I have yet again discovered that most chronic diseases have a strong link with emotional distress – and IBS is no exception.
Life is filled with all kinds of stresses and laughter is an excellent way to de-stress.
I hope these make you smile:
- Smile, it's the second best thing you can do with your lips.
- Always remember you're unique... Just like everyone else.
- Hard work has a future payoff. Laziness pays off now.
- Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.
- I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes.
- The trouble with the gene pool is that there's no lifeguard.
- I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) must not be confused with Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which is characterized by ulcers and inflammation in the intestinal lining.
With IBS, however, the symptoms of abdominal pain, cramping and alternating constipation or diarrhoea can’t be explained because there isn’t any visible inflammation or damage to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract as in IBD.
Normally, food moves through the digestive system due to a constant rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the muscles in the walls of the GI tract (peristalsis), which is controlled by the nervous system. However, when these peristaltic contractions slow down or speed up it causes constipation or diarrhea. Abnormal contractions can also occur that cause the GI wall to go into spasm, which can be extremely painful.
Subsequently, IBS can be classified as:
- IBS-C: constipation is predominant when nerves signal the GI tract to have less frequent contractions.
- IBS-D: diarrhoea is predominant when nerves signal the GI tract to have more frequent contractions.
- IBS-A: alternating stool pattern is caused when nerve signals are sporadic causing both diarrhoea and constipation.
Therefore IBS is described as a hyperactive or hypersensitive digestive system (spastic colon) due to lack of, or excess stimulation by the nervous system.
Unfortunately, medically there is no cure for IBS, however, you can do a lot to alleviate the symptoms.
In order to control IBS it is essential to isolate the foods that cause the most grief and find a suitable substitute. It is also important to keep in mind that since IBS is mainly triggered by stress, food that normally doesn’t pose a problem may become a trigger food during a stressful day.
1. EAT natural foods like vegetables and fruit rich in soluble fiber and its associated nutrients. DRINK plenty of water.
2. AVOID the following:
- Artificial sweeteners may cause severe cramping and trigger diarrhea.
- Sugar contributes to bloating due to bacterial fermentation.
- Preservatives in food can trigger IBS.
- Carbonated drinks may push gas bubbles into the intestine and contain lots of sugar.
- Coffee is a laxative and can give you abdominal cramps.
- Alcohol irritates the gut lining and upsets digestion.
- Fatty and fried foods as well as cow’s milk can be hard to digest.
3. SUPPLEMENT your diet:
- Whole-leaf Aloe Juice provides soluble fibre that doesn’t irritate the gut lining.
- Fabulous Fibre Bitter assists in alleviating constipation.
- Omega 3, which is called nature’s Prozac, alleviates depression and other mental problems.
- Body Basics provides the necessary minerals and vitamins that are depleted during chronic stress.
- Calci-Boost provides both calcium and magnesium that have been shown to calm an overactive nervous system.
- Vitamin C helps the adrenal glands to produce cortisol to allow normal metabolic functioning of the body.
(Marsden, K. 2003. Good Gut Healing. Piatkus:London)
How to Reduce Stress and have a Healthy Colon:
IBS is primarily caused by stress and is typically associated with other stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression as well as PMS, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
All these disorders point to past traumatic events or abuse and ongoing psychological stress.
What these disorders have in common is a lack of the “happy” hormone SEROTONIN and a fatigued adrenal gland, which cause a deficiency in the stress hormone cortisol. It may sound like a good thing, but you can’t function properly with a shortage of cortisol.
In order to cope with the stresses of life it is helpful to use
• Get-a-Grip, which is a mild herbal anti-depressant that helps the GI tract to function properly.
• Slim & Trim, which contains a herb that boosts serotonin to normal levels and alleviates the symptoms of these disorders
This article was originally published in the Aloe Ferox Africa Newsletter, by Ronnie Ambachtsheer (BSc Clinical Nutrition)
Please visit our website at www.aloeferox.us to find a distributor
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(Gershon, M.D. 1999. The Second Brain. Harper:New York
Marsden, K. 2003. Good Gut Healing. Piatkus:London)