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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief Treatments » 2007 » January

Archive for January, 2007

Breaking the Emotional Connection to IBS- 5 tips that you can try today

Posted in Irritable Bowel Syndrome on January 25th, 2007

Regardless if lactose is aggravating your IBS or not, there is a good chance that your emotions are.  Negative emotions and feelings such as anxiety, nervousness, fear, embarrassment and depression put a lot of stress on our body. 

Studies revealed that those with IBS tend to have a harder time coping with stressful situations than the average person.  Moreover, they are far more likely to react negatively, which consequently, has devastating effects on gut functioning.

A person who is under stress with IBS may experience dizziness, insomnia, and/or muscle aches, as well a severe case of IBS symptoms such as:
• Diarrhea
• Constipation
• Alternating diarrhea and constipation
• nausea
• Abdominal pain
• Back pain

Stress does not cause IBS, but it can make symptoms more severe.  This may be due to the fact that stress makes the mind more aware of spasms that occur in the colon, or because IBS might be set off by the immune system when compromised under stress. 

To enable you to find help for IBS, you need to find ways to limit the stress in your life.  The following are 5 tips you can try:

1. Exercise – Exercises, especially those that focus on the mind and body simultaneously, are excellent stress relievers without straining your gut.  Exercises like Yoga, help you to clear your mind, focus on breathing, and stretch and strengthen your muscles. 

2. Meditation –If you feel overwhelmed, learn how to clear and focus your mind through meditation.  Take 20 minutes and clear your mind by concentrating on slowly inhaling and exhaling, or repeat a single positive word until this word is all you think about.  You can meditate sitting, standing or lying down, but it’s a good idea to meditate in a quiet room or outdoors.

3. Be good to your body – You need to develop a relaxing eating routine.  Eliminate the foods that aggravate your IBS from your diet and eat your snacks and meals around the same time each day.  You don’t need to eat the same foods everyday, but you should ensure that your body is being properly fed and well hydrated. 

When we are hungry and dehydrated, it is easier for us to become stressed and pick up bad eating habits that can aggravate IBS.  Furthermore, don’t rush through your meals.  Relax and eat slowly.

4. Rest and relaxation – You need to find peace of mind.  This may mean listening to soothing music, taking a warm bath, enjoying a cup of tea and snuggling up with a good book, watching your favorite movie or program, taking a walk, shopping, or enjoying a favorite hobby.  Whatever it is you find relaxing, you need to make sure that you take time out of your busy day and enjoy it.  Taking a break rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit.  In addition, proper sleep is essential to ideal rest and stress reduction.

Peace of mind is also feeling good about your body.  If your IBS symptoms are aggravating you, talk to you doctor about different treatments to help you find relief.

5. Find support - Release pent up emotions by talking to your partner, family member or friend, writing in a journal, or find support through other IBS sufferers. 

IBS can be embarrassing, and often leaves many sufferers worrying about how close they are to a toilet at all times.    These are feelings felt and understood by the vast majority of those with IBS.  Joining an IBS support group will not only make you feel less alone, but you can also share your opinions and feelings with others, and may be able to find solutions to problems by learning through their experiences.

One of the best places to look for help for IBS is through support groups online.
If you are looking for more help for IBS symptoms please visit NaturalIrritableBowelSyndromeRelief.com and sign up for a free newsletter.

When you find one of our blog posts interesting and useful why not buy me a herbal tea to fund further work.

Treating IBS with Hypnotherapy

Posted in Irritable Bowel Syndrome on January 18th, 2007

Like acupuncture, hypnotherapy is another popular natural remedy for IBS that many people are turning to.  Hypnotherapy allows a person to tap into a special mental state (the subconscious level of their mind), allowing them to alter the way in which they consciously perceive their health problems, and encourages them to respond to these problems in new ways.
How? While they are in this special mental state, the person is given verbal suggestions or provided imagery to assist them in finding relief from their symptoms.  The stimulation that the person under hypnosis receives from words and images has a significant impact on the way they function mentally and physically.

For instance, imagery used during hypnotherapy for an IBS patients would be images that encourage healing.  Depending on what the image is, the patient may imagine their intestines expanding and relaxing to let fluids flow through.  Hence, this imagery is meant to help the patient with their constipation problem.

Why is hypnotherapy an effective IBS treatment?
The reason is because hypnosis is a therapy that can help both the body and the mind.  Think of hypnosis as a treatment that helps a person put mind over matter.  In other words, it’s a way to use the mind to help heal physical ailments.  Furthermore, many researchers believe IBS is a primary disorder of the brain/gut axis.

The what?  The brain/gut axis is the term given to the important relationship between the events that have an affect on the way the central nervous system (brain) functions, and how this resulting function affects the way the intestines function through the intestinal specialized enteric nervous system.  Essentially, the mind and body are connected.  The state of one’s mind can have positive or negative affects on the way the body functions. 

For many IBS sufferers, one of the best benefits of hypnotherapy is its ability to reduce the hold stress has on them.  Most people with IBS are plagued by negative emotions such as anxiety, tension, and depression, all symptoms of stress that are caused by having to live with an incurable condition.  Stress can cause chemical imbalances within the brain that can undermine the immune system and cause an IBS flare up.  Hypnosis can decrease the stress one feels about IBS and help a person realize and explore new thoughts and strategies about how to cope with the illness.  Hypnotherapy turns the negative to positive.

Over the course of 15 years, numerous studies have been conducted on the effects of hypnotherapy on people with IBS.  The results have been very successful.  In fact, hypnotherapy regularly generates long term positive results in more than 80% of those who are treated with it.  As an additional bonus, hypnotherapy is safe for all ages, and works on 90% of the population.

Keep in mind, that like most types of natural remedy for IBS, hypnotherapy usually requires more than one session to be successful and maintain its effectiveness.  Furthermore, although you can learn self-hypnosis, it’s a good idea to first undergo clinical hypnosis with a qualified and licensed professional to achieve the best experience and to find out if hypnotherapy can really help you.

If you are looking for information on different types of natural remedy for IBS symptoms please visit NaturalIrritableBowelSyndromeRelief.com and sign up for a free newsletter.


When you find one of our blog posts interesting and useful why not buy me a herbal tea to fund further work.

Why Reducing Lactose Intake May Alleviate IBS Symptoms

Posted in Irritable Bowel Syndrome on January 11th, 2007

Many people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS syndrome) have problems digesting milk sugar, better known as lactose.  Lactose intolerance occurs when there is insufficient lactase in the small intestine. 

Lactase is responsible for breaking down lactose so it can be properly absorbed into the bloodstream.  When not enough lactase exists, the undigested lactose can ferment in the large intestine, which can lead to the unpleasant symptoms of:
• nausea
• bloating
• cramps
• flatulence
• diarrhea

These symptoms usually present themselves between 30 minutes – 2 hours following ingestion of lactose.  Symptoms will vary depending on how intolerant one’s system is to lactose.

As you can see, the above symptoms closely mirror those related to IBS.  Therefore, discovering whether or not lactose intolerance is a contributing factor to the symptoms an IBS sufferer experiences, can be difficult to determine without the proper diagnosis.

One of the ways an IBS sufferer can self-determine if they have lactose intolerance is to begin a lactose elimination diet.  In other words, ingest a lactose product and find out if you have a reaction within 30 minutes - 2 hours after eating it.  If you do, eliminate this item from your diet and try ingesting something else that contains less lactose.  Continue eliminating until you no longer have symptoms. 

Unfortunately, the problem with an elimination diet is many people are not aware that lactose isn’t only in dairy products.  It also exists in small amounts in bake goods, certain breads, cookies, dry cereal, breakfast drinks and instant soups.  In addition, lactose is often used for filler or to increase the bulk of capsules and tablets. 

The following are a list of lactose ingredient names to look for on food packages: lactose, whey, buttermilk, nonfat milk solids, malted milk, margarine, sour cream, sweet.  Furthermore, make sure you ask the pharmacist if any of the medication you are taking contains lactose.

If you have been diagnosed with IBS, it’s a good idea to take a hydrogen breath test to determine whether or not you have lactose malabsoprtion.  This is the best way for you to determine what course of action you should take.  After all, if you don’t suffer from lactose intolerance, eating a lactose-free diet isn’t going to help the symptoms you are experiencing.  Plus, foods that contain lactose are usually high in calcium and are an important part of a healthy diet.

Additionally, if the lactose breath test is negative, your doctor may want to run other tests to rule out other dietary factors you may be allergic too.

If a hydrogen breath tests proves that you are lactose intolerant, the best treatment is to completely eliminate all lactose products from your diet.  Due to the fact that this means eliminating many dairy products from your diet, you will need to find other ways to provide your body with the calcium it needs to remain strong and healthy.

The following are a list of food sources that are high in calcium and contain no lactose:

• Fortified soymilk
• Canned salmon
• Canned tuna
• Sardines with edible bones
• Raw broccoli
• Lettuce greens
• Orange
• Pinto beans

There are other foods high in calcium without lactose such as spinach, swiss chard and rhubarb, but they also contain oxalates which block the absorption of calcium so they are counter productive.

Recent research finds that yogurt with active cultures are a good sources of calcium event though it contains lactose.  The reason why yogurt appears not to cause problems is because the bacterial culture produces some of the lactase enzyme that is necessary for proper digestion.

Calcium supplements may also be necessary in order to meet the daily requirements.  Talk to your doctor about treatment for IBS Syndrome. 

If you want to discover other ways to successfully reduce or eliminate IBS syndrome symptoms please visit NaturalIrritableBowelSyndromeRelief.com and sign up for a free newsletter.

When you find one of our blog posts interesting and useful why not buy me a herbal tea to fund further work.

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