IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Fatigue, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea and/or constipation, nausea, skin rashes, excessive wind (flatulence), etc.
The lack of probiotics and fibre in the diet, poor gut health together with magnesium and vitamin D deficiency as well as chronic stress and irritability finally lead to the irritable bowel syndrome (known also as a spastic colon) which untreated may evolve into an autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease).
One of the key causes of IBS is Magnesium deficiency caused by refined diet, chronic stress, use of stimulants, soil depletion and other factors. Magnesium is necessary for the proper function of more than 325 different enzymes in the body, and maintaining adequate magnesium levels can ease the pain and spasms of IBS. The symptoms of magnesium deficiency lead to muscle spasms (including colon spasticity), heart palpitations, hypertension, sleep problems, migraines, PMS, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and fatigue.
The disease is also caused by the lack of probiotic bacteria in the gut due to bad refined diet, use of antibiotics, consumption of meat and dairy products, sugar, stimulants, overgrowth of harmful bacteria and candida (yeasts), toxins, stress, lack of dietary fibre, etc. All those factors damage the intestinal walls causing increased intestinal permeability and condition called leaky gut syndrome. As a result toxins instead of being removed from the colon are reabsorbed back into the blood through damaged walls. If IBS is left untreated it usually develops into ulcerative colitis which is an autoimmune condition. It means that now the immune system recognises colon as the source of the problem and sends antibodies against it causing inflammation and damage.
The key causes of IBS are the following:
1. Consumption of dairy products and any food which may contain milk or cheese;
3. Lack of probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut;
4. Magnesium deficiency;
5. Inability to control stress;
6. Chronic constipation caused by refined diet, lack of exercise, or stress;
7. Vitamin & mineral deficiencies and lack of antioxidants;
8. Medications (especially antibiotics).
If you manage to eliminate these key causes you should recover from this condition and prevent IBD!
– Artificial sweeteners are considered by many as one of the key causes of IBS and IBD! Read more >
– Also, deficiency of vitamin D may contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases as it is not only the most important immune system booster but also regulator which means it helps to prevent the immune system from attacking own body. There is a growing amount of research which suggests that a lack of vitamin D could be an important factor in causing autoimmune diseases. Almost every person in England is deficient in vitamin D which is very important for the human nervous and immune system. In his bestselling book “China Study” Prof Colin Campbell wrote that, “Autoimmune diseases, in general, become more common the greater the distance from the equator. This phenomenon has been known since 1922.” This statement leads us to a simple conclusion that Hashimoto disease may have a lot to do with the vitamin D (“sun vitamin”) deficiency as well as the modern unhealthy lifestyle of North America or Europe. Read more about vitamin D >
– Common food additives are linked to IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis! Read more >
– Magnesium, Zinc, and Selenium deficiency.
– Toxins: Mercury (from dental fillings, tap water, fish, flu shots, etc.) lead, fluoride, and other toxins.
– Gluten and heated animal protein (found especially in dairy) may also trigger IBS.
– Hormonal Imbalances: Too much cortisol (from stress).
– Stress, anxiety and depression.
– Consumption of trans fats, margarine and bad oils (high in pro-inflammatory omega 6) and deficiency of omega 3 healthy fats high in foods such as Flaxseed, Chia seed, etc..
– Bad lifestyle, an unhealthy diet high in sugar, processed refined foods, nutritional deficiencies, artificial sweeteners, lack of exercise, stimulants, drugs, medication, and in particular excessive stress, depression and pessimism may lead to the oversensitivity of the immune system which changes its nature and starts attacking own body.
– Consumption of meat and dairy products (can trigger an autoimmune response and causes hormonal imbalance), refined, junk and processed foods, refined sugar, white flour products, high glucose (high fructose) syrup, stimulants (including coffee, tea, green tea, cola, etc., nutritional deficiencies, white pasta, white rice, processed foods, stress, lack of exercise, etc.
– The most important aspect of successful treatment is lifestyle and diet according to the recommendations listed in the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >
Please study it carefully and do your best to use the remedies and implement all the principles. If you manage to do it you will recover from this problem.
HERBAL REMEDIES & SUPPLEMENTS
– IBS is treated with harmful medication, which has bad side effects. Fortunately, it is possible to recover from this disease by practising principles of a healthy lifestyle and using the following natural remedies:
– Use activated charcoal (especially in case of diarrhoea) to detoxify and heal the colon.
– Take good quality probiotic formulas as gut health greatly depends on a healthy ratio between good and bad bacteria. There are many studies which demonstrated a very beneficial effect of probiotic bacteria on IBS:
Please, be careful in choosing supplements with probiotic bacteria s not long ago scientists tested many popular products and supplements which were supposed to contain live probiotic bacteria and tests revealed it was true in only 30% of them! Also, the majority of yoghurts are deprived of live cultures and even if they contain some it is a much lower number than good quality probiotic supplements.
– Vitamin B12: 1,000 to 2,000 mcg a day under the tongue (must be sublingual Methylcobalamin!). Many people with IBS have low levels of this most important vitamin. Read a fascinating article on B12 >
– You must take Vitamin D3 because almost all people today are deficient in Vitamin D! Without this vitamin, your IBS may turn to much worse ulcerative colitis which is an autoimmune condition. While using vitamin D3 supplements always remember to take also well-absorbed magnesium (such as citrate) as vitamin D supplements lead to magnesium deficiency over time. Take at least 5,000 – 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day with a meal. But since deficiency of this vitamin is so widespread (especially in the UK) it would be better to take 20,000 to 30,000 IU a day for a few months and then reduce to 10,000 with meals with appropriate doses of magnesium. Another requirement for proper absorption of vitamin D is 200 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-7 (Derived from Natural Natto) a day. Read more about vitamin D >
– Magnesium: Apart from a good probiotic formula (such as UltraProbio, ColiProbio or DailyProbio), the most important nutritional supplement to be used use for those who suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome or spastic colon) is a good quality Magnesium such as Magnesium Citrate or Bisglycinate. Since one of the key causes of IBS is irritability, anxiety and chronic stress, supplemental Magnesium is so important because it imposes a calming effect on the nervous system and at the same time it relaxes spastic muscles (including colon)! Take 150-200 mg of Magnesium Citrate or Bisglycinate twice daily (in the morning and evening). Magnesium Citrate is an excellent form of magnesium but if you take too much it may work as a mild laxative. If your colon is inflamed and oversensitive and you want to avoid any laxative effect, start from smaller doses such as 50-100 mg twice daily and gradually increase the dose. You can also change the type of Magnesium to avoid the laxative effect completely. For instance, Magnesium Bisglycinate (magnesium bound with amino acid Glycine) is one of the most bioavailable forms of Magnesium and has no laxative effect at all. In addition, amino acid Glycine (in Magnesium Bisglycinate) will impose an additional calming effect on the nervous system.
– 5-HTP (Tryptophan): According to Dr Maxwell „Patients with IBS should take 300-400mg of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP) a day with food to boost serotonin levels. In the majority of patients, symptoms improve to such point that within a few weeks we can focus on more important topics, like who is going to win American Idol?” (>).
– Good quality Multivitamin-mineral formula or Vitamin B-complex: 1 tablet after breakfast. Please do not buy cheap formulas as their potency is very low and they contain only a short list of inorganic ingredients. It must be a good quality formula such as Healthy Mega (HealthAid), VM75 (Solgar) or Special Two (NOW Foods) which are an excellent multi-vitamin and mineral formulas fortified with alfalfa powder, rutin, citrus bioflavonoids, bromelain, herbs, digestive enzymes and many other super nutrients. If your diet is very healthy and you stay away from refined foods, sugar and stimulants then take only 1/2 tablet after breakfast.
– Since Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folate) play a very important role in dealing with ADHD I recommend getting B complex with a good quality multivitamin-mineral formula which is high in B vitamins. One of my favourite ones is Healthy Mega (HealthAid) as it is not only high in B vitamins and at the same time, it contains zinc, selenium, herbs, digestive enzymes, micronutrients, and few super grasses. Compared with other popular formulas Healthy mega may contain even up to 60 times more vitamins per tablet!
– Take good quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements (HealthAid makes excellent omega 3 fish oil as it is molecularly distilled and therefore perfectly free from mercury and other contaminants >): 1000 mg 2 times a day with meals. I recommend this one also because it is high in both EPA and DHA (DHA omega 3 is more important in improving brain function while EPA in coping with inflammation).
If you don’t want to use a molecularly distilled omega 3 fish oil (such as the mentioned above one by HealthAid) it’s much better to use high in DHA omega 3 oil from algae (expensive) and not from fish as unlike fish oils, the algae-derived omega 3, is free from toxins that may be present in some low-quality fish oils. In case you prefer to avoid swallowing gelatine capsule pierce or cut the omega 3 capsule and squeeze it into a meal or liquid.
– Boost Glutathione levels which is the most powerful of all antioxidants and strengthens the immune system and is one of the most effective remedies against autoimmune diseases. It boosts the body’s ability to modulate and regulate the immune system. It is also important to provide the body with ingredients that increase glutathione production in the liver by taking turmeric, milk thistle, NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), bioactive whey protein, Glutamine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, bilberry, vitamin C, asparagus, broccoli, peaches, avocado, spinach, garlic, squash, grapefruit.
Read an excellent article on most effective ways to increase GLUTATHIONE >
– Taking selenium supplements and increasing consumption of foods high in selenium (Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, garlic, onions, etc.).
– Zinc (helps produce thyroid hormone) – 30 to 50mg a day after breakfast.
– Boswellia (Viridian): according to one study 82% of patients on Boswellia experienced remission from IBD!
– Clean greens powder (Pukka) is my favourite and one of the most powerful natural remedies I know. Many of our customers told me how effective this formula was in dealing with skin conditions, inflammations, back pains, chronic fatigue, diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal problems, liver and kidneys problems, weak immune system, etc. It consists of an organic blend of very potent 11 super-rich mostly freeze-dried green superfoods including Wheat Grass Juice (30 times stronger than regular juice!), Nettle, Chlorella, Spirulina, Kale Sprouts, Seagreens, freshwater plants and digestive herbs. Made with some of nature’s finest herbs, grown in fertile organic soils it captures the incredible essence of nature’s bounty. Take 1 teaspoon of the powder 30 min before breakfast and 1 teaspoon 30 min before lunch with Aloe vera juice (Pukka) or vegetable juice or distilled water.
– Beneficial herbs: Tulsi (Holy Basil), Lemon balm (Melissa), Valerian root, Chamomile, Hops.
A few results of studies that will give you additional ideas on what can be beneficial in dealing with IBS:
NUTRITIONAL AND LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS
Autoimmune diseases can be reversed by practising the following guidelines:
– No Splenda or other artificial sweeteners!!! Use Xylitol or Stevia instead.
– No sugar and high glucose / high fructose syrup!!! Use Xylitol or Stevia instead.
– Drink and use for cooking only distilled or at least filtered water. Not all water filters remove fluoride, so make sure the one you have does or use only distilled water (buy a water distiller). Taking chlorella and turmeric help to get rid of fluoride and heavy metals such as mercury.
– Avoid gluten (wheat products, etc.) as it may cause the immune system start sending antibodies not only against gluten proteins but against proteins found in different organs causing autoimmune diseases such as IBD that usually follows IBS. Many people with autoimmune diseases have an autoimmune reaction to gluten, and it usually goes unrecognised. Gluten can cause the gastrointestinal system to malfunction, so foods aren’t completely digested. These food particles can then be absorbed into the bloodstream where the body misidentifies them as antigens and then produces antibodies against them.
– Avoid all dairy products (cheese is the worst!) as heated dairy protein (especially A1 casein) often irritates the immune system stimulating it to produce antibodies against different internal organs including the colon. The most common allergies and food intolerances today are from wheat and dairy products because of the hybridized proteins of gluten and a1 casein. These proteins can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome which leads to inflammation.
– Avoid all meat products.
– Eliminate stimulants (alcohol, smoking, anything with caffeine or other similar harmful alkaloids: coffee, tea, green tea, mate, yerba mate, cola, chocolate, etc.)!
– Go on vegan unrefined diet as it gives best results. Eat especially with lots of raw vegetable salads and raw vegetable juices. Hallelujah diet leads to remission >
– Eliminate all junk food, processed food, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, and anything with bad preservatives and chemical.
– Eat whole, unprocessed foods, and choose as many organics as possible.
– Vitamin U (has powerful colon healer): Kale juice is the highest source. Mix kale juice with carrot juice. Drink 3 times a day before meals.
– Get adequate sun exposure if possible (20 minutes a day during summertime between 10 am and 2 pm) to maintain vitamin D levels.
– Use glass bottles as Bisphenol A (BPA) which is found in plastic bottles and cans (they are lined up with plastic) disrupt the endocrine system.
– Avoiding chlorine, fluoride (toothpastes with fluoride, etc.), and bromine as they also contribute to IBS and autoimmune diseases such as IBD.
– Avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats (margarines, doughnuts, cakes, etc.) and pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids (soy oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, etc.).
– Increase consumption of omega 3 fatty acids in the form of ground flax seeds, chia seeds. Omega 3s are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function and cell growth.
– Detoxifying body from heavy metals by using a combination of Chlorella, Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Cilantro.
– Remove any dental fillings containing mercury.
– Increase intake of healthy fats such as raw coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado, chia seeds (soaked for at least 30 minutes or overnight), ground flaxseed, and hemp seeds as they will balance hormones. Coconut oil is one of the best foods for thyroid. Coconut oil is a saturated fat comprising medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are known to increase metabolism and promote weight loss. Coconut oil is very stable (shelf life of three to five years at room temperature), so the body is much less burdened with oxidative stress than it is from many other vegetable oils.
– Increase consumption of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene found in carrots, apricots, green leafy vegetables, etc.
– You need more fibre but increase it gradually. Start from vegetable juices as they are deprived of fibre and will heal the colon. You can try steamed and cooked vegetables and slowly add more raw vegetables.
– Avoid hot spices, fried foods, and salt.
– Avoid antibiotics and aspirin.
– Exercise at least 30–60 minutes per day.
– Get enough sleep.
– Practice deep breathing.
– Address adrenal fatigue. A prolonged stress response can lead to adrenal exhaustion (also known as adrenal fatigue). Find out more about ADRENAL FATIGUE >
– Proper stress control and positive thinking – extremely important!
– Treat unresolved emotional issues as a source of stress. Autoimmune diseases reflect emotions and mental attitude. When people with autoimmune diseases make progress in treating unresolved emotional issues, their symptoms subside. Stress, anxiety or depression are often key culprits. It is important to identify the stressors and learn to use ways such as prayer that can help to control stress and negative emotions.
– Read about the DEADLY CONSEQUENCES OF UNFORGIVINGNESS >
Hafström I, Ringertz B, Spångberg A, et al. A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2001, 40:1175-1179.
Proudman SM, James MJ, Spargo LD, et al. Fish oil in recent-onset rheumatoid arthritis: a randomised, double-blind controlled trial within algorithm-based drug use. Ann Rheum Dis 2013.
Tursi A, Brandimarte G, Papa A, et al. Treatment of relapsing mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis with the probiotic VSL#3 as adjunctive to standard pharmaceutical treatment: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Am J Gastroenterol 2010, 105:2218-2227.
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