Up until recently, your digestive life has been pretty decent with very few moments of concern. Then, almost from one day to the next, everything changes. You are bloated and your bowel movements are all over the place – diarrhea or constipation or perhaps even both. Lots more passing of wind and sometimes cramping in your gut that lays you low. What has happened? Unfortunately, irritable bowel syndrome can strike at any time in your life. For some, they have it all their lives – like me. But for others, the onset of IBS is confusing, life-changing and devastating. You go to the doctor. They tell you to eat more vegetables and fibre and give you some medication before sending you on your way. But none of that helps, so you go back. This time you are sent to a gastroenterologist who does a battery of tests, which show nothing wrong. They tell you that you have IBS and once again you are sent home to eat more vegetables and fibre. Why did this happen to you? Scientists … [Read more...] about Why do I now have IBS?
Sleep is essential for good health and lack of good quality sleep is a serious problem which afflicts millions. It is essential for us to get more or less eight hours of good quality sleep in a routine. Our bodies love routines for the basics of life like eating, sleeping and toileting. Research shows that this frees us up to be more productive and creative in our everyday lives. How sleep helps your IBS Sleep helps you control your emotions and behaviour. Stress can cause IBS symptoms even if you are eating a balanced low Fodmap diet. Sleep deficiency has been linked to depression. And we know that IBS and depression are linked. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity because sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested. With IBS, we must not eat too … [Read more...] about Sleep and IBS
Probiotics are live bacteria that are helpful as opposed to bacteria that cause disease. Much research is being done into how they can be used in a way that benefits the human gut, but so far there is nothing conclusive in how they work or whether we should be taking them for certain conditions like IBS. Unfortunately, scientists have found very few similarities in the makeup of the gut of those with IBS. It seems we are all different. In other words, it is uncertain how a particular probiotic will affect you as an individual. It could: Help you by improving the makeup of your gut bacteria by adding those you are low in. Do nothing at all. Make your IBS symptoms worse perhaps by adding bacteria you already have plenty of and therefore upsetting the balance One thing to remember is that when you take a probiotic, you won’t feel any effect from it for 2-3 weeks while it does its work. If you think you feel better immediately after taking a probiotic, that is the placebo … [Read more...] about Will probiotics reduce your IBS symptoms?
IBS with constipation is thought to be less problematic than IBS with diarrhea. In some ways, this may be the case. With constipation, we (yes, I am in this group) seldom have an emergency dash to the toilet or accidents in public. However, while IBS with diarrhea can be rapidly solved with an accurate low Fodmap diet and good controls on fibre and fat levels in the diet, solving constipation is a little more difficult. Below are nine steps I personally take and advise my clients to take in order to create regular toilet habits with easy-to-pass bowel movements. Drink eight glasses of water a day in small constant sips rather than in larger amounts all at once. Have a little extra if you exercise for prolonged periods of time or live in a hot climate. Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up (no excuses about exercising first) and always include ¼ cup oats (raw measurement) and 1 tbsp chia seeds (soaked in water or lactose-free milk for at least 30 minutes) or 1 tbsp … [Read more...] about 9 Steps to Solve IBS with Constipation
Baking has become the new pastime during lockdown as can be evidenced by the lack of flour on the supermarket shelves. That includes me. I have made Anzac biscuits, ginger crunch and several batches of peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies because they are so delicious and satisfying. Use dark chocolate and a plain peanut butter with no additives including salt and sugar. Make small cookies or eat only half if they are larger. Today, the New Zealand government announces whether we are lowering to level 2 lockdown (of 4 levels) so that the country can almost completely open up again, but still with the borders shut. NZ has had between zero and two daily cases of the virus for the last week, and all the cases can be traced to a known contact. In other words, we have no community transmission. Things are finally looking up - in this part of the world at least. Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookies Print Author: Suzanne Perazzini Serves: 18 Ingredients 1 cup oats ¼ … [Read more...] about Low Fodmap Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookies
The silent, invisible threat of a virus is like no other. Or perhaps it’s actually a little like IBS – no visible signs to anyone else, and silent because this is a secretive affliction. So, maybe we should understand it better than others – that a threat can be silent and invisible and still be devastating. Total lockdown at level 4 (the highest of four levels) happened in New Zealand at midnight on Wednesday 25th March. We could leave our homes only to go to the supermarket, for medical help or for exercise in the immediate vicinity of our properties. A day later, as the enormity of what was happening in the world finally dawned on a confused psyche, I started to bleed. This has always been my reaction to extreme stress. At each tragic milestone in my life, this has happened. I have IBS-C and so my constipation worsens, haemorrhoids appear and I bleed every painful time I go to the toilet. I adjust my fibre intake, I pop pills for the throbbing, raw pain and I wait. This is … [Read more...] about How the Covid-19 Lockdown has Affected my IBS