IBS: A Growing Problem, But One With a Solution
Submitted by Greg Arnold, October 6, 2003, Abstracted from "Managing Gut Reactions" in Taste For Life Magazine, October 2003 issue, p. 12
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common benign disorder of the digestive system. IBS is a functional disorder, meaning nothing is visibly wrong with the colon or any other underlying illnesses causing the symptoms. In people with IBS, the gut signals going back and forth to the brain are not acting properly, but there is no visible disease or illness other than this functional problem (1).
Although 13 of 16 studies demonstrated prescription drug efficacy with significant improvements in pain (2), there is no need to rely on expensive prescription drugs more than Americans already do, spending $192 billion on prescription drugs in 2002, an increase from $110 billion since 1992 (3)
As is usually the case, there are healthy alternatives to prescription drugs when it comes to your digestive health:
- ALOE VERA JUICE. When taken with meals, aloe vera juice or gel (sold as a digestive aid) helps repair and soothe the digestive tract.
- PEPPERMINT. Taken 15 to 30 minutes before eating as an enteric-coated tablet, this herb can also help IBS symptoms.
- CHAMOMILE TEA acts as a potent muscle relaxer/anti-spasmodic.
- GINGER, LEMON BALM all provide soothing effects of IBS, mostly due to their anti-inflammatory effects.
If you try the proposed treatments but still find no relief, you should take a good look at the foods you eat. You may have an unknown allergy, such as gluten, which has started to be implicated in celiac disease, a digestive disorder more serious than IBS.
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