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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Updated on December 8, 2007

They call it IBS and it's one of the most frustrating digestive disorders you can have: Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

If you suffer from frequent abdominal pain and spasms, bloating, gas, and abnormal bowel movements, you can testify to that. Diarrhea one day, then constipation the next is perhaps the most common symptom.

It may not be much consolation but if IBS is part of your life, you are not alone. Health experts tell us that between 10-20 percent of all Americans suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

It seems that women suffer from this condition about twice as often as men and it usually affects people between ages of 25 and 45. For people with IBS, the usual, normal function of the muscular contractions of the digestive tract become irregular, affecting the body's disposal of food and waste material. This accumulated material can back up and cause the gas and can lead to a build up of mucus.

A serious result of IBS is malnutrition. That's because nutrients are not being absorbed properly. Left untreated and after chronic episodes over long periods of time, this can be medically dangerous. Because of this, it is important for people who do have IBS to consume more protein and be sure to take a multivitamin and multimineral.

Unfortunately, there is no one single cause for treating IBS. Treating IBS usually does take a little trial and error on finding foods that cause flare ups, and supplements to help heal the intestinal wall and ease the discomfort associated with the gas and cramping.

The supplements that clients of mine have reported back to me that help with their IBS condition include the following:

  • Good essential fatty acids can help to protect the intestinal lining.
  • L-Glutamine can help to protect the villi, which line the gut.
  • A good digestive enzyme can help to properly break down food for absorption. Probiotics can help to replenish the friendly bacteria of the intestine and colon.
  • Enteric coated peppermint can also help to ease the cramping associated with IBS.
  • Stress management is also benefitial.

If you suspect that you do have IBS, I urge you to see your physician to rule out any other medical conditions before attempting to treat yourself for this condition.


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