Over 10% of Americans suffer with IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS affects the large intestines. Some signs and symptoms include diarrhea or constipation or both, abdominal pain, cramps, bloating and gas. IBS symptoms can come and go, can disappear or get worse. The cause of IBS is still not known but some factors have been recognized.
- The contractions or movement of the muscles in the intestine can either be fast or slow, hence why some people may suffer with both diarrhea and constipation.
- Your nervous system may not be coordinating with the signals in your brain that well, which can result in discomfort.
- There are good and bad bacteria that lives in the intestines. When there is more bad than good bacteria, it can cause abdominal discomfort.
- Inflammation can also be recognized if you eat foods or liquids that don’t work well for you. Think of individuals who suffer with gluten or lactose allergy.
“Stress hormones can alter movement through the gastrointestinal tract.”
Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be hard to manage but with maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, you can help reduce those symptoms. IBS can also be caused from eating certain foods, stress, and or hormones. Keeping a food diary, trying to reduce stress in your life, and watching out for hormone fluctuations can help you to recognize when your IBS can be acting up.
“It turns out that the largest concentration of neurons outside of the brain and spinal cord is in the gastrointestinal tract, making it particularly susceptible to stress and creating a strong brain-gut connection. Stress hormones can alter movement through the gastrointestinal tract (speeding it up or slowing it down) and cause the muscles in the intestines to spasm and cause pain.” Says Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, MPH, Contributor of Harvard Health Publishing.
Stress affects everyone differently. When I get upset or stressed, I always notice that my stomach hurts which is what Michelle Dossett explains above. Reducing stress in one’s life can hard and difficult but if we try our best by taking preventative measures, it can help. Since I struggle with abdominal pain and cramps when I get stressed, I created a strategy for myself and you should too! When we get upset, we get caught up in the moment. What I try to do is listen to some music to calm down, take a couple of deep breaths, and tackle the problem section by section. The issues won’t get resolved if can’t manage to think that well.
By watching your diet and eating well, you can help manage your IBS.
- Using a food diary can help you identify foods that may affect you such as dairy. Studies have shown that reducing your intake of gluten or switching over to a gluten free diet can help reduce the inflammation in your intestines.
- Another way you can help keep your intestines healthy is by increasing your intake of fiber with natural foods and a fiber supplement. Our Liquid Fiber Flow contains 15 grams of fiber per serving and contains a prebiotic which will add good bacteria to your intestines, creating a better environment.
- Since I always struggle with my stomach, I carry around Peppermint Tea. Peppermint Tea can help reduce bloating and any abdominal discomfort. Take it as is or with a little bit of honey for sweetness.
Article referenced from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/integrative-approaches-to-reduce-ibs-symptoms-2019021115918