How To Get Relief From Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a highly prevalent disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract. Nearly 20% of the U.S. population suffers from its uncomfortable and often debilitating effects. This is compounded by the condition’s chronic and episodic nature. About twice as many women as men have IBS and it is most often found in people younger than 45 years old.

Those with IBS are all too familiar with its symptoms and considerable impact on their work life, social activities, and well-being. People with IBS usually have crampy abdominal pain that is associated with constipation and/or diarrhea or abdominal bloating. In some people, constipation predominates (IBS-C); in others diarrhea is more common (IBS-D). Some people have both (IBS-M for "mixed") or neither (IBS-U for "unspecified"). Over time, constipation and diarrhea can even alternate (IBS-A). 

Changes in diet and supplementation are keys to managing IBS, reducing symptoms, and gaining relief.  If you suffer from IBS you will want to pay close attention to your nutrition in order to determine which foods cause you discomfort. It is a good idea to keep a journal noting which foods cause distress before changing your diet.

Most IBS sufferers will want to eliminate gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, and highly limit caffeine. In addition to a daily multi-vitamin and omega 3 fish oil, you will need to supplement with L-glutamine (500g/day) to rebuild the walls of the intestinal tract, along with multi-probiotics (5-20 billion units/day and prebiotics (3-5g/day). Probiotics are relatively inexpensive, extremely safe and work quickly to ease IBS symptoms. Be sure to look for a “multi – probiotic formula” this means that there are multiple strands of probiotics to build up healthy gut flora.

Although neither soluble nor insoluble fiber will cure IBS, soluble fiber, which helps form and move bulk through the intestines and slows transit time, may lessen constipation and diarrhea associated with IBS. The best approach is to gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of weeks, working towards a minimum of 25 grams per day. Examples of foods that contain soluble fiber are legumes, rice, quinoa, oatmeal, okra, potatoes, carrots, apples, bananas, papayas, and avocados.

IBS is often made worse by large meals, high fat meals, alcohol, chocolate, and caffeinated drinks. Eating smaller, more frequent meals and drinking water throughout the day may make IBS symptoms better.

New Year's Resolution Breakdown

New Year’s resolutions. Millions of them have been made and many of them have already been forgotten. Setting a big goal for an entire year sets many people up for failure and is often not the best route to success.

Starting off by creating the big goal is great; you need a destination after all. But you also need a road map, which can be accomplished by making mini goals to hit throughout the year.

For one person monthly or even quarterly goals may be their golden ticket. Others may find it necessary to set daily or weekly goals. This may be something as simple as adding an additional glass of water to your daily consumption or going to bed 30 minutes earlier.

Your overall goal for the year may be something much larger in relation to your health, but breaking it down to these smaller, frequent goals will assist in leading to your ultimate success.

Who wants to make a resolution on January 1st and wait an entire year to determine if it was met? Basically after a year you conclude if you passed or failed. This is what we do with traditional New Year’s resolutions! It's clear to see why this is a setup for a much greater likelihood of failure rather than success.

I was recently asked if I was a goal-oriented person. Absolutely, I am! This came about during a conversation where I found myself discussing a recent personal accomplishment as well as the next mini goal I had in mind. I had not sat down with a pen and paper with the intention of making resolutions or goals, it has just become a habit to create these more frequent goals and I quickly realized it is a great key to success.

So, create your ultimate resolution for 2015 if you so desire. However, do not neglect to break this down into actions you can take on a daily basis to lead you to that destination!

Happy New Year!



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