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HEALTH ADVICE

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is Caused by Stress and Poor Diet

John Gray

About one in five Americans suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, with constant gut feelings that can be extremely painful and a case of "too much information".

When you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, the gut is more sensitive than it should be, because the nerve endings are constantly firing.

Besides a heightened sensitivity to sensation in the intestinal tract, IBS shows up as erratic bowel movements that alternate from very loose (diarrhea) to very hard (constipation). Another distinguishing symptom of IBS is pain or discomfort in the abdomen that’s made better when people actually have a bowel movement. Most doctors diagnose IBS after three months or longer of consistent symptoms.


There are a number of diet and lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of the symptoms, without taking medication.

1. What You Eat

The first change you should consider is your eating habits. Processed or packaged foods often contain a number of additives, such as artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and emulsifiers (detergent-like molecules). Each of these additives has the potential to disrupt your health. For example, emulsifiers are linked to metabolic issues as well as inflammatory diseases. It is also known that food additives may be one of the culprits in the breakdown of the mucosal lining of the gut. In addition to food additives, air pollution is now being linked to the breakdown of a healthy digestive tract. Air pollution particles can disrupt the barrier by making the guy more permeable to unhealthy bacteria. All of these disruptions to the healthy gut lead to inflammation in the digestive tract.

2. How You Eat

Digestion starts in the mouth, so chewing each mouthful 20 to 30 times per bite will make a big difference in how easily you digest your meals. Also eating at regular meal times will help regulate bowel function.

3. Drink More Water

Drinking more water is key to minimizing IBS pain. Since fiber absorbs fluid, you need to be well hydrated or constipation can get worse. Caffeine and carbonated beverages don’t do your system any favors because the caffeine can over-stimulate your bowels, and the soda contributes to gas and heartburn. Herbal teas can also be helpful for digestion, like peppermint, which soothes the gastrointestinal tract, and chamomile, which reduces intestinal inflammation.

4. Take High-Quality Probiotics

Probiotics are helpful to add to your food and water. Probiotics are natural bacterial products that you can supplement your diet with to aid digestion. Probiotics help to change the characteristics of the stool and have a positive effect on the lining of the intestines. Bravo Probiotic Yogurt is the best probiotic you can find anywhere. This special probiotic yogurt is something you make at home each week. It provides the essential support so that you can benefit more effectively from the healthy foods you are eating.  

5. Bend Your Body

Besides changing your diet, exercise, yoga and certain stretches have shown to be very effective in minimizing IBS symptoms. Simply bending forward helps soothe a hyperactive bowel. You can do this either sitting or standing. Breathe into the pose, and focus on relaxing your stomach muscles.

Another great stretch is lying down on your back, with your legs straight out in front of you, fold your right leg into your chest with your hands clasped on the top part of the shin. Hold for several rounds of breath, and then alternate with your other leg. Twisting also improves digestion and works the abdomen to relieve constipation.




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