If you’ve made a new years resolution to lose weight this year & you have IBS, here’s some more motivation. A recent study(Reuters) by the Swedes at the University of Gothenburg shows that moderate to vigorous exercise for 20 – 60 minutes, 3 – 5 days per week can be helpful with Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. The study showed 43% improvement for those in the exercise group, compared to 25% improvement for those who did not change their habits. Not earth shattering but it does hint that exercise can be helpful for Irritable Bowel Syndrome & of course exercise is usually good for you overall, something that most people probably don’t get enough of. Continue reading “Weight Loss Resolution Might Have Hidden IBS Benefits” »
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.
Do you have a favorite natural constipation remedy? Please post it below.
Exercising for Digestive Health
If you’re suffering from a digestive ailment like IBS, IBD or GERD exercise may not be a top priority. Usually digestive ailments leave us feeling tired, sluggish & fatigued. As you probably already know exercise can be very helpful overall for your body in general & can even help symptoms when dealing with digestion. Exercise has the two-fold benefit of helping to cleanse toxins from your body as well as helping to move gas through your system so you feel less bloated.
Knowing Your Limits
This is important. Don’t over do exercise. If you haven’t been exercising recently then you should start off slow. Nothing is more discouraging than going full force into an exercise program and completely exhausting yourself or even possible hurting yourself in the process. If you’re feeling bloated, aching abs are not going to make your abdomen feel any better, nor is having to use the restroom dealing with aching hamstrings.
If you’re dealing with a more serious digestive problem where you are having trouble maintaining weight, you should not be exercising until you have your condition under control. As a general disclaimer, talk to a doctor if you have doubts or are unsure of how to continue.
Easy Low-Cost Exercises
- Try some basic exercises like windmills, semi circles, running in place or using a jump rope. Basic slow stretching is also good as well. You can create your own 20 minute work-out with these basic items.
- Walking is your friend. Getting out on a hike if you’re dealing with digestion problems may not be a fun idea, but if you can navigate your local neighborhood 20 – 30 minutes, 3 times a week you’ll probably gain some benefits, plus you might even get a little bit of confidence.
- Tai-Chi & Yoga are great low impact exercises that can help not only with body, but also with mind. Check out Yoga For Beginners & Tai Chi For Beginners.
- Inflatable Fitness Balls are the way to go if you plan on working out your core muscles. Balls provide better support for your back and lessen the wear and tear on your abs when first starting out.
Going to the gym when dealing with digestive problems can be nerve wracking, so instead of going to the gym, there is nothing wrong with getting some equipment for your home.
Keep A Regimen When You Can
Try to keep a regimen or even a log of what you’ve done. If you’re not feeling well, don’t feel bad to skip exercise for that day. Listen to your body. Exercise is here to help, not hurt you!