We have become increasingly aware that the state of our GUT or DIGESTIVE SYSTEM is one of the most important factors in achieving optimum health.
80% of our immunity relies on having a healthy digestive system and you are much more prone to common illnesses, infections and more serious diseases if you have a weakened immune system.
It is also true that your mental health is reliant on a well-functioning GUT. It is no accident that we talk about “gut reaction” as our GUT is our second brain! Have you ever felt nervous and had to make a quick trip to the loo? Do you suffer mood changes when you are hungry perhaps?
Many common skin conditions, e.g. Eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, warts, etc can also be related to gut health, and many can be cleared by addressing problems of malabsorption, allergies, parasites and irritants and by working towards a healthy DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.
There are 2 key nutrients that help our gut to function well. It is important to introduce these nutrients into an eating plan on a daily basis, and to fill in any gaps with natural high quality supplementation. There are key times in our lives when these supplements help the gut to overcome or recover from environmental influences such as:
- Hormone disruptors – e.g. the stress hormone cortisol
- Illness and disease
So an imbalance of gut flora and a poor digestive system, is a primary cause of one of the most common diagnosis of our modern day: Irritable Bowel Syndrome.(IBS)
What is IBS?
IBS is usually diagnosed when you have abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 times per month for the last 3 months without other disease or injury that could explain this. IBS is thought to affect 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives, and it usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30.
Around twice as many women are affected as men.
The exact cause of IBS is unknown, however most experts think that it is related to increased sensitivity of the gut and problems digesting food.
These problems can mean that you are more sensitive to pain coming from your gut, and you may become constipated or have diarrhoea because your food passes through your gut either too quickly or too slowly.
Psychological factors, such as stress, also often play a part in IBS.
Although we can’t always promise to completely cure IBS, symptoms can be MASSIVELY improved by making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, and adding specific nutrient rich supplements.
- Wind and/or bloating
- Diarrhoea or constipation, or both
- Low abdominal pain, which may ease after opening the bowels or be accompanied by a change in bowel habit or stool appearance
- Passing mucus
- Feeling the need to open the bowels even after having just been to the toilet
- A feeling of urgency
- Feeling that your symptoms are worse after eating.
Hang on: What is IBS?
An umbrella term for when your Doctor doesn’t really know/understand what’s wrong with you and/or doesn’t really know what to do with you!
There is very Little Support/Guidance available. These quotes are typical of IBS sufferers:
“I had tried so many different things to try and sort out my IBS that I had lost hope and just put up with it.”
“I have been struggling with IBS and living in pain for a long time; after years of visiting doctors and specialists who dismissed my problems as the untreatable ‘IBS’, along with altering my diet and lifestyle with no result I was at my wits end.”
You don’t have to be running to the toilet every 20 minutes or have been diagnosed as having ‘IBS’ to have digestive issues and weak digestive/intestinal systems.
Common RED FLAGS of a weak Digestive and Intestinal System
- Bloating (fairly soon after eating, 5-20 mins)
- Acid Reflux
- Bloating/discomfort/pain (later on after eating, hours-days)
- Excessive Gas
- Toxic or smelly stools or gas
Everyday Eating for IBS and Digestive Issues
The fundamental idea of eating for IBS is to avoid foods that over-stimulate or irritate the colon, and eat foods that soothe and regulate it.
Everyone is different, but there are some common helpful/unhelpful foods & methods that work for most people.
- Have regular meals and take time to eat at a leisurely pace.
- Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between eating.
- Try to avoid eating late at night
- Identify and avoid foods that trigger symptoms
Watch out for FAT!
The gut normally responds to food by contracting, and the strength of the response seems to be linked to the amount of fat in the meal.
Cut down on processed fats in your diet and have only healthy fats.
Minimise Salt Intake Again, in processed foods. Natural salt is fine
Eat less sugar, as it causes inflammation
Eat more Fibre (but…be careful!)
- Spicy foods
- Artificial sweeteners
- Chemicals (preservatives, colourings, flavouring)
Most people find that exercise helps to relieve the symptoms of IBS.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. It is critically important for the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal system.
If your body is sluggish, your stomach will follow suit; if your body is fit and active, your stomach will be healthier and better regulated.
In a 2011 study, IBS sufferers who were counselled to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, three to five days a week, saw a dramatic improvement in abdominal pain, stool problems, and other symptoms.
However, beware of Exercise induced IBS!
What can you do to help?
IBS and digestive issues can be difficult to treat because triggers and symptoms can vary so much from person to person.
Symptoms can be very unpredictable – and can come and go over days, weeks or even months.
The key is to restore OPTIMUM health.
Book your FREE 20 minute consultation HERE to find out how we can help you
The dietary advice and supplements that Gill has recommended are miracle workers!! I have suffered for so long and now have a new lease of life!
All of my friends and family have noticed how much slimmer and healthier I look and how I have got my old confidence back.
I am so happy to have been offered real advice and help. Thank you Gill. I can get on with life now without being ruled by my IBS.