Oh dear what can the matter be?

You must have noticed how many television and magazine adverts there are these days for products that ease digestive discomfort, that bloated feeling we all get from time to time, constipation and diarrhoea. Many of these problems stem from the stressful lives we all now lead, with too little time to prepare meals and even less time to eat them!

 

Stress is thought to be the cause of many digestive problems and can also exacerbate much more serious modern day conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

 

But what is IBS, and how does it differ from the day to day discomfort we may all experience at some time or other? IBS it's a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that can have a massive impact on sufferers, who can experience frequent and extreme abdominal cramping or pain, bloating and wind, and alternating periods of diarrhoea and constipation. In short, IBS makes life miserable!

 

IBS is a long term disorder that can come and go and is influenced by stress, environmental factors and diet, (food intolerances are thought to aggravate IBS with particular foods acting as 'triggers' in causing colon discomfort). Despite the debilitating nature of IBS, the symptoms can be eased by making small lifestyle changes, such as: keeping fit, which can help improve bowel function as well as reducing stress; stopping smoking; avoiding caffeine; reducing or eliminating alcohol; and avoiding spicy and 'gassy' foods.

 

If IBS persists, your doctor can prescribe medication to help, but if you are looking for a more natural alternative, why not try one or more of the following:

  • Have regular meals and take time to eat at a leisurely pace.
  • Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between eating.
  • Drink at least eight cups of liquid every day, especially water or non-caffeinated drinks such as herbal teas, as this helps to keep your stools soft and easy to pass along the gut
  • Restrict your tea and coffee to no more than three cups per day.
  • Restrict the number of fizzy drinks to a minimum.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid sorbitol, an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free sweets (including chewing gum) and drinks, and in some diabetic and slimming products, as this can cause diarrhoea.
  • If you have a lot of wind and bloating, try eating more oats (porridge, oat-based breakfast cereals and oat cakes) and linseeds (up to one tablespoon per day), which you can buy from any health food shop.
  • Taking peppermint oil.

If you find it difficult or impossible to change your diet, why not try some of the alternatives, such as stress management techniques, (there are many good books at the library), acupuncture, or relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation or complementary therapies such as massage or reflexology.

 

Reflexology offers two main benefits for IBS sufferers: the treatment helps improve digestion and the progress of food through the colon, and an hour spent relaxing in a chair also reduces stress.

 

Over the last few years I have treated several clients for IBS and more serious bowel disorders and many of them have experienced considerable improvements in their conditions.

Interested in finding out more about treatments?

Call me on:

07962 975 124

 

email me at:

catherine@tranquilhaven.co.uk

 

Or use our contact form.

You'll find me at

2 Blackwood Way
Pitreavie Castle
Dunfermline
KY11 8TD

 

For directions click here

Staying informed

You'll find regular articles giving help and advice on how to combat many ailements and how to cobat stress.

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