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Controlling your Digestive System

Updated on March 25, 2011

Have you ever wonder why you frequently use the comfort room (CR) once you eat fatty foods or drink milk? Aside from that, after drinking hot coffee in the morning, your stomach will signal that you have to go to the CR for an immediate bowel release. Your digestive system seems to be out of control. Your stomach seems to be in revolution. You can’t stay off the toilet and your stomach is tied in knots. I used to feel that way, too whenever I drink fresh milk and eat my favorite ‘adobo’ (a famous pork Filipino dish). My bowel movements are loose or runny, or unusually hard. I am afraid; I suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). So, whenever I travel from Bicol region to Manila here in Philippines, I equip myself with attapulgite tablets that can control the syndrome.

According to Philippine gastroenterologist Dr. Atenodoro R. Ruiz, Jr. says that “only 10 to 12 per cent of people with IBS seek medical care. Filipinos sometime ignore the symptoms and just rely on ‘salt and sugar solution’ in order to minimize the discomfort.

Symptoms of IBS include constipation or diarrhea after meals, over a period of several months. It is usually accompanied by abnormal cramps or bloating and increased intestinal gas. Gas pain is the initial sign of having an IBS.

IBS is not life-threatening. Because of this, Dr. Ruiz suggested these tips to ease the discomfort of experiencing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

1) Avoid gas-forming foods. Gas-forming foods are potatoes, beans, legumes, broccoli, lentils and cabbage. If you cannot avoid these because you don’t have any options, try mixing it with other ingredients at a minimum quantity. It can minimize gas pain.

2) Eat a high-fiber diet. Green-leafy vegetables are primary source of fiber. Fiber increases stool production and reduces pressure in the intestines.

3) Eliminate dairy products. Try doing this so that your condition will improve. Lactic acid from milk plus gas pain triggers IBS.

4) Have small, frequent meals. Avoid fatty foods like hamburgers, fries, ice cream and chocolate. If you cannot avoid it, eat in only small quantities.

5) Drink lots of fluid. Eight to ten glasses of water can keep our bowels moving smoothly every day.

6) Avoid coffee. If you have an IBS, even the small amounts of caffeine can trigger stomach disorder and stimulate you bowels. Drinking coffee should be avoided. Try other hot drinks for cure, like herbal plants to cleanse your digestive tracts.

Having an IBS and other digestive tract discomforts can disturb our normal routine. As the experts say, it’s not life-threatening but it’s still advisable to consult your physician about this for long lasting remedy.

Ways to Help you Digestive System


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Yes, I am one of them, so, I'm watching what I'm eating now. Fruits help control this IBS thing.

    • bacville profile image

      bacville 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Most people who are experiencing this thing called IBS are adults.