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Could Your Recurring Stomach Pains Be IBS? How To Treat It Naturally

Aug 22, 2008
Irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) is the most common digestive health condition that 20 percent of the American population seeks professional health care advice for. It is sometimes called a nervous stomach or spastic colon, and is twice as prevalent in women than men.

There can be several irritating factors contributing to the symptoms, which can make life really miserable for IBS sufferers. Some of the baseline symptoms associated with this disruptive digestive health issue are;

1.erratic and uncoordinated intestinal contractions
2.painful bowel movements caused from constipation or diarrhea
3.feeling bloated or nauseated after eating
4.flatulence or a gurgling sound in the intestines
5.heartburn
6.fatigue caused from insomnia
7.headaches

IBS is characterized by having difficulty with normal assimilation of food, absorbing nutrients from food, and the elimination of wastes through the digestive tract. As a result, toxins and mucus may build up inside the gut and could, eventually, break through the colon lining leaking out into the bloodstream.

Up until that point, however, it is not considered a serious or life-threatening condition. It is not often looked upon as a single illness, but more like a combination of different systemic symptoms unique to the sufferer.

Causes

Most people do not think too long or hard about what they are eating and drinking everyday. As a modern culture, we are living lifestyles that would be completely foreign to our ancestors, and we have become to dependent on over-processed, fast food and drink to accommodate our independent lifestyles.

We over consume pasteurized dairy products, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, polyunsaturated fats, refined grains which can bring on food allergies. Allergies have been shown to be a contributor in IBS. Along with these unhealthy dietary practices, we add insult to injury by drinking too much alcohol, caffeine, and eat to many spicy foods that will further irritate the delicate lining in the intestinal tract.

Another important factor that is missing inside many people's intestines is a large supply of good germs. Beneficial bacteria levels are frighteningly low for most people. Why? This can be attributed to the wide spread use of fluoridated and chlorinated municipal water supplies.

The unhealthy overuse of antibiotics in the animal livestock food industry is another reason friendly bacteria can not set up house inside our gut. And, there is not too many of us that have not taken an antibiotic for an illness, at one time or another, for an infection that caused us to be sick.

As you can see, good bacteria can succumb to a constant daily assault if it is not consistently resupplied.

Lastly, let's not forget the grind of the daily gauntlet lifestyles many people try to live. Poor emotional management skills has the ability to lead to severe nervous system reactions. This response can not only bring on symptoms of IBS, but back pain, cancer, hypertension, and a whole host of other diseases and muscle aches as well.

Diagnosing

Keep in mind that finding out if you have IBS can be a rather difficult task. Many of the symptoms can be attributed to other, more serious, gastrointestinal disorders. When seeking medical advice, be prepared to be asked some very blunt and intrusive questions. Be willing to discuss your symptoms, and be ready to undergo some very embarrassing tests such as having a barium enema, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, rectal biopsy, and a stool exam to check for bacteria, blood, and/or parasites.

Your doctor is going to want to rule out more serious intestinal health conditions like celiac or Crohn's disease, colon cancer, diverticulitis, endometriosis, fecal impaction, food poisoning, infectious diarrhea, lactose intolerance, or ulcerative colitis. At the bare minimum, expect to have your complete medical history taken, a physical exam, and blood tests.

Diet and Supplements vs Medications

Although IBS can be very disruptive and painful, it is not serious or life-threatening. Fortunately, with a few lifestyle changes applied as natural treatment options, most sufferers can look forward to leading an active and productive life again.

Because emotional stress can be a large contributor to experiencing this condition, many M.D.'s will want to try prescribing antidepressants or tranquilizers to help calm nervousness. If diarrhea is a persistent problem, they may also add a antispasmodic or antidiarrheal drug to the mix. If you are currently taking a prescription for an another health condition, be aware of the negative side effects associated with mixing all of these different drugs together.

Medications can further complicate nutritional malabsorption problems that are, already, the issue causing IBS to begin with.

Try to get a better grip on your emotional stress levels. Get enough physical exercise, everyday, to get your heart pumping for about 20 to 30 minutes. Take time out to let yourself shut the world off around you for a few minutes every day. Learn meditation, yoga, or read enlightening literature that can uplift your spirits. There are also alternative solutions like EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) that can help you discover how unresolved emotional issues can affect your physical health.

Dietary changes can quickly lead to a permanent remission of your troubling symptoms. Start with trying to get more fiber in your daily diet by eating plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, brown rice, ground flax seeds, and legumes. You might try adding a little extra supplemental fiber from psyllium powder or oat bran as well.

Introduce good bacteria into your gut, daily, by consuming homemade fermented foods and beverages like kefir, yogurt, kombucha tea, or sauerkraut. Along this same line, invest in a good digestive enzyme supplement. Doing these two things will help you properly digest and eliminate any nutritionally empty food or drink you haphazardly choose to consume. You can ask about these options at your local health food store.

Stepping up your essential fatty acid intake by eating more cold water fish, ground flax seeds, walnuts, or taking a quality fish oil supplement is advisable too. Consider increasing your calcium/magnesium levels like coral calcium to help control excess nervous tendencies.

Avoid eating large, heavy meals, and opt to graze on smaller portions of healthy food more often. Don't eat foods that you know are going to cause digestive upset.

This may seem like childish instructions, but your were probably told when you were younger to chew your food slowly and thoroughly before swallowing. Rethink, relearn, and just do it because, the proper breaking down of your food begins in your mouth.

Drink a full glass of water about an hour before you plan to eat a meal. Drink very little during your meal, only what is necessary for wetting your mouth, occasionally. Wait about an hour after eating and drink another full glass of water. This will give your stomach acids enough time to do there job, naturally, without weakening their effects.

Seriously consider reducing or eliminating the amount of manufactured, or using refined condiments in beverages you normally consume. Simply begin replacing these with nothing more than plain water. Water does an incredible job of keeping wastes and toxins moved through your intestines, and water will help keep all other body systems running smoothly too!
About the Author
Brenda Skidmore has spent the last five years actively researching natural health care alternatives. It is her sincere desire to empower others by sharing this important information. To improve your health today visit
mywater4life.com
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