The Stress Factor and IBS: Grace was suffering under a heavy load of stress. Her daily commute into London was leaving her exhausted, followed by hours working for a new boss, who had it in for her from the start. Her job as a marketing analysist was highly demanding, fueling an unhealthy lifestyle during the working week and then using her free time every weekend to care for her elderly mother.
One day without warning, Grace keeled over at her desk, complaining of painful stomach cramps and nausea, before rushing off to vomit. The pain and sickness lasted for hours…..This was the first indication that something was wrong and that something needed to change.
Stress causes intestinal spasms in people with IBS, so reducing stress is a key part of treating the condition. Nerves in the colon control the intestine’s contractions. Many nerves connect the colon to the brain, which helps explains why people get “butterflies” in their stomach when they’re nervous or excited. In people with IBS, the colon can respond to even the slightest stressor. Beyond that, stress tends to make people especially aware of uncomfortable or painful symptoms. The most common disorders among IBS patients are depression and anxiety. If left untreated they can make IBS symptoms worse.
The Effects of a Bad Diet
Many people say their IBS symptoms are triggered by eating certain foods. As a result, treatment includes figuring out which foods are the culprits and avoiding them when you eat. Changes in diet may reduce IBS symptoms in 50 to 70 percent of people. Before changing your diet, take note over the course of several days to see which foods seem to cause problems. Foods that commonly trigger IBS symptoms include:
- Dairy products
- Fatty foods
- Vegetables, like beans or broccoli, that cause gas
- Foods containing the sweeteners sorbitol and fructose
- Wheat cereals
Healthy Alternatives to Improve Your Diet
- Eat more fiber. Dietary fiber often helps reduce IBS symptoms in both patients who have constipation as well as those who have diarrhea. Check for more options:
- Eating smaller meals more often or eating smaller portions. Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea.
- Consuming probiotics, such as yogurt. Research suggests that adding “good” bacteria may help return the balance of the microflora in the bowel to normal or prevent disease-causing bacteria from attaching to the bowel
- Drink six to eight glasses of water a day, especially if you have diarrhea. Avoid drinking carbonated beverages.
Consider Techniques to Reduce Daily Stress:
- Relaxation training, such as meditation and guided imagery
- Regular exercise techniques
- Breathing techniques
- Improving sleeping patterns
Although there have been no well-designed studies of chiropractic for IBS, Chiropractors report that spinal manipulation may improve symptoms of IBS in some people. In these cases, spinal manipulation may have a balancing effect on the nerves that supply impulses to the intestinal tract. A Chiropractor will also assess your overall health and wellbeing including nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, spinal health maintenance and prevention to achieve a more healthier, balanced quality of life. The West Sussex Chiropractic Clinic has been established in Crawley since 2003 and in that time we are grateful to have helped thousands of patients in the West Sussex community. Our two Chiropractors operate on varied shifts so we are available 8am to 8pm most days.
If you would like to find out more, please call the clinic today 01293 510 210 and one of our friendly staff will help you to schedule an appointment time that suits you.
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We look at all aspects of your health and we have many blogs on diet and nutrition as well. Do check these out Acid/Alkaline in your foods and how it is linked to Osteoporosis, protein in vegetables so you don’t have to eat so much meat, and another is on the eating healthily Pyramid and we have so many more for you to check out.