Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ten easy things you can try to improve your IBS condition

09.09.2011: I updated this article with my latest discoveries.
As a starter, ten easy steps to get better right away. The first items are the most effective for me.
The thing with IBS is that no one responds the same way to it. This means some of these will work for you, some won't.



Be methodical
  • Before starting any of this, you need to keep a journal. For a week or so, note down how often you have an IBS crisis. You need to know where you stand before being able to improve your condition.
  • For each of the following steps, also use your journal to note down when you started, and keep track of your IBS problems. Gut feeling is not enough to see if something is working or not.
  • When trying something new, give it time to work, at least a month. A lot of treatments need days to start working, some of them even worsen your condition at the beginning.
    Try this
    1. The first thing to do is to write down what you eat, and compare with when a crisis happens. Look for patterns here. More specifically, a lot of IBS conditions are actually an intolerance to a specific food product. The more common ones are lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance
    2. On the same note, I strongly advise you to read about the low FODMAP diet and low-carb diet, which helped a lot of IBS sufferers.
    3. If you suffer for a diarrhoea IBS type, you must by all means try l-glutamine supplements. An alternative would be calcium, but I find it less effective. Easy to find, cheap, it has helped millions of us.
    4. I'm sure you all noticed how IBS is stress related. It might seem impossible to change that, but  hypnotherapy actually does the job for most of us. You can read about the results I got from it. Some people have had great results using relaxation, for example visualization techniques. You may also want to reduce  your coffee consumption. 
    5. Add soluble fibers to your diet. Start your meal with them. These are really easy to digest, and will gently put your bowel in movement. You can also try psyllium supplements, especially if you suffer from constipation.
    6. On the same note, you want to avoid Insoluble fibers.These are hard to digest.
    7. Avoid alcohol, as it irritates the bowel. IBS and alcohol generally don't mix. I noticed that beer is particularly bad for me.
    8. Lack of sleep is a known trigger for IBS. If your crisis generally come in the morning, you may need longer nights. 
    9. Recent research suggests that people suffering from IBS are either intolerant to a food type, or are suffering from SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). Treatments exist for this condition, so you may want to get tested on this. However, know that it tends to come back, and as this is a recent discovery, we still don't know the optimal way to treat it for IBS suffering people.
    10. A recent study showed that the use of resveratrol could greatly improve one's IBS condition. Resveratrol can be taken as supplements, but is expensive. It can naturally be found in grape's skin. This means you can try grape, red wine, red grape juice. Avoid white wine, since no grape's skin is used in its elaboration. Be warned, however, that the amount of resveratrol greatly varies between one grape and another. So go for bio products, that avoid the use of pesticides (which reduce the amount of resveratrol in the grape)

    That's it for now. I will develop most of these entries in future posts. But with that, you can start to get better right away!

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