IBS Medications? Or change your diet and stress levels?
There is a growing hypothesis in the medical world that too much of certain bacteria (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth often called SIBO) in the gut causes the excess gas & bloating by producing large amounts of hydrogen.
There are tests for this using a hydrogen breath analysis.
If results come back that you do have an excess of these particular bacteria then a doctor may wish to prescribe some antibiotics or other pharmaceutical IBS medications to fix it.
Is this sounding familiar? Again, we're seeing how important it is to have a proper balance of beneficial gut flora (bacteria in the intestines).
IBS With Constipation
Irritable Bowel Syndrome - often called IBS:
- abdominal cramping
- gas & bloating
- constipation, diarrhea, or both alternating
There are other medical concerns to be addressed before assuming that symptoms are caused by IBS.
Doctors may want to test for other possible conditions using colonoscopy, lactose intolerance tests, celiac testing, blood panel screening for parasites or other indications, biopsies of the intestinal tract, colon or even the stomach, or an abdominal x-ray to screen for intestinal obstruction.
Stress is a major factor contributing to IBS flare-ups.
Reducing stress, choosing truly nourishing foods, and creating a healthy overall lifestyle can be equally effective as medications in helping relieve IBS, without side effects.
Use the information on nutrition and the Candida Diet Guidelines to help guide your food choices. They will have a positive effect on many IBS sufferers as well.
On pharmaceutical drugs and antibiotics - you know my vote. Look for holistic, natural ways to regain balance in your body first.
Pharmaceutical medications may "fix" one symptom, or even a group of symptoms for IBS, but they will not create balance in the body, and they come with possible side effects. So you'll usually end up presenting a different set of symptoms in response to what the pharmaceutical IBS medicine "fixed".
For some immediate relief without taking medications:
Make sure you are taking a good probiotic, and consider digestive enzymes as well. Sometimes the addition of HCL (hydrochloric acid) to the digestive enzyme is beneficial as well. With HCL start off with a small dose before a meal and work your way up to a larger dose, until you "feel the burn" in your belly. That's the indicator you have more than enough stomach acid. Reduce the dose from there but you can keep taking it for a few more days and then try backing off more.
- fennel seeds
in tea form, or essential oils, can all help calm the painful spasms, and help reduce gas and bloating.
Certain foods can aggravate IBS:
- gluten for people who are intolerant or allergic to it
- white flour foods
- white sugar foods and sweet drinks like soda pop, energy drinks and juices
- dairy can trigger it in some people
- deep fried foods
- not getting enough dietary soluble fiber can make it worse
If you wish to increase your intake of dietary fibers, both soluble and insoluble, you can get it in your foods.
Basically, all plant foods contain some fiber - whole grains and legumes especially (not recommended in my menus), but also fruits, seeds, vegetables and greens (YES!).
You can also choose to take a supplemental fiber, such as chia, flax, acacia or psyllium. Start with a small amount and increase gradually. Follow the producer's recommendations.
Having candida overgrowth can create or add to symptoms of IBS with or without constipation. It's a common symptom, often made worse by the advice to start eating extremely low carb to starve the candida. This is not a healthy approach!
If you want to try eating lower carb, please make the change gradually, not overnight. And, remember that your intestines need some fiber to keep things moving, so if you're committed to eating low carb then some sort of gentle supplemental fiber would be a great idea.