Chronic bowel disorders can make life miserable for people who have them, affecting the absorption and digestion of food by the body and causing symptoms that include constipation and diarrhea. Conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are forms of inflammatory bowel disease.
And then there is irritable bowel syndrome, commonly referred to as IBS. This disorder affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States and 5 million in Canada, which has one of the highest rates of IBS in the world.
Affecting the colon (large intestine), IBS is deemed a chronic condition that can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms; e.g., abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, cramping, diarrhea and flatulence.
What Causes IBS?
Like so many ailments, the exact cause of IBS is not certain. However, a number of factors can play a role, including bacterial overgrowth, food triggers and stress as well as hormones. Women have double the incidences of IBS compared to men, and research indicates that estrogen and progesterone fluctuations during the menstrual cycle may increase flare-ups.
Whichever factor is involved, IBS negatively affects the normal muscular contractions of the intestinal walls, which move food through the digestive tract until it is eliminated.
With IBS, the contractions can be more intense and for a longer duration, leading to bloating, diarrhea and gas. This type is known as IBS-D (for diarrhea). Or the contractions can be weak, which slows down the passage of food waste and creates dry, hard stools: IBS-C (for constipation). Some sufferers have both symptoms: IBS-M (for mixed).
Reducing IBS Symptoms
For the most part, reducing IBS symptoms can be accomplished through stress management and changes in lifestyle and diet. For example, some common food triggers are broccoli, cabbage, chocolate, fats, milk and alcohol, so any symptom activators should be avoided.
Increased physical activity seems to help most people with IBS, so even walking more can be a positive lifestyle change.
Since stress worsens IBS symptoms, managing stress levels by breathing calmly, getting sufficient sleep, or through meditation, hypnosis, etc., helps to reduce their intensity.
Supplemental Help for IBS
Fiber supplements that contain ingredients such as psyllium can alleviate constipation when taken with lots of water. And they may create less bloating than fiber-rich foods. The best method to supplementing with Herbal Fiberblend (or fit ’n fiber) for IBS is to start out with small amounts and gradually increase intake over time. Too much too soon can overwhelm the digestive tract of an IBS sufferer.
Additionally, Herbal Fiberblend’s soluble and insoluble fiber and cleansing herbs act as a soothing balm on intestinal walls, and these botanicals may contribute to a return of normal muscular contractions that lead to healthy digestion and elimination.
Repopulating healthy bacteria in the colon with FloraFood can contribute to balanced intestinal flora, which may alleviate symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements.
The easily assimilated nutrients in BarleyLife may help to counteract the food absorption issues associated with many bowel disorders, providing a natural source of vitamins and minerals along with a wealth of plant nutrients that support whole-body health.
Note: Herbal Fiberblend, fit ‘n fiber, FloraFood and BarleyLife are products from The AIM Companies, a wholefood juice concentrate and nutritional supplement company with a network marketing opportunity . Established in 1982.