and supplements should go far in relieving the symptoms of IBS and healing the gut.
Mayo Clinic IBS Definition
Renew Life: IBS Tips
Renew Life IntestiNew
Renew Life Intestinal Bowel Support
Watson, Brenda ND, 2002, Renew Your Life – Improved Digestion and Detoxification
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.