IBS is a Common Health Challenge
As a naturopathic doctor, one of the main complaints people speak to me about is IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In fact, stomach pain and poor digestion seem to be something of an epidemic in the United States. New research conducted on sufferers of IBS, reported on by the BBC, found a dramatic improvement in symptoms of pain, gas, and bloating with the simple addition of water-soluble fiber, such as the psyllium seed.
Eliminate Foods Associated With Food Sensitivities
Many foods have been associated with digestive upset. I usually encourage my patients to eliminate wheat, dairy, sugar, and processed foods. I have found that simply reducing these foods, many digestive health challenges have been alleviated.
Increase Fiber and Probiotics to Improve Gut Health
Fiber is often a standard part of the naturopathic approach to treating IBS. Patients may also be prescribed probiotics: the bacteria normally found in the digestive tract which aid in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. The most commonly prescribed probiotics are acidophilus and bifidus, for upper and lower intestinal health. Additional support can also include acidophiles plantaris.
We may also give the friendly yeast saccharomyces boulardii, commonly known as s. boulardii, which has been found to be effective in the treatment of digestive upset caused by antibiotics. Saccharomyces boulardi may also decrease the risk of lower intestinal infections like c. difficile.
My favorite probiotic is HLC High Potency Capsules by Pharmax, because they are the highest standards currently on the market. Pharmax has been independently tested for viability and quality. And is one of the most popular probiotic companies prescribed by naturopathic doctors.
Some Simple Tips for Healthy Digestion
In addition to fiber and probiotics, I suggest some common sense techniques that can often have very positive results.
Chew your food well, avoid over- salting food, and do not drink excessive liquids during meals. Avoid erratic eating schedules or too many processed and pre-packaged foods. Try to eat fresh food that is well prepared and wholesome. Take the time to relax and enjoy your meal, as stress and “wolfing” your food can disrupt digestion.
Some people are sensitive to certain types of foods, and this can also cause digestive problems that create or increase IBS. Among my own patients, I have found that dairy, beans (especially soy), wheat, and cabbage family vegetables can often be among the most difficult to digest. But these sensitivities can vary from patient to patient. Along with fiber and probiotics, moderation and common sense can often be the most effective methods for overcoming IBS.
To find out more about my work, or to schedule your appointment, please visit my website at DoctorWhimsy.com
I look forward to working with you