How Much Do You Know about Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional disorder which affects 15-20% of the American population. Also called “spastic colon”, “colitis” or “nervous stomach”, this very irritating, sometimes life-interrupting condition can have any or all of these symptoms:Constipation for 3-5 days or even 10 if severe, followed by recurring diarrhea
Throbbing headaches or migraines
Abdominal cramping or pain
Stomach distention (“swollen stomach”)
Acid reflux or nausea due to putrefied substances not being eliminated
Fatigue and flu-like feelings
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is hard to Diagnose. IBS doesn’t show up in tests. Doctors usually diagnose Irritable Bowel Syndrome after a sufferer tests negative for abnormalities like polyps or colon cancer. The IBS patient may even be told that it is “all in their head” or “stress-related”, but many Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers say the IBS itself is their biggest source of stress, and can also cause anxiety and depression.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers, take heart!
IBS is not “all in the head”, although it can be more active during stressful situations. According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome is now defined as a disturbance in the interaction between the intestines, brain signals, and nervous system that alters the regularity of the bowel’s function. It is not known why it happens in some people and not in others.
“Colitis”, as Irritable Bowel Syndrome is sometimes labeled, should not be confused with “Ulcerative Colitis”, which is much more serious and considered a possible precursor to colon cancer. IBS is not characterized by the pain, bleeding, or severity of explosive loose bowel associated with ulcerative colitis, and IBS is not shown in any study to cause more serious colon conditions. It is “chronic” because there’s no absolute cure and can be with a person from childhood through old age.
There’s help for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS sufferers could improve by following these dietary and intestinal cleansing instructions:
-Eliminate sugary baked goods, fried foods, and dairy products. They all slow down the digestion. Replace cow’s milk and cheese with vitamin-fortified rice or soy milk products (unless allergic to soy). Greek feta cheese and goat’s milk may be consumed infrequently.
-Don’t take advice to “eat more wheat” as fiber for your constipation. –Wheat – and also barley, white rice and oats – contain “gluten” which irritates the intestines and colon. Replace these with breads, pastas and cereals made from brown rice, millet, or quinoa – found in health food outlets or health aisles at some grocery stores.
-The IBS sufferer should get their 25 grams of fiber per day from dark green vegetables, beans, lentils, a limited amount of fruits with skins (apples, plums, etc), and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can have 5 more grams of fiber than a dish of spinach.
-Avoid pork and alcoholic beverages. Pork takes a long time to digest and can putrefy in a person with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Alcohol contains lots of sugar, yeast and can attract parasites. Speaking of which…
-Irritable Bowel Syndrome may be exacerbated or accompanied by bad bacteria, yeast, or parasites.