Irritable Bowel Syndrome isn’t the most pleasant of topics that we ever attempted to broach. But, there are millions of people around the world who suffer daily from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (also known as spastic colon), thousands of them right here in Kuwait, and something needs to be done to help them.
If you aren’t sure what IBS is, here are some of the possible symptoms:
• bloating or gassiness (sometimes very severe)
(or vacillating between the two for no apparent reason)
• mucus in bowel movement
• abdominal pain (either in one place or radiating)
• cramping (sometimes severe)
• pain in legs, back, sides
• tightness in chest (sometimes it seems like a heart attack)
In reality, IBS is basically a catch-all term for all those symptoms that were mentioned above, when they don’t have any obvious organic reason. After all the normal testing is done, including barium enema, barium drink, scopes (possibly upper and lower), and more, and nothing noteworthy shows up, the label IBS is attached. IBS can be chronic or acute. There are people who suddenly suffer from certain symptoms, and after testing comes up negative on everything, are diagnosed with IBS, and then soon after spontaneously recover. Others suffer for years and even while taking medication, never really feel much better for very long. Treating IBS is also a challenge for conventional medicine, since it is often merely a diagnosis of the process of elimination lacking the presence of organic evidence of anything else, so how do you treat it? Normally it is only the symptoms that are treated, for example the upset stomach, the gas, and the constipation or diarrhea, often with little or no relief.
Alternative medicine takes a bit of a different view when it comes to IBS. I have been successfully treating IBS for years, with an almost 100% success rate. How is that? My view (along with many other alternative practitioners) is that IBS is basically a result of sensitivities or allergies of one sort or the other. These sensitivities (or allergies) manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including sinus problems, skin problems, migraines, and IBS. So, one way to treat IBS is to treat the underlying sensitivity or allergy. While this isn’t a simple task, it isn’t difficult to do, and there are basic rules that seem to apply to most people and work in most cases
The diet is one of the most important areas to look at when dealing with IBS. Dietary changes are often all that is needed to “cure” the problem. In fact, the elimination of high carbohydrate foods is often all that is required. Foods like potatoes, bread, rice, sugary foods, and more are often the problem. For some reason, it seems that many people simply cannot process these foods and thus, suffer with the symptoms of IBS when eating them. If you suffer from IBS try cutting out these things, along with artificial colorings, preservatives, additives, soy (and its byproducts), dairy (and its byproducts), corn (and its byproducts), tomatoes, high citrus fruits, tea, coffee, chocolate, and anything else that causes discomfort when eaten.
Stress also plays an important part in the manifestation and treatment of IBS. So, keeping your stress levels down is always going to help. Now, while I am well aware that in this day and age, keeping stress low is going to be an almost insurmountable task, it can be done, nonetheless. You must do whatever it takes, as your health depends on it. So, if you suffer from this or other stress-related diseases lowering the stress in your life is of utmost importance. This can be done in many ways, including decompressing in a warm bath, taking a leisurely walk, reading a good book, relaxing with good friends, meditating, playing your favorite sport, going horseback riding, painting, or whatever it is that you like to do. Don’t keep on saying, “later”, because later will never come.
There are many alternative therapies that have been found to have good results for IBS, including: reflexology, aromatherapy, Chinese acupressure (and acupuncture), hypnotherapy, ayurveda, yoga, and more. These can be used together or individually, and are often so effective that they can even completely cure the problem.
In our herbal pharmacy, we have many choices, and most of them can be found right in our own kitchens! Herbs like peppermint, fennel seed, anise seed, chamomile, thyme, sage, ginger, rosemary, and marjoram, to name a few. Some other herbs that, while they probably aren’t going to be available in your own pantry, are widely available in the herbal marketplace worldwide are: marshmallow leaf, slippery elm, psyllium husks, ginseng, evening primrose, golden seal, Echinacea, and more.
Here are some good choices for herbal remedies that you can do easily at home:
Clearly IBS is a miserable problem that no one wants to suffer from. It is painful and embarrassing. So, for those who suffer, a solution is extremely important. The solution that you look for is right here in the world of alternatives, and right there in your own kitchen!
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared in the Arab Times newspaper in Kuwait in July 200.