Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Treatments
Aromatherapy: The essential oil of peppermint can often provide significant relief of IBS symptoms.
Changing your diet: Choosing to upgrade to a healthier diet is one of the most life enhancing decisions you can make, and one that in this day and age is essential to both prevent and reverse illness. This means choosing to eat a selection of foods aimed specifically at healing and avoiding those foods that can undermine your healing process or cause stress to your digestive system. Natural healing foods taste delicious, and have a higher level of nutrients and vibration than the typical meal eaten on the SAD diet, the standard American diet.
Note: With digestive issues such as IBS, pureed vegetables could be an excellent option for you. Eating blended foods is less work for the system because the food is already partially broken down. Although it is unnecessary to chew blended food, it is still important to move each bite of food around in your mouth before swallowing to activate saliva's role in digestion.
Proteins: Enjoy a fist-sized serving of protein per meal, which translates to approximately 2-6 oz of preferably organic protein. Non-vegetarians may choose from free-range poultry, preferably turkey, wild-caught fish that are low in mercury, and the meats of bison, lamb, and cow. Depending on your individual needs, consider limiting your intake of organic red meat to one serving every four days. It is very important to only consume red meat that is organic, due to the toxic build up stored in the fat of flesh. Fish such as blue fish, cod, Greenland halibut, mackerel, and wild caught salmon are excellent sources of both healthy protein and fats. Avoid the following: farm-raised salmon, because of the antibiotics and food dyes they contain; tuna, which is high in mercury; and shellfish, which contain a high degree of contaminants.
Excellent organic vegetarian protein sources include free range eggs, tempeh, occasional tofu, legumes and beans, especially red lentils, French green lentils, and black, aduki and mung beans. When preparing beans for best flavor and easy digestion, we recommend soaking overnight in purified water, draining and then rinsing the beans before cooking. Handful sized servings of soaked and rinsed nuts and seeds, such as hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are especially beneficial. Flax seeds make great additions to smoothies, and also can be ground and dehydrated, or low-heat baked, into delicious crackers.
Complex Carbohydrates: For sustained energy, eat complex carbohydrates in the form of legumes, red potatoes, squash, yams, and whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat or millet. We suggest limiting your overall carbohydrate intake to 30 percent or less of the foods you eat at each meal. This means increasing your vegetables and protein quantities if necessary, to balance out the complex carbohydrates.
How to prepare and season your food
Steam vegetables in purified water until slightly tender, or lightly sauté in coconut oil, or water and shoyu. Enjoy homemade soups, and try pressure cooking for speed and nutrient retention, especially when experimenting with legumes and beans.
Season veggies and whole cooked grains with fresh and dried herbs, sea salt, or organic soy sauce, also known as shoyu or the wheat-free version, called tamari. Sea Salt is an important addition to the diet, and should replace commercial or refined table salt. Additional seasonings include a wide variety of fresh or dried herbs, gomasio, powdered or chopped sea vegetables, such as dulse, as well as many other interesting powders and condiments found on health food store shelves. Garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, chili peppers, and onions can be enjoyed regularly for their great flavor and immune-boosting properties.
The preferred oil for cooking and/or baking is raw, organic coconut oil. Extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flax seed oil, or hemp seed oil can be drizzled on steamed vegetables, cooked whole grains, and used as the base for homemade salad dressings. Many health stores carry a raw nut butter called tahini, which is made up of pureed sesame seeds; tahini is a delicious healthy plant fat, and makes a great base for salad dressings, dips or spreads.
Nutritional BoostsLive Cultured Foods: Live cultured foods are a delicious and valuable addition to your diet. Eat raw, live cultured vegetables such as unpasteurized sauerkraut, kim chi, as well as cultured dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. Be sure to choose organic dairy products, and choose raw dairy whenever possible.
Vegetable Juices: Freshly made vegetable juices add a powerful nutritional boost to your food plan. Juice made from a wide variety of seasonal vegetables are delicious, and essential to healing, and a great preventative tool when used as an ongoing supplement to any diet. See recipe section for ideas.
Asian Foods and Broths: Asian foods such as miso, ume plum, and a wide array of sea vegetables are fantastic nutrient rich foods. Sea Vegetables vary in flavor and texture, making them fun to experiment with; they also offer an abundance of natural iodine, which is of the utmost of importance to support our glandular systems, especially the thyroid. Miso makes a delicious flavoring in salad dressings, dips, sauces, spreads, and as the classic, miso soup.
Healing broths are packed with delicious live giving minerals and can be sipped like tea or eaten as soup. Make your own delicious vegetable broth simply by cooking down an abundance of fresh organic vegetables in purified water. Miso soup, strained vegetable broth, broths from the seaweeds wakame, hijiki, and kombu, as well as fish and meat broths, are healing and easy to digest, making them especially valuable for any digestive problems.
Water: Throughout the day, drink plenty of pure, filtered water; drink at least half an ounce of water for every pound you weigh. Avoid drinking - as well as bathing, and showering in - unfiltered tap water, as tap water contains heavy metals and pesticide residues that can settle in high concentrations in our organs.
Allergy Testing: Undergo testing for potential food allergies and sensitivities, and avoid all foods to which you are allergic or sensitive. Common allergy-causing foods include milk and all dairy products, soy, chocolate, corn, and wheat products. Consider a rotation diet or elimination diet in order to further reduce the likelihood of food allergies, especially if you cannot get tested right away.
What to AvoidRefined Sugar and Flour, Artificial Food, Soy Foods: Eliminate all refined sugar and sugar products, along with empty carbohydrate foods such as commercial white flour, found in white breads, bagels, muffins, pastries, cookies and pastas. Also consider omitting whole grain wheat and wheat byproducts from your diet for several months. Wheat is a highly allergic food, and can be the root cause of a wide variety of digestive troubles. As the weeks go by, notice if you feel better; if yes, consider eliminating wheat for a year, giving your aggravated digestion a long deserved break. Choosing alternatives such as spelt, kamut, and rye will give your body a rest from a lifetime of eating wheat and can offer a major energy boost.
Choose to eat a minimum of processed soy products. By far, the best of all soy foods are fresh or frozen edame and tempeh, a fermented soy product that is less processed and easier to digest than other soy products. Stop eating all "junk" and commercially processed foods, as well as all foods containing artificial ingredients, additives, colorings, flavorings, and preservatives (such as carrageenan, BHA, BHT, sodium nitrite, sulfites, saccharin, aspartame, and cyclamates).
Inorganic Dairy, Excess Caffeine or Alcohol, Hydrogenated Fats
Stay clear of inorganic milk and dairy products, including yogurt and cheese. If consuming dairy, always choose organic dairy products and if available, raw organic dairy products. Toxins are stored in fats, so choosing organic is especially important in the case of dairy and meat.
Minimize your intake of coffee and other caffeine based products, such as soda and soft drinks spiked with caffeine. Avoid commercial non-herbal teas, and excess alcohol. Do not eat saturated, trans-, hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated fats and oils. Margarine and shortening are made from these and are to be eliminated.
some plagued with IBS, a raw food
diet could be extremely beneficial; for others, raw food may not be
the best choice. Each person responds differently based on their
individual chemistry and the depth of the condition being healed.
Avoid: All processed, smoked or canned meats, breaded or canned fish, seaweed, processed cheeses, seeds, potatoes, yams, parsnips, chick peas, bean sprouts, soybeans, mung beans, fava beans, as well as all cereal grains in any form, including flour. Avoid milk, and all products commercially made from milk, dried milk solids, buttermilk or acidophilus milk, commercially prepared yogurt, sour cream and ice cream. Do not consume soymilk, instant tea, coffee, coffee substitutes, beer, cornstarch, arrowroot, chocolate, carob, bouillon cubes, instant soup bases, any product made with refined sugar, agar-agar, carrageenan, pectin, ketchup, molasses, corn and maple syrup, any flour made from legumes, and baking powder.
Eat: Fresh or frozen, preferably organic meats, poultry, wild caught fish, organic eggs, organic milk and products made from organic milk such as cheeses, homemade yogurt prepared at low temperatures from organic milk, and dry curd cottage cheese. Choose from a wide variety of freshly prepared, preferably organic vegetables. Vegetables and fruits are the main stay of this food plan. Use no canned foods with the exception of salt-free canned red salmon, white albacore tuna or sardines, only on occasion. Daily juicing of fresh green vegetables is an important addition for healing and offers you deep nutritional nourishment. With this and all illness, providing yourself with the most supportive nutritional profile possible is of primary importance.
Abide by this diet for as long as your symptoms persist. Adherence can be challenging, but maintenance is essential to obtain the desired results.
Detoxification Therapy: Detoxification therapy is often advisable for people suffering with IBS, both as a means for determining potential food allergies and sensitivities that can trigger IBS symptoms, and for eliminating potential toxins and infectious agents that can also play a role in this condition. Appropriate forms of detoxification therapy include fasting, elimination diets, and colonic therapy and/or enemas under a physician's supervision.
Emotional Aspects: IBS can be triggered by unexpressed feelings that get stored in your gut. If you are not comfortable expressing verbally or through physical movement, these feelings can settle into the body as irritation in the gut. Withheld emotions are a common cause of IBS, so it is of great value to embrace the nature of your IBS by asking yourself if your feelings are expressing themselves through your bowels.
If this is indeed the case, seek support from a trusted or highly recommended source, to support a deeper expression of your feelings. Emotional expression goes hand in hand with physical expression, and the movement options mentioned above can be highly useful, especially movement therapies such as NIA or Yoga Therapy.
Herbal Medicine: Enteric-coated peppermint oil can often relieve IBS symptoms and is widely used in Europe for this purpose. (Be sure to use enteric coated peppermint oil formulas because, without enteric coating, the peppermint oil will usually be absorbed in the upper digestive tract, creating side effects such as heartburn and esophageal reflux (stomach acid regurgitating into the esophagus).
Other useful herbs include chamomile, ginger, lemon balm, rosemary, and valerian. A mixture of equal tinctures of bayberry, gentian, peppermint, and wild yam can also be helpful. Take one teaspoon three times a day.
Homeopathy: Useful homeopathic remedies for IBS include Aloe, Carbo veg., Merc sol., and Nux vomica.
Juice Therapy: Useful juice remedies include aloe juice; wheatgrass juice; cabbage, papaya, and carrot juice; carrot and apple juice; and carrot, beet, and cucumber juice.
Lifestyle: IBS can be an emotionally based condition. Consider aspects of your lifestyle that may be stressful and re-organize, prioritize and re-choose in areas that need attention. If you smoke, stop, and also avoid exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke. If you are currently taking aspirin or other NSAIDs, consider replacing them with safer, more effective natural remedies.
In addition, read the section below, and commit to learn how to effectively cope with and manage stress. A regular exercise program that you enjoy is very important. Find workouts that you enjoy doing - walk, yoga, Qi gong, Tai Chi, NIA, to name a few - and do it regularly. This is essential given the indicaters of IBS as a potential holding of energy pattern in the gut.
Nutritional Supplements: Useful supplements for IBS include vitamin A, zinc, and evening primrose oil, as well as probiotics such as acidophilus and Bifidobacteria.
Two other highly effective supplements are fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and soil-based organisms. FOS is an all-natural carbohydrate microorganism that has been shown by researchers to serve as a fertilizing agent that enables Bifidobacteria to thrive in the large intestine, where it helps to protect against harmful bacteria.
Soil-based organisms are beneficial microbes found in soil. Taken as a supplement, they go to work to detoxify the gastrointestinal tract while eliminating fungi, molds, parasites, viruses, and yeasts. They also help to improve the absorption of nutrients and to improve both immune and overall cell function, including the production of RNA and DNA. In addition, they also act as natural antioxidants.
Stress Reduction: Stress reduction techniques, such as biofeedback and hypnosis, are often helpful in relieving IBS. Stress reduction techniques are also very helpful for dealing with emotions such as anger, depression, and hopelessness that can exacerbate IBS symptoms. Holistic health practitioners help their patients accomplish stress reduction through the use of various mind/body medicine techniques, such as biofeedback, hypnotherapy, and relaxation exercises. Meditation is another form of stress management that can be highly effective. There are many ways to meditate. One of the easiest is to sit comfortably in a chair with your eyes closed as you focus on your breathing. Do this for five to ten minutes twice a day and gradually extend each session to 20-30 minutes. To enhance your efforts, concentrate on mentally repeating a peaceful phrase each time that you inhale and exhale, allowing all other thoughts to arise and pass without becoming involved in them. At first, this may seem difficult, but with committed practice you will eventually find yourself able to do so while experiencing greater degrees of calm and peace.
Alternative Professional Care: The following therapies can also help to prevent and relieve IBS: Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Biofeedback Training and Neurotherapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Environmental Medicine, Enzyme Therapy, Flower Essences, Guided Imagery, Hypnotherapy, Mind/Body Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Oxygen Therapy, Qigong, Tai Chi, Total Integration, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Yoga.
Gut Syndrome Treatment
Diet: In the case of leaky gut and all digestive challenges, healthy eating is of primary importance. Drink plenty of pure filtered water and increase your intake of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and complex whole grains, such as such as amaranth and quinoa, as well as organic, free-range meats, poultry, and wild-caught fish.
Avoid all commercial, processed, fried, and nonorganic food, as well as alcohol, coffee, sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, food dyes, milk and dairy products, wheat and wheat products, and refined carbohydrates. Do not eat saturated, trans-, hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated fats and oils. Instead choose from virgin coconut butter/oil, extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flax seed oil, and unrefined hemp seed, walnut, and sunflower oils.
Consider developing a food rotation diet to minimize the impact of acquiring more food allergies. In addition, have yourself screened for potential food allergies and sensitivities and avoid those foods for which you test positive.
We recommend a whole foods diet because of its power to support healing and eliminate many imbalances and disease.
Nutrition and diet are key players in the healing and elimination of imbalance and disease. For a complete, nutrition packed, whole foods eating plan, read the Whole Foods Diet plan. In many cases, a raw food eating plan can be extremely beneficial. To learn more, read Raw Food Diet. You can printout these full articles for easy reference.
Nutritional Supplements: As always, consult with an alternative Doctor before making important decisions that will affect your health. The following recommendation is not a personalized program; it is a suggestive guide as to what a supplement program would include that addresses leaky gut syndrome:
L-Glutamine: 1,000 mg three times daily. Take 15 minutes before meals.
MSM: 1,000mg three times daily. Take 15-30 minutes before meals, fine to take in combination with L-Glutamine.
Ginger: as tea or capsules. 1-3 cups of tea daily or 1 capsule of ginger root powder 1-3 times daily.
Peppermint tea: 1-3 cups daily at a separate time from the Ginger Tea.
Zinc: 30 mg daily.
Gamma oryzanol: 100mg three times daily. Take with or without food.
Phosphatidyl choline: 300 mg three times daily. Take with or without food.
Gamma Linolenic Acid - GLA: from Borage, Evening Primrose, or Black Currant Seed Oil (200 mg twice daily). Take with food.
Butyric Acid: 800-1,600 mg. twice daily. Take with food.Renew Pro Whey Protein powder, has the ability to repair intestinal lining
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