Manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome

22 11 2015

Hike where ever in comfort. Even in an inactive Hawaiian volcano

Updated: Nov 22, 2015

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may cause much discomfort in the large intestine. But it is not considered a serious health risk. It also does not cause more serious diseases such as intestinal bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. IBS can also irritate, aggravate and inflame hemorrhoids which is a separate medical condition.

What causes IBS? No one knows for sure. There is not one identifiable organic factor. However clinical studies and research show symptoms are likely caused by various internal and external stimuli.

Those sensitive to IBS may be influenced by weakened immune system, reproductive hormones, diet, environment, mental health and lifestyle choice. Where 1 out of every 5 adults experience IBS or ~58 million Americans. The condition is more prominent in women starting as early as 20 years of age. And for all it is typically experienced under the age of 45. Women also tend to be two times more likely than men to become symptomatic via stimuli response.

Common triggers associated with IBS discomforts are thought to be mentally, environmentally and genetically stimulated. For instance, if IBS runs in a family, suspect genetics and environment may influence the same stimuli response within offspring. Whereas environment may cause stress, anxiety, depression and where poor diet, drug use and sedentary lifestyle cause similar IBS symptoms. It is then reasonable to assume like-cessation and treatment, or change in lifestyle may alleviate the condition.

Internal and external environment stimuli influence the digestive food coordination process. The intestines, rectum and colon have reactive triggers that are piped to the brain and are partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system [much like the heart and the lungs]. However the signals from the brain to the intestines are also lined with muscle that work in a rhythmic contraction and relaxation coordination to move food through the body.

City environment can trigger stress and IBS.

City environment can trigger stress and IBS.

Environmental stressors may cause intestine function for some to contract too little, or too much whereas the following discomfort conditions result. Removing too little water through the intestinal lining causes diarrhea. And when too much water is removed constipation occurs. It is when arithmetic muscle coordination incrementally increases within the large intestine so do the IBS symptoms. Either condition can cause cramping, bloating and gas felt within the stomach and accompanied to varying degree of either condition. Since we’re all wired a little bit different not all of us react the same way to stimuli sensitivity triggers.

Another common IBS trigger occurs when too many bad bacteria buildup within the intestines. Where antibiotics or probiotics may help to alleviate this problem.

For some cruise aversion prevents stress triggers that cause IBS symptoms. For others it’s just what they need to relieve them. That’s how different we’re wired. Identifying triggers is the first step to feeling better and living life to the fullest.

IBS “IS NOT” considered a disease. It can be more or less thought of as an aggravated condition triggered by lifestyle, environment or relationship stressors that interrupt the connected mind-body digestive coordination process. The most common stressors include: undiagnosed mental health disorders, relationship and employer stress, anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive behavior, etc. Or where other behavioral habits, illness and disease and drug use stimulate and trigger IBS-like symptoms.

Common treatment for diarrhea and constipation,

Prescription for Diarrhea: Lotronex, Prevalite, Colestid or Welchol. Over-the-counter drugs: loperamide (Imodium), or Kaopectate could help.

Prescription for constipation: Zelnorm or a laxative such as milk of magnesia, etc. Over-the counter drugs: fiber supplements like Metamucil or Citrucel could help.

Be sure to ask for specifics of IBS treatment from treating physicians. And when purchasing an over-the-counter drug be sure to speak with a pharmacist to determine best product and application use. If either prescription or over-the-counter products are not used correctly, they can cause other health problems. Alternative IBS treatments includes: herbs, acupuncture, massage, meditation and hypnosis.

“IBS has no cures. You must manage what triggers the symptoms!”

Recommendations:

1 Make a medical appointment with gastroenterologist and prepare in advance. For instance, keep a journal of the foods you eat, how much of suspected food irritants, daily exercise and any drugs taken. Then be mindful of what may likely stimulate the IBS episodes, time of day and how severe the symptoms feel. E.g., on a scale of 1-10. Ten being the worst.

2 Reduce large meal intake, which can cause cramping, and diarrhea [try consuming smaller and more frequent meals], slow down when you eat. And stop chewing gum, both results in too much gas (air).

3 Check risk warnings on medicines prescribed. Ask your doctor about questionable medications.

4 Remove chocolate, caffeine, milk-dairy products [determine if lactose intolerant], bread [determine if gluten intolerant] and alcohol from diet. Try removing one at a time to see if symptoms improve. Log this information in your daily journal.

5 Remove stress, conflict and other emotional upsetting factors from environment.

6 Drink 6-8 glasses of water/day, especially for diarrhea. This seems counter intuitive, but it will make you feel better by flushing your system. And you must rehydrate when losing too much water within the body. Don’t drink carbonated drinks. It’s a no brainer to drink more water when constipated.

Choose exercise activity that helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing fitness levels

Choose exercise activity that helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing fitness levels

7 Try consuming low fat & higher in carbohydrate foods, such as pasta, rice and “whole grain breads & cereals, unless you have “celiac disease. This disease mimics IBS… If you are diagnosed with this, your body can’t digest gluten (wheat, rye, barley, etc.,) a blood test can rule out if you have celiac disease).

8 Increase fruits and vegetable consumption within your diet.

9 Get enough exercise and sleep.

References,

Bolen, Barbara, Dr. “What Is IBS and Do You Have It?” About.com Health. About.com, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Cunha, John P., DO, FACOEP. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS: Symptoms and Diet Info.” MedicineNet. MedicineNet, Inc., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Staff. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 July 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Staff. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)-Topic Overview.” WebMD. WebMD, LLC. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2015 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Restaurant Foods Healthy?

25 08 2008

When is the last time you went to your favorite restaurant and ordered what seemed to be a plethora of great food and wondered what impact you had on your bodies health?  I do know when your young with fast metabolisms the effects of toxic food properties don’t have a lasting, immediate, or initial impact as when you age and your metabolism begins to slow down.  Studies regarding “food preservatives” point toward ill-health effects after many years of food chemical consumption before you actually become sick!  High food chemical consumption also correlates with our youth demographics and reveals an increase of obesity and other health  issues related to processed, or “fast foods!”

There are health signs provided that let you know food rejection within the body is occurring before the body becomes toxic.  Food rejection is typically a feeling of bloat, flatulence, nausea, overly full, diarrhea, constipation, headache, sluggishness, sleepiness,dehydration, irritability, depression, skin rash and the list goes on.  It is my personal experience that qualifies me to tell you that “many” restaurants are feeding you garbage.  Think about it, as inflationary costs impact “all” businesses and industries; man is very innovative and uses creative ways to cut cost and quality of food ingredients.  Many restaurants are greatly dependant on processed package & canned foods to keep their business profitable.   Prepackaged foods require less prep time, reduced food and labor costs and greater profits to the establishment. 

“When almost all organic foods came from farms, we where a far more healthy society.  Now, factory-made foods have made chemical additives a significant part of our diet. Most people may not be able to pronounce the names of many of these chemicals, but they still want to know what the chemicals do and which ones are safe and which are poorly tested or possibly dangerous.  A simple general rule about additives is to avoid sodium nitrite, saccharin, caffeine, olestra, acesulfame K, and artificial coloring. Not only are they among the most questionable additives, but they are used primarily in foods of low nutritional value.  Also, don’t forget the two most familiar additives: sugar and salt. They may pose the greatest risk because we consume so much of them. Fortunately, most additives are safe and some even increase the nutritional value of the food.”
(http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm).

Most restaurant foods taste great or their not in business for very long.  Be sure to inquire if the food is fresh, or processed.

Remember, processed foods have been preserved with man-made chemicals for long shelf life.  There are now literally thousands of preservatives, food substitutes and imitation ingredients and other additives that have replaced organic foods.  Don’t you find it interesting that when you go into a grocery store, it is required by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) that food ingredient labels require nutritional information be disclosed to the public. But when you go to a restaurant there is no requirement to disclose what ingredients, or what processed-organic foods make up the meal you order.

I believe the reason for “non-disclosure of restaurant food ingredients” has a lot to do with food industry(s) profits.  If you educate the public too much, they’ll find healthier eating consumption alternatives.  If this behavioral change came to pass in a big way, an organic-farm restaurant chain industrial revolution would ensue [“I believe we are now in the infant stage of such an organic-farm restaurant industry”].  If this industry evolves in a big way, it could drive many current restaurant chains and/or food manufacturers out of business!  “Remember, for industry and share holders “It’s all about the money!”  For our families, it should be about our health!

Be smart about your health and start asking questions about the foods you consume whether in a fine dinning, or fast food establishment.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing, http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





How to Deal with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

15 02 2008

 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) creates much discomfort for those that experience the symptoms causing havoc within the large intestine (colon).  The symptoms include, bloating, gas, cramps in the abdomen with pain, constipation and diarrhea.  IBS presents itself to 1 out of every 5 adults and is more prominently exhibited in women starting as early as 20 years of age.  Although IBS creates a great deal of discomfort, it is not a serious health risk (does not lead to intestinal bleeding or cancer).  Common pharmaceuticals prescribed for diarrhea (Lotronex) and for constipation (Zelnorm) to include over the counter medication, which can have serious side effects.

What causes IBS?  No one knows for sure, there is not one identifiable organic factor.  Through clinical case studies and research, scientific consensus agrees the following various factors bring about IBS symptoms:  Individuals with sensitive and reactive colons, immune system, reproductive hormones, diet, stress and emotions can strongly influence the colon.  Since the colons reactive triggers are piped to the brain and are partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system, much like the heart and the lungs; the colon responds to stress (emotions and food intake stimuli) much like the heart and lungs (e.g., being freighted, fast heart beat and breathing, etc.).  The colon reacts the same way by contracting too little, or too much, by removing too little water through the intestinal lining (diarrhea), or too much water (constipation).  Both conditions cause cramping, boating and gas felt within the stomach.  IBS “IS NOT” considered a disease.  Natural Cure Recommendations Below,

 Recommendations:  IBS has no cures. You must manage what creates & triggers the symptoms!”
1    Keep a journal of the foods you eat, when you eat and how much (target IBS triggers).  See a physician, or naturopathic physician to present this information to.
2    Reduce large meal intake, which can cause cramping, and diarrhea (smaller meals and more frequent meals), slow eating down, and stop chewing gum, both results in too much gas (air). 
3    Check risks warnings on medicines prescribed. Ask your doctor about questionable medications.  Seek professional medical advisement and ask about natural cure management.
4    Remove chocolate, caffeine, milk products and alcohol from diet.   Try removing one at a time to determine if symptoms improve.  Log this information in your daily journal.
5    Remove stress, conflict and other emotional upsetting factors from your lifestyle.
6    Drink 6-8 glasses of water/day, especially for diarrhea.  Don’t drink carbonated drinks.
7    Consume low fat & higher in carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice and “whole grain breads & cereals” (unless you have “celiac disease.”  This disease mimics IBS… If you are diagnosed with this, your body can’t digest gluten (wheat, rye, barley, etc.,) a blood test can rule out if you have celiac disease).
8    Increase fruits and vegetable consumption within your diet and, or see line #9.
9    Supplement your diet with a quality absorbable min & vit’s (See our natural products).
10   Supplement your diet with an autoimmune quality product (See our natural products).
11   Supplement your diet with flora (Good intestinal bacteria) (See our natural products).
12   Supplement your diet with natural menopausal products (See our natural products).
 

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2008 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.