Happy You, Happy Bowels, ISB WHO?

Happy You, Happy Bowels, ISB WHO?

The constant bloating feelings after meals, the pain in your stomach along with diarrhoea and/or constipation are all common symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. People with IBS carry their stress in their digestive system. Stress can cause people with IBS to experience constipation and difficulty moving their bowels or the opposite, having to rush to the toilet and stressfully releasing them (diarrhoea). An important step in managing IBS is good stress relieving strategies like meditation, yoga and exercise.

There is definitely a strong link between stress and IBS. The nerve fibres that control the functioning of the intestine muscles are closely connect to the brain. Reducing the source of stress in our lives can alleviate the symptoms of IBS.

In our digestive system a large percentage of one of the most important neurotransmitters is produced, serotonin. Serotonin is a mood balancer and helps us cope better with stress and
anxiety. An effective way to increase serotonin levels is through exercise. Stress reduction for IBS patients can improve digestive symptoms of bloating, pain, cramping and bowel function.

Finding your stress buster is important for IBS sufferers but developing healthy eating habits are equally as important. Sit down to eat your meal (we digest more effectively in a relaxed state), avoid foods that trigger you’re symptoms and ensure you have adequate soluble fibre in your diet. Lovely soothing herbs such as Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Valerian, Cramp Bark and Peppermint are beneficial for IBS relief.

Try this IBS tea, great to sip on between meals:
Lemon balm, chamomile and peppermint: mix in equal quantities-1 teaspoon per cup.

My key recommendations are:

• Practise stress management (mediation, yoga, pilates)

• Exercise regularly

• Avoid common dietary triggers (coffee, fried foods, ice creams, refined foods, yeast breads, alcohol)

• Ensure adequate intake of soluble fibre and reduce insoluble fibre in your diet.

• Drink plenty of fluids (from filtered water and herbal teas) By incorporating these recommendations not only will your bowels be happier but you will be too!

With gratitude,
Clare (Naturopath)
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