A recent study suggests that those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome eat a diet that meets or exceeds UK Dietary Reference Values. The study surveyed the eating habits of 104 people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome & then compared their answers  against nutritional guidelines to come up with their findings.

Essentially this means that someone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome is most likely not at fault for any nutritional deficiencies they may have as the foods they are eating should contain the nutrients they need. The study did not find any differences in nutrient intake between those with different subtypes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome(diarrhea dominant, constipation dominate  or alternating). The study does not appear to have actually looked into if those surveyed actually had malabsorption of nutrients despite eating a nutrient rich diet.

This study just reaffirms what many already know, that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome aren’t purposefully eating nutrient deficient diets.

Awhile back I discussed converting your regular sit-down toilet into a squat toilet variety. Despite the sit down toilet’s conquest of most “1st world” nations, squatting a more natural position for the body to “do it’s business”. The Lilipad is a New Zealand invention that is essentially a high end, sturdy and actually attractive toilet platform. It’s definitely the nicest looking toilet platform I’ve seen out on the market as it doesn’t look like some sort of industrial medical device, but more like a piece of wood furniture.

Now the only sticking point I think might be the cost as it is a bit up there at $169 USD, but for those who are handy with tools there is a potentially cheaper option. Lilipad is now selling the plans on how how to build your own toilet platform. The plans cost $9.50(materials obviously not included!). This could mean big savings, given that you don’t cut your hand off while slicing and dicing wood. I have not seen the plans myself, but I feel you can trust the people at Lilipad because this is, a toliet platform, not a “time machine”, “perpetual motion machine” or “cold-fusion reactor” or any of the other scammy “plans” you might see on the internet.

Perhaps you’ve heard about all natural colon cleanses that cure your body by ridding toxins and built up waste in your system. Usually these colon cleansing systems are touted as miracle cures for everything from Irritable Bowel Syndrome to Crohn’s Disease to even cancers. Unfortunately the truth is that there is no ultimate or best colon cleansing program & in fact most are downright frauds. Continue reading ““Natural” Colon Cleanses May Ultimately Not Be Healthy” »

Debbie DeAngelo of GoErie.com wrote an article highlighting some interesting things about ovarian cancer which routinely goes undetected due to misinterpreting warning symptoms. I will have to admit that the symptoms are rather vague and could be hard to decipher as being related to ovarian cancer, especially for someone with a chronic digestive disease like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn’s Disease.

Some symptoms too look out for are:

“…abdominal bloating, increased abdominal size and urinary urgency.”

as well as:

“…feeling full after a small meal, unexplained weight loss, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue and abnormal uterine bleeding.”

Factors that could put you at risk are:

…[a] personal history of breast cancer, family history of breast, uterine, ovarian or colorectal cancer, certain breast cancer genes and use of fertility drugs, especially without achieving pregnancy.

Check out the full article on GoErie.com.

There has been some recent news on the drug Rifaximin(brand name XIFAXAN) showing some promising results for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Rifaximin is an anti-biotic that is poorly absorbed by the body. What this means is that most of it stays in the gut where it attacks bacteria. The idea here is that harmful bacteria create toxins in the body causing neurocognitive and neuromuscular dysfunction. By using Rifaximin you can kill off these bacteria and hopefully restore the gut to it’s regular functions. Continue reading “News: Rifaximin For Irritable Bowel Syndrome” »

Special thanks to Hypnotherapy Directory (UK) for writing this detailed post on Hypnotherapy.

Many suffers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome only get occasional pain and discomfort, but for some the condition can effect their lives on a daily basis. You may suffer from constipation, or diarrhea, some may even have both. Pain can vary from mild to severe and can occur at any time of the day. You may also be suffering from indigestion, nausea, cramping, heart burn and muscle pain.

There has been lots of information and research into the condition. Some research suggests that parts of the gut may be over-active, some of the contractions in the muscles can become abnormal. Other research has found that sensitivity to the amount of gas in your bowel and your genes can all contribute to the development of IBS. Continue reading “Hypnotherapy – How Can It Help You And Your IBS” »

Top Six Natural Constipation Remedies

April 16th, 2010 - Written by - 1 comment

Top Six Natural Constipation Remedies

Most people will find themselves dealing with constipation one point or another in their lives. Sometimes synthetic laxatives can be harsh and uncomfortable to use. Before reaching for a laxative drug, perhaps you can give these natural remedies a try.

#6 – Exercising

Even if you feel sluggish from  constipation, it’s still a good idea to try to get some movement going. Try to focus on the abdominal area. Getting blood flowing through your system may help wake-up your gut to start moving things again.

#5 – Magnesium

Magnesium is an element that attracts water, this can help soften stool that may be to stiff to allow easy passage. You should look for a magnesium supplement that does NOT have calcium, as calcium will only worsen constipation. Look for a magnesium supplement that has about 250 – 500mg.

#4 – Ginger

Ginger is great for your digestive tract all around. In some cases it can also help with constipation. I’d try a ginger tea or Ginger Chew candies.

#3 – Iberogast

Iberogast(STW-5) is an herbal mixture that helps with digestive movement. I would try taking it on an empty stomach instead of with a meal and see if that will get your lower bowels moving again.

#2 – Juices

Many juices can have a laxative effect & are usually pretty gentle. The most well known is prune juice, but other juices such as grape or orange juice might work for you as well. I myself do not like the taste of prune juice, but will happily drink grape or orange juice. For me these seem to only cause a bowel movement if I am dealing with constipation, otherwise I don’t get the laxative effect(which is a good thing!).

#1 – Raisin Bran

This seems to always work for me, but it is the last on my list as usually it causes quite a bit of gas as well. Raisin Bran cereals taste pretty good & can definitely get your digestive motor going. It’s probably a bit harsher than the other items listed here, but if nothing else has worked, raisin bran probably will. You could also try other things like a bran muffin or an over the counter fiber product.

Other Options?

Do you have a favorite natural constipation remedy? Please post it below.

Align Probiotic For Irritable Bowel Syndrome Update

This is a follow-up to my post “Align Probiotics Review: First Glance“. I did have some time to try out Align Probiotics and see how they worked out for me. Check out below for a week by week run-down.

Week #1

Week  #1 started out pretty well. I did notice that I was dealing with some aches and fatigue, possibly due to Align clearing out toxins or possibly due to something else entirely(I am known to get sinus infections randomly). Within a few days these aches and pains stopped. I think I did start to see some benefit from Align almost immediately. Improvements such as not having to go to the bathroom as often, bowel movements feeling more complete & perhaps even less gas/cramping. Having the pills labeled by the day of the week was pretty handy to keep on top of taking it. I tried to take it the same time each day. Continue reading “Align Probiotic For Irritable Bowel Syndrome Update” »

Emulating a Squat Toliet With Sit Down Toilets

Probably the majority of people in the US & UK have grown up using sit-down style toilets. These toilets resemble elaborate porcelain chairs and are pretty comfortable to sit on while doing your business, so long as you don’t sit there reading until your legs fall asleep(bad! bad!).

Unfortunately the modern western toilet does have it’s drawbacks. First of all the position you’re sitting in, while comfortable, is not conducive for passing stool. In the sitting position your colon may be constrained by the “pubo rectalis” muscle. In this way you’re having to use muscle to push past this other muscle(i.e. more work). Also you do not have gravity on your side as much as you would in a squatting position(again more work for you). Thus you have more strain, more pain. Also if you’re thinking of the environment, squat toilets may allow you to use less water & toilet paper.

If you need scientific proof, a 2003 study suggests squatting is more effective than sitting.

Squat Toilets Are Not For Everyone

So squat toilets have benefits, but of course there are always drawbacks as well. First off, good luck finding one in the USA or UK. Also if you encounter one, how are you going to use it? The first time would be like using alien technology. Most people are going to gravitate to what they know and are not going to install a squat toilet in their house. I could just imagine the dinner parties when a guest finds out all the sit toilets have been replaced with the squat variety! If you’re renting, then you really have no control over what toilet you get and I doubt the landlord would want you ripping out the current toilet.

Emulating The Squat Toilet

So since we probably don’t have access to a squat toilet or it’s just not feasible, we need to come up with some ways to emulate it.

  • Adjust Your Position – Try changing how you sit down on the toilet. Lean forward and try to raise your knees above or level with your abdomen. You might try going on tippy toes while sitting down. This can be uncomfortable and the benefits may be dubious, but it’s worth a try. ($FREE$)
  • Get a Step Stool – You can try elevating your legs with more comfort by purchasing a :rubermaidstoolaff: or even tipping over a waste bin and placing your feet near the base of it. There is also :lifestepaff:, which is specifically designed for this purpose. ($CHEAP$)
  • Platforms – Probably the best way to get benefits is to get a conversion platform. These are actual platforms you hop onto that allow you to hover above your normal sit toilet. This is probably not for everyone, but if you’re serious, these items are the way to go. I found two products available, :thelillipad: & :naturesplatform:. :thelillipad: looks pretty spiffy to me, but I have not used either product. There is also a product called “The Evaco Toilet Platform” which I can see was sold at squatplatform.com, but that site seems to no longer exist. ($KINDA SPENDY$)

Let Me Know How It Goes

Have your bowel habits improved or have you tried one of these products out? Drop a comment below.

Review: Gas-X Thin Strips for gas & bloating with Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS)

gasx01

So I am sure we’ve all probably had times were we’re filling gassy or bloated. When dealing with IBS these times are probably more often than we’d wish. Now, normally I’d suggest a natural product, but in some cases a less than natural product is needed. This is were Gas-X Thin Strips step in. Why do I like Gas-X Thin Strips? A) It works. B) The packaging and form factor are very discreet. Continue reading “Review: Gas-X Thin Strips for gas & bloating with Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS)” »

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