Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tips for Irritable Bowel Syndrome!

I had a patient today with severe irritable bowel syndrome. He's had to go on several treatments of antibiotics for over 2 years now, because of bacterial growth according to his Docs, those frequent doses of antibiotics has trashed his natural friendly bacteria production. Thankfully he came in today. He has no idea of what to eat and is scared to eat anything, he has a true fear of food, because he doesn't know what it's going to do to his body. He's feeling bloated all the time and starved. Luckily, after our session today, he has clarity and has a lot more variety of foods to choose from.

Here's some tips for those of you out there with IBS:

If you haven't had a food allergy test yet, please get one, so you know what you are allergic to, we want all irritants out of your body.
Keep a food journal of what you are eating and how you are feeling after those foods, so you can identify if you have specific food intolerances, e.g, are you intolerant to wheat or all gluten, or lactose and/or casein.
Once you know what the dietary culprits are that are exacerbating the problem, this will soothe your mind and body.
If you are gluten intolerant, try quinoa, butternut, acorn, all winter squash, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, organic potatoes with skin, amaranth, millet, buckwheat (is not wheat), corn, rice as alternatives for starches.


When an intestinal upset occurs:

1. Drink plenty of fluids.
2. Eat a bland diet-
Stay clear from spices, condiments, and highly seasoned foods: Specific gastric irritants: black pepper, chili powder, caffeine, coffee, tea, cocoa, alcohol, and drugs.
Watch out for high roughage foods, such as fruit skins, nuts and whole-grains.
Eliminate acidic irritants: tomatoes, tomato juice, citrus juices.
Eat low fat foods. High fat foods are irritating.
3. Put vegetables and nonacidic fruits through a food processor or blender. Organic baby food is a quick and easy choice.
4. Exercise, such as stretching exercises, swimming or walking is helpful.
5. Chew food well. Focus on eating slowly.
6. Eat small meals/snacks, eat small portions every 3 to 4 hours, try not waiting longer than 5 hours without eating.
7. Practice stress-management. Try doing deep breathing exercises. Shallow breathing reduces the oxygen available for proper bowels.
8. Wear loose-fitting clothing.
9. Wait 1 to 2 hours after eating before lying down.

The Key: Relax, get lots of rest and have positive thoughts.

Overall dietary management recommendations for IBS:

1. Drink plenty of fluids, gradually increase fiber (fruits, vegetables, plus whole grains-esp. brown rice, and legumes).
2. Eat low fat products. Avoid fried foods, animal fats, butter, ice cream.
3. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages, chocolate, candy, the additives mannitol and sorbitol, margarine, nuts, orange and grapefruit juices, pastries, all processed foods, spicy foods, seeds, sugar, sugar-free chewing gum, and wheat bran and wheat products.
4. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, which irritate the stomach and colon lining.
5. Increase exercise: stretching exercises, swimming or walking.
6. Chew food well, do not overeat or eat in a hurry.
7. Focus on stress management. Practice deep breathing exercises for increasing oxygen for proper bowel function.
8. Wear loose-fitting clothing.
9. Wait 1 or 2 hours after eating before lying down.
10. Omit dairy products except for low-fat soured products or gluten (barley, oats, rye, and wheat) if not tolerated. Add calcium in other forms (almonds, asparagus, figs, blackstrap molasses).
11. Omit gas-forming foods if not tolerated: Beans, barley, brussels sprouts, cabbage, nuts, and soybeans.
12. To relieve diarrhea: Eat small frequent meals low in fiber (rice bread, cooked refined cereals, canned peaches and pears, mashed potatoes); increase fluid intake, (drink fluids between meals, only small amounts with meals-water, low-acid juices-apricot, pear, or peach; avoid very hot liquids); increase potassium foods (banana, cantaloupe, applesauce, canned apricots, molasses, honeydew melon). Omit lactose (milk), eat high pectin foods, which act as a thickening agent (apples, bananas), avoid carbonated beverages, avoid alcoholic beverages, avoid caffeine, avoid greasy, spicy, and gas-forming foods.
13. Supplementation: -Acidophilus (1 teaspoon in distilled water, twice daily on an empty stomach- replaces lost “friendly” bacteria, use a non-dairy powder form)
-Garlic (2 capsules 3 times daily, kills bacteria and parasites, enhances immunity)
-Calcium/Magnesium/Vit. D (1,000 mg Calcium daily- 500 mg/2 times per day, to replace calcium depleted and aids in forming stools)
-Vitamin B complex (100 mg 3 times daily, B vitamins are necessary for digestion and absorption of nutrients)
-Vitamin C (500 mg, 3 times daily, for healing and immunity)
-Vitamin E (400 IU daily, protects the cell membranes that line the colon wall)
-Zinc (50 mg daily, aids in repair of damaged tissue of the digestive tract and enhances immunity)
-Alfalfa in liquid or tablet form, contains vitamin K, needed to build intestinal flora for proper digestion, and chlorophyll for healing the bloodstream.
-Aloe vera is healing to the digestive tract. Take ½ cup of aloe vera juice up to 3 times per day, on an empty stomach.

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