What is IBS?
IBS stands for Irritable Bowel syndrome or (Spastic Colon) and if you have it you will certainly about know it. The symptoms can be very debilitating, they include abdominal pain or discomfort, with frequent diarrhoea or constipation, a change in bowel habits and there may also be urgency for bowel movements, a feeling of incomplete evacuation (tenesmus), bloating or abdominal distension. In some cases, the symptoms are relieved by bowel movements.
Who Gets IBS?
IBS affects at least 20% of the population and is the No1 diagnosed gastrointestinal disorder. Unfortunately, IBS is often not taken seriously and is even often ridiculed by many people, including health professionals. Being screened for other intestinal diseases is the only way for a diagnosis of IBS. There is no one cause, many different foods, medications and lifestyle choices can affect your gut flora imbalances, which is thought to be the most common cause of IBS.
IBS can also cause you to react badly to a group of foods high in several types of carbohydrates know as FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) FODMAPS are not easy to digest and can linger in the small intestine while your gut flora ferment them. This digestive process can cause the dreaded pain, bloating, gas and constipation or diarrohea. Foods high in FODMAPS include, cauliflower, apple and onions. IBS suffers with an inflamed gut just cannot tolerate some of these fruit or vegetables. The fruit and vegetables are not unhealthy, but an IBS gut is. A low FODMAP diet has been shown to reduce symptoms in functional GI disorders such as IBS by 60-80%.
The Food Link
Avoiding modern food that most people may not be adapted to, is very important. Throughout your life, eating a diet free from toxins and high in nutrients will help your gut flora, eating junk food will harm them. The Paleo diet eliminates “edible substances” that are nutrient-poor and contain antinutrients, that irritate your gut, contribute to inflammation and autoimmune reactions and disrupts your blood sugars and hormones, such as:
Grains, especially gluten-containing grains, both whole and refined;
Legumes, including beans, lentils, soy and peanuts;
Most vegetable oils and seed oils;
Sugar, especially refined sugar such as high-fructose corn syrup;
Most dairy products;
These are all found in abundance in a western diet and we need to address this to heal our inflamed guts and give it a chance to function in a better way. A diet designed for overall gut health and recovery should be the first line in treatment against IBS. The Paleo diet is perfect for IBS sufferers and the results can be seen within a few weeks.
The way the Paleo diet does this is by keeping things simple, it mimics the diets of our caveman ancestors, to include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef,) pork, lamb, poultry, and, seafood, vegetables, fruit fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed). Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods were not part of our ancestral menus.
Drink plenty of water filtered or sparkling, tea or even try a bone broth to ensure a perfect start in healing your unhappy gut. The Paleo way is an approach to eating where you will know what goes in your food, no hidden nasties to surprise you later with a swollen tummy or rush to the toilet. Heal that gut and walk tall with a new bounce in your step. Then pass on your knowledge to someone else with IBS. They will thank you for it.