Irritable Bowel Syndrome

High fibre diet is a must, as it will regulate the bowels and soothe the digestive tract. Include whole grains, raw or lightly cooked vegetables, and legumes. Avoid wheat bran though, as it can propel waste matter through the intestines faster than is comfortable. Ground flaxseeds are a good fibre choice.

Drink a glass of clean water every two hours to ease transit time of waste matter and to keep the whole body functioning smoothly.

Eat sauerkraut or other naturally fermented foods daily, to replenish friendly bacteria in the bowels.

Avoid dairy products as lactose is often a trigger for IBS-like symptoms. Studies have shown that 70% of IBS suffers, have a lactose-intolerance problem.

Avoid mucus-forming foods such as dairy products, fried and processed foods, refined flours, and chocolate, as these foods encourage toxins to accumulate.

Caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, and tobacco all irritate the stomach lining, and may also contribute to stress.

Avoid ice-cold drinks, which inhibit digestion and may cause cramping.

Recent research shows many people with IBS are sensitive to the sweetener fructose, so avoid or limit it in the diet.

Saturated, hydrogenated, and partially hydrogenated fats disturb the intestines and are hard to digest. Stay away from red meat, butter, margarine, and fried foods.

Vegetable juice fasting is a good way of eliminating toxins which have accumulated as a result of improper bowel function; do this fast once a month for three consecutive months.

Avoid processed foods as they cause stomach and intestinal disorders, when consumed on a daily basis.

Eating hastily or at irregular times and not adhering to a regular cycle of sleep and exercise can be additional problems.

Corn, wheat, and citrus have been known to be culprits.

Manage stress.

When your intestines feel tight and cramped, lie down with a heating pad or a warm compress against your abdomen.

Black pepper can relieve constipation and improve sluggish digestion. Use it on a hot compress applied directly to the abdomen.

At night, or whenever you feel IBS pain or cramps, massage your abdomen. Lie down in bed, with your knees bent, and gently examine the abdomen for areas of tension. When you feel those regions, massage them with the flat of your hand, using firm but gentle pressure.

Avoid swallowing air, and do not chew gum or smoke.

Do not take antacids or laxatives.

Wear loose fitting clothing.