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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder affecting the digestion of food. IBS has a global prevalence rate of between 10-15%. According to statistics, 40% of patients have mild IBS, 25% have severe IBS, and 35% have moderate IBS. Most people don't know when they have this syndrome. IBS can… ...Read more
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder affecting the digestion of food. IBS has a global prevalence rate of between 10-15%. According to statistics, 40% of patients have mild IBS, 25% have severe IBS, and 35% have moderate IBS. Most people don't know when they have this syndrome. IBS can cause:
  •       Abdominal pain
  •       Bloating or cramping
  •       Excess gas
  •       Constipation or Diarrhea
  •       Presence of mucus in stool
More severe symptoms include:
  •       Diarrhea occurring at night
  •       Weight loss
  •       Trouble with swallowing
  •       Abnormal vomiting
  •       Rectal bleeding
Causes Of IBS No one knows the exact cause of IBS. Some factors play a major role and they include:
  • Construction of the intestinal muscle
  • Abnormalities in the digestive system nerves
  • Serious infection such as diarrhea or bacterial growth
Risk Factors Of IBS Many people experience occasional signs of the syndrome, but the following  category of people are likely to have IBS; Young people: Those under age 50 may experience the syndrome. Female: Globally, IBS is prevalent among women. Family history: Genes play a major role in health. A family history of IBS may increase your chances of having one. Mental health issues: Depression, anxiety and mental health can't be linked with IBS. Preventing IBS There is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome, but it can be managed by incurring some diet and lifestyle changes. Make a food/symptom journal for a week. If you notice that a certain food discomforts your body, try removing it from your diet and see if it works.  If there is no change in symptoms after some weeks, you can add it back to your diet.
  • Improve your digestion:
  • Eat at the right time, every day.
  • Don’t eat too much
  • Make sure you’re relaxed before eating
  • Always chew well before swallowing
  • Drink more fluid and make water your preferred option. For women, 9 cups of water a day is cool. For men, 12 cups a day is ideal.
  • Include more fiber in your diet
  • For women, 25g of dietary fiber per day is great, while 38g per day is ideal for men. If you eat too much fiber, reduce it and see if things change. Also, if you eat less of fiber, try increasing it and watching for symptoms.
  • Steer clear of snacks and high-fat meals.
A meal containing excess fat can lead to cramping and diarrhea. Examples of these foods include cream, cheese, fried foods, chocolate, cookies, and regular ground beef.
  • Eating healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and seeds, canola, can help.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Reduce alcohol.
Other ways of reducing the effects of IBS include: Counseling: A counselor can guide you on how to change or modify your response to stressful situations. Progressive relaxation exercise: This is an exercise that helps your body muscles relax, one by one. Mindfulness training: This training reduces stress and keeps you focused on the moment and ward off all distractions and worries. Going beyond in the holistic approach Louise Hay, Motivational leader and empowerment coach who has done pathbreaking work in supporting HIV/AIDS patients and their families, has said that, “Illness however mild or severe is an indicator of your emotional state, caused by your thoughts and focus.”  According to her, the main cause of Irritable bowel syndrome is: Gut-level fear, dread, anxiety. Griping and grunting. One of the ways of healing this is through saying or writing affirmations.  Her affirmation for healing Irritable bowel syndrome is: I am safe and relaxed. I let life flow joyously.  Read less