If you have what is termed an ‘irritable bowel’, you may be relieved to know there are alternative treatments to try. Almost all of us have some food that causes problems with our digestion, perhaps you know what they are for you.
Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pains and other symptoms of an irritable bowel might just be due to your eating habits.
You know a particular food causes you stomach problems, but perhaps you eat it anyway, and you pay the price. These short-term, acute symptoms may be obvious, although often the connection to a particular food type can go unrealized for years or decades.
However, long-term effects are even more profound. The damage is internal and unseen. If nothing worse, repeated incidences usually worsen the problem due to increased sensitivity to the particular food or food type. This will tend to worsen both the rate of incidence and the degree of symptoms.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
While occasional digestive problems caused by some uncooperative food are normal, the irritable bowel syndrome which strikes roughly 2 in every 10 American adults is something else entirely.
The issue is common in other westernized countries as well. Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS as it is known in medical circles, can deliver a myriad of symptoms. They may be severe or barely noticeable, and flare-ups can lead to hours of extreme discomfort and pain.
Bloating and diarrhea, gas and constipation, abdominal distension, pains and aches are all signs that irritable bowel syndrome may have developed.
There are 3 main types of IBS, classified according to the prevalent symptom:
- Irritable bowel syndrome with alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation
- Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea
- Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation
Conventional medicine attacks these issues with several different prescribed and over-the-counter medications. A chemist, GP or gastroenterologist will suggest a medicine based on the symptom which is bothering you the most.
Going the Natural Route
However, if you are natural health advocate, let’s look at your options for relieving and treating the causes and symptoms of your problems.
Your doctor can recommend dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as therapies that heal the problem naturally. From specific exercises and herbs to hypnosis and acupuncture, there are several natural, alternative steps you can take to prevent and alleviate the bloating, pain and other causes and symptoms of an irritable bowel.
Gassy foods sometimes cause or exacerbate digestive aches and pains. This means cutting out or eliminating cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and beans from your diet for a couple of weeks.
See if that makes any difference. If not, then you will understand that those foods are not the problem, and something else may be triggering your painful bowel problems.
Eliminating wheat, rye and barley, as well as foods with fructose and lactose, often helps reduce or eliminate IBS symptoms as these are often the cause or a contributor. Adding natural fiber supplements to your diet may also help.
Hypnotherapy for IBS Relief
There are multiple clinical trials which show hypnosis is an effective way to naturally relieve IBS symptoms without drugs. A trained hypnotherapist will put you in a highly relaxed and impressionable state, and then suggest feelings of comfort rather than abdominal and digestive pain, diarrhea or constipation. The fact that this works indicates that the cause may not always necessarily be diet-related.
The Ancient Art of Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been used for literally thousands of years to heal a myriad of health problems, both mental and physical. It is believed in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that the human body has multiple energy channels.
When they become blocked, they can create health problems like an irritable bowel. Acupuncture has proven successful for some people to alleviate the bloating, pain and nausea which accompanies a problematic digestive system.
Tangerine peels and licorice herbs are often prescribed by herbalists for the treatment of IBS. Senna and cascara are a couple of herbs routinely used by natural healers to reduce or eliminate symptoms of an irritable bowel.
Slippery elm, artichoke leaf extract, aloe vera and chamomile have also proven successful as alternative, natural treatments for irritable bowel syndrome.