By Smarty — One of many Digestive blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a condition that affects up to one in five Americans. IBS is a painful and debilitating condition that can cause a loss of the quality of life. Things that most of us take for granted, like eating out, traveling, taking the bus, going for a hike, or playing golf, can be impossible for people with IBS. It usually appears in early adulthood but it can appear at any time.
Often people think that there is no treatment for IBS. Their doctor will prescribe anti-depressants to raise their pain threshold, but this simply treats the symptoms of pain and does not actually attack the root of the problem. Other conventional medications for IBS can have extremely dangerous side effects, including death.
However, there are many ways to naturally and safely improve your health and alleviate your IBS symptoms. One of the most common ways to do this is to change your diet. Most people who suffer from IBS already know their trigger foods, or foods that cause onset of an episode of IBS. These trigger foods are commonly fatty, rich foods, dairy products, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, or spicy foods. If you have IBS, avoid these trigger foods as much as possible. There are also many foods you can add to your diet to help alleviate your IBS.
Soluble fiber is helpful for people with diarrhea. It works by forming a gel and slowing down the progression of food through the intestines. Raw fruits and vegetables, beans, oats and oat bran, barley, and potatoes are all excellent natural sources of soluble fiber. However, too much coarse fiber should be avoided, as this can exacerbate intestinal discomfort. Soluble fiber should come primarily from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Kiwi fruit is an excellent food to add to your diet if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Not only is it high in soluble fiber, it is the most nutrient-dense fruit. It has twice the amount of vitamin C as an orange and is a good source of magnesium and potassium. Another interesting thing about kiwi fruit is that it is one of the few low-fat sources of vitamin E. This is especially important to IBS sufferers since most sources of vitamin E are high in fat. The kiwi fruit provides a good source of vitamin E to those who cannot tolerate high fat foods. Kiwi also contains high levels of actinidin, which is an enzyme that mimics pepsin. Pepsin is a natural enzyme that aids in digestion.
If diet and exercise have failed to alleviate your Irritable Bowel Syndrome, there are other natural, safe products that have been formulated to help IBS sufferers.
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