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What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? What Are the Symptoms?

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms

Dietary Tips for Healing from IBS


What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a functional bowel disorder that can cause pain and other symptoms, is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the US. It is often confused with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is a more severe autoimmune disease. Consult with your doctor to determine whether you may have IBS.

It is estimated that approximately 10% of Americans are living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The pathogenesis (origin) of this disorder may involve biological, psychiatric, and social factors, thus studies show that there are many different types of treatments which may work for different people.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms

Common physical symptoms of IBS include frequent:

  • abdominal discomfort or pain
  • spastic colon
  • gas
  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • constipation

Additionally, studies have shown a relationship between IBS and depression, anxiety, and other emotional challenges.

The Best IBS Diet

Diet is one of the most important ways to treat IBS. Cutting gluten, pasteurized dairy, and sugar from your diet may be enough to alleviate your IBS symptoms.

Additional Dietary Tips for Healing from IBS

Eat Organically

Pesticides such as glycophosphate are known to alter the balance between pathogens and beneficial biota in the gut. Such imbalances can be a main cause of IBS in many individuals. Learn More

Small Meals

Eat a small meal every 2 to 4 hours. This means that you will be eating 5 to 8 meals per day.

non-starchy vegetables

Non-Starchy Vegetables

Eat non-starchy vegetables 1 to 4 times daily. Organic (pesticide-free) vegetables are best. Non-starchy vegetables include raw sauerkraut, broccoli, celery, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, spinach, salad greens, kale, spaghetti squash, cauliflower, bok choy, collard greens, and more.

Protein

Eat 5 to 25 grams of protein every 2 to 4 hours. Proteins may include non-commercial, grass-fed meat such as beef, buffalo, ostrich, elk, raw dairy products, safe fish, organic chicken, organic turkey, or pasture-raised eggs. It is essential that you eat some animal protein each time you eat.

Healthy Fats

Eat healthy fats throughout the day. Healthy fats include, but are not limited to, grass-fed butter, grass-fed butter oil, grass-fed meat, ocean-caught fish, fish oils, coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, avocados, pasture-raised eggs, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Eat nuts and seeds in small amounts only.

Foods with High Enzyme Content

Eat foods that have high enzyme content. These include raw dairy, raw or lightly cooked non-commercial meats, and lacto-fermented food and drinks such as yogurt, kefir, raw cultured vegetables, and kvass.

bone broth soup

Probiotic-rich Foods

Boost healthy bacteria in your gut by avoiding highly processed foods and eating more probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt or fermented foods like kimchi.

Soups Made with Bone Broth

Eat soup that has been prepared using soup bones.

Healing Timeline

As a general rule, once you start healing your gut, you should start feeling improvements in a couple of weeks to a few months. That said, some will respond within days, and be fully healed in weeks. The key is to know that healing is possible, but how long it takes depends on the exact nature of the IBS and how severe the dysfunction.

Other Home Treatments for IBS

Doctors may prescribe drugs, such as antispasmodics or antidepressants, to treat IBS, but natural home treatments can be an effective alternative with fewer side effects.

  1. If your diet is lacking in probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt or fermented foods like kimchi, consider taking a probiotic supplement such as Ortho Biotic.
  2. Increasing your vitamin D intake may help, as studies have shown that low vitamin D levels are common among people who have IBS, and research has suggested that vitamin D supplements could ease IBS symptoms.
  3. Regularly cleaning your colon to ensure ongoing healthy bowel movements can help to alleviate IBS symptoms. A good place to start would be our recommended 3-step enema series.
  4. Address emotional challenges. The correlation between depression or other emotional stressors and IBS is one reason that antidepressants are frequently prescribed for those with IBS. IBS can lead to depression and anxiety, but depression and anxiety can also in turn make IBS worse. Seeking out psychiatric counseling or therapy may help you heal from IBS.

Summary

IBS symptoms can have a serious impact on your quality of life, but there are potentially many different paths you can take to heal from IBS. Making dietary changes, seeking out emotional support, and improving your gut health are some of the most important steps to take to treat this common disorder.

Read about My Own Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Experience

DISCLAIMER: The material on this page presented for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or prescribing from a licensed healthcare professional. Consult with your doctor before altering or discontinuing any current medications, treatment, or care, or starting any diet, exercise, cleansing, or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health condition that requires medical attention.


Need Support with IBS?

For initial questions or help with product selection for your home enema program, please call the Optimal Health Network at (608) 242-0200.

If you have additional questions or concerns about home colon cleansing or IBS prevention or management, I would be happy to assist via a scheduled phone consultation. I charge $1.80 per minute. First complete any relevant sections on my secure online intake form. Upon submitting the form, you will be prompted to set a consultation time with me via my online booking system. Please note that appointment times are USA Central Time.

By Kristina Amelong, CCT, CNC
I-ACT-Certified Colon Hydrotherapist
Certified Nutritional Consultant