10 Tips for IBS Awareness Month

ibsIrritable bowel syndrome affects millions of Americans every day, and April is a time to take action. All month long healthcare providers and communities nationwide will be working together to help raise awareness about IBS, how it is diagnosed, and how to improve the quality of life for those suffering from the condition.

While the cause of IBS is still largely unknown, symptoms often include some combination of abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea and/or constipation. If you or someone you know is living with IBS, here are 10 tips for improving bowel health:

  1. Add More Fiber. Fiber supports healthy digestive function by helping to absorb and eliminate toxins in the colon that may aggravate IBS symptoms.‡
  2. Limit Fried and Fatty Foods. Fried foods and certain fatty meats may contribute to IBS. Be sure to consume these types of foods in moderation.
  3. Cut Back on Caffeine. Highly caffeinated foods and beverages (such as coffee, tea, soda and chocolate) have been shown to worsen IBS symptoms.
  4. Avoid Foods High in Sulfur. Some foods that are healthy—including veggies such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, and broccoli—are high in sulfur and may actually trigger IBS symptoms. Opt for low-sulfur veggies instead.
  5. Don’t Rule Out Food Sensitivity. IBS symptoms may stem from an underlying food sensitivity; the two most common are gluten and dairy. A gluten-free diet, dairy-free diet (or both) may help improve IBS symptoms in some people.
  6. Be Kind to Your Digestive Tract. Many herbs and natural ingredients such as marshmallow root, slippery elm, and the amino acid L-glutamine have been found to help nourish and soothe the intestinal tract and bowel.‡
  7. Promote Balance with Probiotics. Eating more probiotic foods helps maintain a balanced internal environment and supports optimal digestion and bowel health.‡
  8. Drink Plenty of Water. Drinking plenty of water (at least half your body weight in ounces every day) helps flush out toxins and other harmful microbes that may be causing IBS symptoms.
  9. Consider Colon Hydrotherapy. IBS sufferers—especially those with severe symptoms—may find that natural colon hydrotherapy helps cleanse the system and improve digestive health and elimination.
  10. Stay Informed with the IBS Information App. The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) provides a mobile app to help people learn more about IBS. IBS Info is available for use on iOS and Android platforms.

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Good Nutrition for Kids and 3 Benefits of Probiotics

girl_w_tomatoesNowadays teaching our children about good nutrition is more important than ever, especially since many kids fall short when it comes to getting the essential nutrients their growing bodies need. Several recent studies about kids’ health have warned parents about the dangers of too much sugar and not enough fiber in the diet, pointing out that such eating habits can significantly impact their health in the long run.

Up to 80% of the immune system is found in and around the digestive tract, but a high-sugar, low-fiber diet can deplete the amount of good bacteria in your child’s gut. This can lead to occasional tummy upset, poor digestion, and a decrease in healthy immune function. Probiotic supplements for kids are a safe and gentle way to help replenish the balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract and support the developing immune system.‡ Below are three key benefits of adding a daily probiotic to your child’s diet:

  1. Healthy Immune Function‡ Added beneficial bacteria support a healthy digestive balance and help teach the immune system to respond appropriately to outside challenges.‡
  2. Regular Bowel Movements‡ Regular elimination needs a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut. Daily probiotics have been shown to help support that balance, which in turn promotes regularity and helps prevent the occasional upset tummy.‡
  3. Healthy Digestion‡ In addition to producing vitamins—including important B vitamins—probiotics produce digestive enzymes and support regular, balanced digestion.‡

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