Winning the Battle With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Consistent upset stomach and digestive problems could be spell irritable bowel syndrome. You can get some relief when you make some simple alterations and additions to your lifestyle.

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If you live with the uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms of IBS, these little-known remedies will likely be beneficial to you.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition that specifically targets your colon, or large intestine. Symptoms include abdominal cramping, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc. Though its cause is unknown, there are theories that eating too fast or too slow can trigger it, as well as hormonal imbalances, stress and insufficient good bacteria to aid in the digestive process. No matter the cause, IBS can be managed and/or eliminated with changes to one’s lifestyle and eating habits – which leads you to believe that not eating and living in a health conscious way are the true root causes of IBS.

How to Get Rid of IBS

Healthy Diet – As mentioned, eating right plays a huge part in recovering from IBS. Upping your intake of fiber will really help regulate your digestive function. Fiber is a known toxin remover, bowel regulator, and weight loss booster. You can’t go wrong with fiber as long as you remember to drink plenty of water with it. Too much fiber, in the absence of water, can cause or exacerbate constipation and hemorrhoids.

An excellent source of fiber is ground flaxseed, which also reduces inflammation and soothes the walls of your colon. Two tablespoons of flaxseed per cup of water, tea or juice or as a topping to your rice cereal on a daily basis should be sufficient – until the symptoms subside. Beef, milk, dairy and all other cereals should be eliminated for a while, as they will also make your symptoms worse. Instead of dairy, try soy products – even soy milk with your rice cereal.

Herbal Tea Remedy – When dietary changes alone don’t seem to work to curb your IBS symptoms, herbal tea may help. An equal mixture of chamomile, marshmallow herb and yellow dock root steeped in boiling water tastes great and, according to naturopaths, helps get rid of constipation.

Peppermint Oil Massage – Peppermint packs more punch than many realize. Its essential oil can even be used to soothe abdominal cramping and pain as a result of IBS when applied topically directly to the abdomen. The scent is calming as well. For added effect, mix 10 drops of peppermint oil with an ounce of almond oil and massage gently onto your abdomen for pain relief. You can also take peppermint oil supplements in capsule form (3 daily), as well as some peppermint tea, for the same effect.

Antidepressant Medication – Since depression, stress and anxiety can irritate the stomach and intestinal tract (causing butterflies, muscle tension and the like), the calming effect of antidepressants can lessen IBS symptoms. Antidepressants can also work as analgesics and reduce abdominal pain to a minimum.

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