ibs tales - Fiber Supplements to Beat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
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Fiber Supplements to Beat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Fiber supplements can be tremendously beneficial for IBS sufferers. Although supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are generally marketed as laxatives, and are very useful for constipation sufferers, they can also be used to combat diarrhea because they add bulk to the diet and can make waste food more solid.


It will take a little while before you see the effects of the supplement, so don't give up if you don't feel better after a few days. Try taking a supplement for one or two weeks to really give it time to work.


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If you suffer from constipation rather than diarrhea, you could try magnesium supplements instead, as these can have a slight laxative effect. Digestive enzymes and probiotics

For female sufferers however, findings have suggested that many have worsened symptoms during their menstrual period. These are basically the commonly observed "supposed causes" of internal bowel movements. The scientific and the medical communities are continually working on resolving the causes so as to create feasible treatment options that would help ease out the condition.

These supplements are not really medications ' most are simply fiber products with no added drugs or herbs, and so they can be taken long term on a daily basis without worrying about side effects. They're just the equivalent of adding lots of fruit and bran to your diet, but without having to eat daily apples or worry about bloating from the bran.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that is relatively prevalent among people aged 20 years and above. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed syndromes yet one of the issues that people tend not to talk about.

Kim, who also suffers from bad diarrhea, says: 'I tried taking digestive enzymes with acidophilus and found significant relief within three days. I am not afraid to eat now, but find that I still cannot eat very much refined sugar or high fibre vegetables. I have also added a cup or two per day of peppermint and chamomile tea. When I do have an episode it occurs late in the day and by the next morning I am feeling back to normal.'

Some patients, on the other hand, undergo diarrhea, which is characterized with frequent release of uncontrollable watery stools. But some endure alternate constipation and diarrhea.

Stress and IBS Daniel believes that his symptoms are related to his emotions and stress: 'I thought that when I was stuck on the toilet, experiencing the most severe cramps, thinking I was about to pass out from the pain, feeling like I was about to throw up, I was the only one. I'm still trying to work it out but I believe it has a lot to do with my psychological state. I say this because although I don't get too stressed out at any one moment, I do have general worries about money and life. I tend to find when I'm not worrying about these things I don't get the pain as much, if at all. It's easier said than done of course, I can't just stop worrying about money or my future, but being aware of these things seems to help - being optimistic and knowing that everything is only temporary. I have been taking Colpermin (peppermint capsules) as a preventative which often helps and for a while I took painkillers which I think helped.'

Calcium tablets Linda, who suffers from severe diarrhea, says: 'What has helped me for more than two years is calcium carbonate, an over-the-counter supplement. I take three tablets a day, one at each meal. The most success has come from using any formula of calcium supplement that is like Caltrate 600 Plus with vitamin D and minerals. The only side effect is at the beginning of taking the calcium you may have some gas or indigestion, but this usually goes away after taking a regular dose for a few days.'

If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you will know how difficult it is to treat. Doctors can be dismissive of IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating, and when treatment is offered it may only help for a short while before the distressing symptoms return.

It is important to make sure you find the fiber supplement that's right for you, as IBS sufferers often have very sensitive stomachs. Some people find that the psyllium fiber in supplements such as Metamucil can irritate their intestines, so if that happens to you try one of the methylcellulose products such as Citrucel, or other types of fiber such as acacia fiber.

The ceasing of symptoms does not imply the stoppage of the syndrome all together though. Many people find it more difficult to deal with irritable bowel syndrome after a few months of subsided syndromes.

Others argue that this is largely affected by the efficiency of the immune system. Persons with this condition are known to have irregular motility or movement of the large colon. This is termed to as spasmodic but other patients display temporary cessation of intestinal movement.

Other patients projected links with irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease, which is the inability of a person to digest gluten. Gluten is the substance found in wheat, barley, eye and flour that basically help in the coagulation of the bread. Patients of celiac disease have immune systems that respond to gluten by damaging the small intestine. The presence of celiac disease along with IBS can be checked through blood tests.





About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 14 years. She runs the IBS Tales
website at http://www.ibstales.com where you can read hundreds
of stories and tips from IBS sufferers.

Flaxseed Watching your diet is sometimes not enough to completely control the symptoms, and natural or herbal supplements can help, as Marion discovered: 'After about six months of a horrendously restrictive diet (ultra low-fat vegan with no raw veggies or fruit except banana) and a lot of Metamucil, I managed to get it sort of under control. But if I deviated from the diet, the chronic diarrhea would come back. Someone I met told me that she had helped her IBS by taking a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed with a glass of water or juice every morning. I thought it was another crackpot cure, but eventually I decided to try it. She had told me that pre-ground flaxseed didn't work because flax seed starts to oxidize as soon as you grind it and that whole flax seeds are no good either, because they cannot be digested properly. After years of IBS, in about two weeks it just went away. I cannot believe that I now have perfectly normal, regular bowel movements.'

Nowadays, television is full of commercials advertising drugs to help people suffering from IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Apparently the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies have finally taken notice of the 15% of people who deal with IBS on a daily basis.

While many cases of this syndrome are regularly reported worldwide, there are still no known causes that would determine the proper treatments. Many researchers agree that this may have a relation on the colon or the large bowel that is especially reactive to specific stresses and food elements.

These days there are many different ways to take fiber supplements. You can buy the traditional powder form, which is swallowed with water or soft food, or you can buy wafers, tablets or capsules, which can be very handy if you need to travel and don't want to carry a whole can of fiber with you.

Mina also found that dietary change helped control her symptoms, alongside traditional medication: 'I've made a number of changes to my diet. I've eliminated milk and mostly any dairy, fried foods, sugar for the most part, pop, alcohol, potato chips, spicy food, rice, pasta and bread. Most recently I'm eliminating flour. But my best friend for the last couple of years has been Imodium Quick Dissolve tablets. I don't ever leave home without them. I just have to make sure I don't overdo it. If I ever become immune to the wonder drug I am gonna be a real mess!'

The condition is characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, and pain in the bowels. Often, people with IBS fluctuate between having loose bowels (diarrhea), or becoming extremely constipated.

In addition, it is found that irritable bowel syndrome heightens once susceptibility over anxiety and stress which in return aggravate the condition. Similarly, many symptoms of IBS cause depression and anxiety.





About the author:
Sophie Lee has suffered from IBS for more than 15 years. She
runs IBS Tales http://www.ibstales.com where you can read
hundreds of personal stories of IBS sufferers and a range of
self-help tips.

 
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Fiber, water and yoga Pam, who struggles with constipation, has developed a combination of things which work for her: 'I drink Metamucil (psyllium fibre) every day and try to relax, pray or meditate, even do a little yoga. The more I make myself relax and take time to de-stress the better I can manage my problem. I know time for yourself is very hard to come by sometimes but I have to if I'm going to manage this. I try to drink at least three bottles of water a day. This is also hard sometimes but I have to take care of me the best I can. I also take a mild anti-depressant. This has helped a bunch in my stress department and in turn has helped my IBS.'

Do check, though, that the supplement you choose is just made up of fiber and nothing more, as you will occasionally find one that has added chemical laxatives or other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

Most people prefer to take one dose of fiber in the early morning, perhaps with their breakfast, and then another with dinner or just before their evening meal. You will need to experiment to find the right dosage for your symptoms and the best time to take the fiber, but if you can find a supplement and dose that works for you it will be well worth the effort, because you will have found a cheap, drug-free way to help keep your IBS under control.

Whatever type of fiber you choose, you must make sure to build the dosage up gradually. If you add masses of fiber to your diet all at once you will probably feel very gassy and bloated. Instead, try just a small spoon of fiber once a day and build up to the recommended dose on the label. Most supplements will recommend that you take the product with lots of water, and to make sure you are drinking enough water for the rest of the day as well.

While there is a common pattern for most patients, still the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary from patients to patients. Some may experience single symptoms, say constipation. Many people though report of having cramping or straining without any or minimal release of stool. These people experience mucus release along with their bowel too. Mucus is a fluid-form lubricant that helps moisten the digestive passages for easier release of digested materials.

Sufferers often find that they have to deal with the symptoms themselves, through self-help methods and supplements, rather than by using conventional medicines. However, this does not mean that there is no hope of improvement. By sharing their experiences, sufferers can learn a lot about what really helps to ease IBS.

In addition to changing your diet, a detox program with a series of colonics can cause drastic changes in your symptoms. Colonics, or colon hydrotherapy, help cleanse the entire length of the colon, removing years of hardened fecal matter than can essentially get stuck on the walls of the colon and interfere with proper digestion and elimination. By cleaning the "pipe" of your digestive tract, IBS symptoms can be resolved quickly and effectively with colonics. Combining herbal detox supplements with colonics and eating raw foods will give you the best results for curing IBS.

IBS is frequently linked with bacterial infection found in the gastrointestinal tract. Researchers observed that people who have developed gastroenteritis have greater likelihood of also developing IBS.

Soluble versus insoluble fiber Some nutritionists believe that IBS sufferers' intestines react differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, and this has been Stu's experience: 'After trying all kinds of drugs and healthy eating, my pains were still there. I found by accident that it wasn't so much what I ate but whether I ate it on a full stomach or not. My failsafe is pasta on an empty stomach, I get no reaction - it is soluble fibre that settles the colon apparently. I quickly searched on the internet for recipes high in soluble fibre and I have improved. Most significantly though I am on no medication and this puts me in control of the IBS, not the other way around. I think this is important as stress certainly can trigger the symptoms off. I don't avoid insoluble fibre as it is essential for the body, but I recommend that you eat it on a full stomach.'

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by frequent cramping of the stomach, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation. These cause a great deal of distress and discomfort but will never lead to more aggravated condition since it does not cause permanent harm on the sufferer.

Another point to be aware of is that some manufacturers use artificial sweeteners in their products, and these can sometimes cause problems for IBS sufferers. There should be a normal, sweetener-free version to choose instead, and the amount of sugar in a few spoonfuls should not have a huge impact on any diet you are on.

A final word Lastly, please do make sure that you have been officially diagnosed with IBS and had your symptoms fully investigated before trying any self-help methods. As Joe found out, bowel symptoms can be due something other than IBS: 'I was diagnosed with IBS, but I went to get a second opinion. They did an ultrasound followed by a barium follow-through which showed major inflammation and blockage of my small intestine. The final diagnosis is Crohn's disease. It's a pity they didn't catch it before I was seriously ill, instead of fobbing me off with excuses of 'It's IBS, there's no cure so live with it!''

Some of the main culprits of IBS include caffeine, dairy products, meat, and alcohol. These substances are extremely hard to digest and wreak havoc on the intestines. Consuming these substances alone can cause IBS-like symptoms in a normal, healthy body. For those with IBS, changing what you eat and drink can be the difference between a good and a bad day. By eliminating these problem-causing foods and supplementing your diet with lots of greens, fruits, whole grains, and nuts and seeds, your IBS symptoms should improve dramatically. Eating raw, unprocessed foods allows your digestive tract to do significantly less "work" in eliminating what you eat.

Looking at your diet Laura describes how a close examination of her diet helped her IBS: 'I was placed on every kind of medication, and sometimes they worked in the short term, sometimes they didn't work at all. The doctor finally suggested trying to alter my diet in cycles, and we discovered that eating meat was my problem. I became a vegetarian and no longer have constant problems. Sometimes I even go years without any pain at all. It's worth all the effort you put into it when you finally feel better.'

All the self-help tips in this article have come from IBS sufferers who have found a way to control their irritable bowels. Before trying any form of self-help, please make sure that you have your doctor's approval, and do check that anything you try will not interfere with any medication you are taking.

Prescription medications are often recommended for this condition, yet an easy way to combat and possibly entirely eliminate IBS symptoms is through changing your diet and using detox methods to help regulate your digestive system.

Nevertheless, people have already practiced a number of things to help provide temporary treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Many of which entail the avoidance towards foods that normally cause the symptoms to reappear. Many activities are also suggested to be avoided to limit the appearance of the symptoms. Such include large meals, caffeine from teas, colas and chocolates and abstention from alcohol and wheat-based products. Dr. Joseph K. Egbebike is an expert in Healthcare Affiliate Marketing. For additional information about Natural Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief, go to Natural Irritable Bowel Syndrome Remedy


 
 
     
 
 





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