It is estimated that 3 to 20% of the adult population globally is affected with irritable bowel syndrome. Another interesting fact about IBS is that it affects twice as many women as men. Also, it is most often diagnosed in people before the age of 45. As far as the causes of irritable bowel syndrome are concerned, there is no consensus on the exact causes of this syndrome.
As mentioned above, the exact causes of the syndrome are still unknown. However, health experts believe that there are a number of factors responsible for this syndrome. Some of the causes that may result in irritable bowel syndrome are as follows.
1. Anxiety or depression
2. Imbalanced hormones
3. Pain hypersensitivity
4. Abnormal colon movement
Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Since there are no known exact causes of this syndrome, treating it is not really easy. Health experts are of the opinion that one should try to manage the symptoms of this syndrome.
Many people have the habit of reaching for a pill whenever there is a problem with their body. This approach is wrong. One of the biggest disadvantages of modern medicine is that almost all of the pills that are effective in treating one symptom or disease, have a number of side effects.
For instance, there are medications that have been approved for treatment of IBS such as tegaserod maleate which is approved for treatment of constipation. However, there are some serious side effects of this medication which may lead to diarrhea or more severe constipation as well as decrease in blood flow to the colon.
Due to these reasons, it is recommended to identify the underlying causes of the problem that may have led to IBS. There are times when one needs to take some medication but it is advised to avoid medications as much as possible.
Since IBS is usually caused by problems in the gastrointestinal tract, some health experts recommend that an improper functioning digestive system is one of the major causes of IBS. Therefore, they insist that one needs to ensure proper functioning of the digestive system to get rid of IBS symptoms. There are a lot of things that can be done to ensure that your digestive system is functioning as efficiently as possible.
Diet plays a very important role in triggering symptoms of IBS. However, it is important to keep in mind that there is no particular food or particular type of diet that leads to these symptoms. However, it is important to control your diet to ensure that symptoms such as constipation or diarrhea do not occur.
It is important to be choosy about what you eat and drink. It is recommended to avoid any kind of sodas or other food that is high in sugar, alcohol, caffeine or salt. All of the processed foods impede digestion. Also, it is recommended to include more whole foods in your diet such as whole grains and vegetables and fruits.
Another benefit of vegetables and fruits is that these provide the much-needed natural fiber that is required by the body for efficient digestion.
In addition to eating particular type of foods and avoiding other types of foods, it is also important to monitor various food combinations.
For instance, food combinations also affect the digestion of particular foods. For instance, it is recommended to not mix of white potatoes or white bread with red meat or other dairy products. When these are taken together, our body may take 2 to 3 hours to digest these foods. On the other hand, our body normally digests all the food in less than 60 min.
Another thing that may help in keeping the symptoms of IBS at bay is to take minimum fluids while eating. It is recommended to chew foods as much as possible in the mouth before ingesting the food. Our saliva has a lot of beneficial bacteria that is added to the food while chewing. Chewing also increases the surface area of the food.
Due to this increase in surface area and addition of bacteria, the food is easily digested inside the stomach. However, when you drink a lot of water or sodas with your food, you normally tend to wash it down with the fluids instead of thoroughly chewing it.
Therefore, people who are suffering from IBS should avoid water with food. It may also affect stomach acid by diluting it.
Among the many alternative therapies prevalent for IBS, fasting has been known to be one of the most effective therapies. There are many different kinds of fasting such as a water fast or juice fast. Fasting works for treatment of IBS as it:
1. Give a break to the digestive system.
2. It allows the body to cleanse itself and detoxify.
3. It helps in breaking certain eating patterns.
4. It helps in promoting mental clarity.
5. It helps in increasing energy levels.
6. It also helps in treating certain emotional patterns.
Overall, many people have gotten rid of their IBS symptoms by fasting for a period of a few weeks.
It is important to keep in mind that fasting itself is not a cure. However when you fast, you help the body in re balancing everything.
Since you’re not putting in extra food into the body, it helps the body in getting rid of the already present toxins without worrying about processing extra food. One of the best ways to do fasting is to do an intermittent fast.