I suffer from frequent bouts of diarrhea and abdominal pain for the last 6 months. Sometimes it may turn to constipation, bloating and gas. Recently it became so extreme that I can't plan anything in advance. All of my tests are normal, and my Family Doctor thinks itís nothing serious, just Irritable Bowel Syndrome. But it greatly affects my life. Please help!
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very common disorder of the digestive tract. The pain, cramping and urgent trips to the washroom can disrupt your business and home activities. The bloating and gas can make anyone feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.
But the good news is you can use natural ways to relieve your symptoms and greatly improve the quality of your life.
You will be surprised to learn that you are not alone! In fact, it is estimated that IBS affects more than 2 million Canadians. This is probably why April has been declared as Canadian Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness month.
It has been estimated that IBS in Canada, costs about $352 million in direct and over $1 billion in indirect health care costs each year!
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Normally, food is propelled by rhythmic contractions of the muscles of the small and large intestines. However, these contractions may become arrhythmic and non-synchronized leading to abdominal discomfort.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Cramping pain in abdomen
- Bloating and excessive gas
- Diarrhea with abdominal pain, with foul-smelling stools
- Urge to move your bowels on waking up or right after meals
- Feeling of incomplete emptying after bowel movements
- Mucus in your stool
- Loud belching
What Causes IBS?
The exact cause of IBS is still unknown. It is a combination of different factors: environmental, stress-related, sensitivity to specific foods (coffee, tea or fat), hormonal fluctuations, slow recovery after surgery or childbirth, infections, frequent use of antibiotics or steroids.
How Does Stress Affect IBS?
Research suggests that both acute and chronic stresses (deadlines, exams, job interviews, financial concerns, time pressures, or family issues) can make symptoms worse, because of the nervous and chemical communication between the brain and the gut.
- Chew slow and thoroughly.
- Eat small portions but frequently
- Avoid ice-cold foods and drinks on an empty stomach; cold makes muscles contract
- Limit the amount of water with your meals, as this can inhibit digestion.
- Sleep well
- Keep a daily journal to clarify the connection between your symptoms and life events. This can help you deal with stress in a better way.
Homeopathy Can Help:
Homeopathy considers the whole person and treats the deep cause of the problem, rather than just a symptom. It’s greatly appreciated by adults and children.
Below are just a few examples of homeopathic remedies that can be successfully used ( remember they work the best only if prescribed for each person individually):
Colocynthis is indicated for cutting pains, making the person bend double or press on the abdomen. Pain can be worse before the diarrhea, after eating fruits, or being angry.
Nux vomica is indicated for abdominal pains that accompanied by tension and irritability. Constipation accompanied by frequent ineffectual urging to pass stool but passes only small amounts at each attempt.
Podophyllum is indicated when abdominal pain is accompanied by rumbling and profuse watery diarrhea. Rubbing the abdomen helps to relieve discomfort.
To make a glass of “Tummy Tea”, simply brew 1teaspoon of dried peppermint or fennel per cup of boiling water. Enjoy!