Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
While many bowel conditions relate to structural problems, such as the problematic veins of hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional or movement disorder of the bowel, and an estimated 20 million Americans suffer from this uncomfortable condition. A person with irritable bowel syndrome experiences on-and-off constipation and diarrhea, abdominal bloating and pain, excessive gas, heartburn, fatigue, headache, faintness, back pain, palpitations, and a general sense of weakness. Often, one or more of these many symptoms are a reaction to stress, and it is most apparent in people prone to anxiety or emotional problems, or people with a history of drug abuse. Women are more prone to experiencing IBS than men, and while this condition is not typically life-threatening, it can cause significant discomfort and become a major inconvenience to whoever is unfortunate enough to have it.

How can I treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Traditional Chinese medicine considers IBS to be the result of stagnant liver energy impacting the digestive system through stress and emotional turmoil. IBS can be treated with a proper high-fiber diet and well-cooked foods, including potatoes, yams, carrots, mushrooms, squash, green peas, almonds, ground flaxseed, and soynuts. Other remedies include drinking plenty of water at room temperature, eating food slowly, and eating a cup of high-fiber cereal for breakfast with almond milk or rice milk as a substitute. It is also important to get daily exercise, such as a brisk 30-minute walk.

What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
It is important to avoid foods that create the most number of symptoms for IBS, including wheat, corn, dairy, oranges, peanuts, red meat, processed foods, spicy foods, fried foods, rich foods, alcohol, and coffee and other sources of caffeine. Other things to avoid are artificial sweeteners and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

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This entry was posted in Conditions, Natural Health Dictionary.