If I was going to invest in a pharmaceutical drug, I’d make it one of the many medications prescribed by doctors for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Medications to treat IBS are prescribed like hotcakes.
Walk into your doctor’s office and tell him or her you have symptoms of IBS, and the next thing you know you’re on your way to the pharmacy for an anti-diarrheal, antispasmodic, or even an antidepressant.
The truth is, there are several better, natural ways to treat IBS:
1) Examine your diet: About two-thirds of people with IBS have at least one food allergy, and some have multiple allergies. The most common allergens are dairy products and grains. Identifying and eliminating these “triggers” will often provide significant relief of symptoms.
2) Make sure you’re eating enough fiber: Fiber is important not only for stool formation, but also for the overall health of your gastrointestinal tract. Aim for at least 35 grams of dietary fiber from vegetables, beans, peas, and fruits. Another great source is freshly ground flaxseed. A quarter cup provides a whopping 11 g of fiber.
3) Eliminate refined sugar from your diet: Refined sugar decreases the rhythmic contractions of the gastrointestinal tract that are necessary for proper digestion. It also allows for the overgrowth of harmful bacteria that injure your intestinal walls and perpetuate the cycle of poor digestion and malabsorption.
4) Take probiotics: One of the best ways to guarantee gastrointestinal and overall health is to give your beneficial bacteria a boost with a probiotic supplement. At the Whitaker Wellness Institute, we use probiotics to treat all types of gastrointestinal problems, from diarrhea to irritable bowel syndrome to leaky gut. Probiotics come in capsule, liquid, or powder forms. The most important probiotics for general replacement are L. acidophilus and/or B. bifidum.
How about you? Do you have a strategy that’s worked for you to control IBS?
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