If you’re not personally affected by IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), chances are you know someone who is. Did you know that 11% of the world population suffers from IBS? In the U.S. alone, 25-45 million people are affected by this disorder—with a majority being women. And it is quite possible there are much more who suffer from IBS but have not been diagnosed.
These are staggering statistics for a condition that does not have a specific cure. As a matter of fact, if you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, it is because most other digestive diseases or conditions have been ruled out—it is a diagnosis of exclusion with many variables in terms of symptoms, treatment, and severity.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
The Mayo Clinic defines IBS as …a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. IBS is a chronic condition that you will need to manage long term. It goes on to explain that only a small number of people have severe symptoms requiring prescribed medications and that most sufferers can control symptoms through diet, exercise, lifestyle and reduce stress.
Symptoms of IBS
The signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can vary widely from person to person and often resemble those of other diseases. Among the most common are:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- A bloated feeling
- Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
- Mucus in the stool
5 Tips to Reduce Tummy Trouble
Drink plenty of water
Drink enough water. Many digestive problems are the result of a lack of water, as the liquid helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber. Taking a glass of water soon after waking up jumpstarts the digestive system, which helps prevent constipation. Also, drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal stimulates the stomach lining and prepares it for food.
Increasing the number of good bacteria in our GI tract, by taking probiotic supplements and eating foods that contain probiotics, may help combat reduce digestive symptoms, a growing number of scientists say. New research indicates that specialized strains of these good bacteria could also alleviate mood and anxiety disorders. Of course, always confer with your doctors to find out which probiotics are right for you and the optimal dosage.
Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAP compounds (found in gluten-containing foods) are thought to contribute to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and similar gastrointestinal disorders. Click here to learn more and find out which foods are low in FODMAPs, which may help reduce IBS symptoms
Increase Omega-7 intake
Sea buckthorn has an array of essential omega fatty acids, including the rare Omega 7. These fatty acids soothe cells and support the functions of the gastrointestinal mucosa. Omega 7 provides also helps to restore moisture. When the mucous membranes are healthy, they hold moisture better. Constipation sufferers may find relief with the healthy functions of these mucous membranes.
Aerobic activity, the use of large muscles groups for at least 10 minutes, helps fight constipation. Exercise helps with digestion in several ways, including promoting the movement of food through the intestines and improving blood flow to your gut.