Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not a disease, but rather a condition that affects the function and behaviour of the intestines. Symptoms may include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas mucus and diarrhea and/or constipation. It is important to understand that IBS does not cause inflammation, permanent damage to the GI tract or an increased risk of colorectal cancer. The exact cause of IBS is unknown although research does suggest that many people report more symptoms after eating specific foods, spicy, certain fruits and vegetables, wheat, coffee, alcohol, milk and high fat/processed foods.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a group of inflammatory conditions in which the body’s own immune system attacks parts of the digestive system.
The two most common IBD’s are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). There is no cure for IBD, so as with any other disease, it is so important to develop a health management strategy. Symptoms may include urgent bowel movements, diarrhea, bloody stool, abdominal pain and cramping. It is common with IBD to experience periods of active flares ups when symptoms are extreme and present, and times of remission, with little or no symptoms.

IBS and IBD are not caused by diet, however, what we put into our body and how we care for it, may affect symptoms, worsen or lessen them.

A well balanced, individualized eating program is necessary to reduce symptoms and assist in the management of them over the short and long term.

Chronic diarrhea can lead to dehydration even if the person is consuming larger amounts of fluids. Maintaining adequate hydration is vital and may require the help of a professional.

During periods of flare-ups, when your symptoms are at their worse, here are some ideas to help manage them.

Eat smaller meals and allow 3 to 4 hours for proper digestion, assimilation and elimination. The 3 to 4 hours requires no caloric intake. This includes beverages. So during eating, it is important to consume the right amounts of calories and nutrients needed to sustain this time frame.

Omit the fried and fatty fast food/processed foods. There is nothing more to say here.

Watch your dairy intake. Dairy can be very irritating on the gut and bowels.

Restrict certain high fibre foods. This is a tough one as it is not just a matter of omitting one certain food.

During flare up and/or when symptoms are high, it is important to eat plain, soft easily digestible foods. This is a time to be kind to your intestines

Try these foods:
white rice
smooth peanut butter
smoothies (no berries as they have seeds)
bland soft foods
steamed vegetables
baked or steamed fish
mashed potatoes & squash without the skins
warm beverages including water

Try avoiding these foods:
fresh fruit unless blended or stewed
raw foods
high fibre foods such as enriched breads, cereals, granola, nuts and seeds fatty foods- all of it
cold beverages or foods- eat soups
caffeine including tea & kombucha
spicy foods

If you are experiencing symptoms or have been diagnosed with IBS or IBD developing a health management program NOW is necessary.

My Remove, Replenish, Restore program may be a good idea to assist in resetting your body to give you more to work with. Let me know if I can help in any way.

 xoxo Connie Oliwa

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