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IBS: How do the bowels become so irritable?

IBSIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine aka “the colon.” Symptoms include stomach pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. While the cause of IBS is unknown, some health experts believe that faulty communication between the brain and the intestinal tract is one cause of symptoms. Holistic experts believe that two of the main causes of IBS are food allergies and overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. For sure, stress in any way can make symptoms worse. Experts say that IBS can be dramatically improved when the underlying causes are discovered. 

When IBS clients come to their first appointment with me, I first have to determine what they eat. Food records are extremely helpful – clients log everything they eat and drink and together with a magnifying glass, we look for offending foods, patterns, and combinations that create catastrophic events. Many clients can’t even go to a dinner and a movie for fear of not getting to the bathroom quick enough. Help is on the way!

They learn how to follow a FODMAP foods to eat and avoid diet. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. In other words, foods that contain short-chain carbohydrates. Which is why you can’t just eliminate a food group. FODMAPs are in every food group. Dairy, wheat (not gluten), cruciferous vegetables, fruits. Once clients learn to omit these foods temporarily, after just 2 weeks, it’s not uncommon to have 75% improvement in symptoms. After 4 weeks, I have a hard time helping them challenge these foods back into their diet. Who wouldn’t enjoy being pain-free and diarrhea-free after years of upset?  Yet, some of the eliminated foods have good health consequences so we try them. Many times, these “offensive” foods are OK in moderation – once a week, not once a day.

Your body can be trusted. It tells you what foods work, which foods don’t. Together, we figure it out. Clients come away with conscious and deliberate tactics that help them make informed decisions about what to eat. You can too by following the link above or Contact Me for an appointment.

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