IBS Awareness Month

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IBSwhich stands for irritable bowel syndromeis a problem many people face, but few talk about. According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), IBS affects up to 45 million Americans of all ageseven childrenand 2 out of 3 sufferers are female. If anyone you know is faced with this disorder, IBS Awareness Month is a good time to learn more about how to cope with it.

Just what is IBS? It’s no fun. This health issue is characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, chronic or recurrent diarrhea and/or constipation, and can range from mild discomfort to severe debilitation. Although there is no cure for IBS, there are several natural solutions that can help:

Avoid “Trigger Foods”

Certain foods and beverages can worsen IBS symptoms. These include refined, white flour baked goods, fried and fatty foods, processed sugary and/or fat-laden carbs like chips and cookies, coffee, carbonated drinks, chocolate, and alcohol, as well as the artificial sweetener sorbitol.

Minimize Wheat

While there is still much to learn about the connection between wheat and IBS, some patients may be allergic or have a negative reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. Scaling back on refined baked goodswhich IBS patients should do anywaywill automatically reduce gluten intake. Fortunately, gluten-free alternatives to many foods are increasingly available.

Consider Probiotics

Many studies have shown that probioticsfriendly bacteria that promote healthy digestioncan benefit IBS sufferers. Evidence has now accumulated to suggest that probiotics may help reduce pain, abdominal distension and gas while increasing health-related quality of life in IBS.

Get Active

Health professionals recommend that IBS patients get fit for several reasons. Not only does exercise help with constipation and other IBS symptoms, it is also one of the most effective “stress busters” around, and stress is to be avoided as it can cause IBS symptoms to flare, leading to pain and discomfort.

Though IBS presents a real health challenge, many natural remedies not only help with symptoms, but will also improve overall health and longevity. To learn more, visit http://www.aboutibs.org/site/about-ibs/april-ibs-awareness-month

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