If you’re one of us who has experience IBS in the past then you already know how painful and uncomfortable it can be. You’re constatnly worryin gabout a flare up at a dinner party or on those road trips with minimal bathroom breaks… Yikes!
You might also have IBS and not even know it! Are you one of them
You might blame your abdominal discomfort on the spicy Indian food you had earlier for lunch or the fact that you were binging on Oreos while on a Netflix marathon last weekend.
Whatever you think it is, you should definitely try these remedies to see if you actually have IBS and how to easily cure it for good!
Let’s start with what is IBS? It stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It’s a disorder in which it affects the abdomen and it comes with a wide range of symptoms.
The GI Society states that 12-30% of people get affected by IBS and most of those are women. Out of those, only 40% of them visit the doctor for help.
And your doctor doesn’t have any concrete way of diagnosing you with IBS so they go based on the symptoms you tell them.
The symptoms could include any of the following: bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite.
Other non-digestive symptoms include anxiety, depression, mood swings, trouble sleeping, headaches, reduced sexual desire, muscle aches to name a few.
Some of these symptoms are so severe that they hinder you from getting on with your day.
Speaking from personal experience, when I had IBS symptoms like sharp stomach pains, I’d literally had to stop dead in my tracks! I couldn’t move for a good minute or so. There were times that I wouldn’t go for #2 for days!! (5 days was the longest and I knew something was definitely wrong)
It can feel like sharp period cramps. At the same time, you might get so bloated and think you’re actually getting your period! But when the pain doesn’t go away, you realize that it’s not even that time of the month!
And other times, you’re so backed up that it deters you from wanting to eat because you’re thinking to yourself “where did all that junk go?!!”
Nowadays if I don’t go for #2s at least once a day, I start to wonder what’s happening in there.
For starters, in order to cure your IBS, you need to know the underlying cause.
Before I was diagnosed with IBS, I thought I was allergic to dairy. Because every time I would eat dairy my stomach would have a field day and it wasn’t the fun kind. I would get bloated, get cramps, constipation, and have the type of stomach grumbling that the person next to you can clearly hear!
I was tested for lactose intolerance – which tests to see if you’re allergic to the sugar that’s in dairy products. To my surprise, I was NOT lactose intolerant.
I then thought then it must be gluten. Since so many people were talking about celiac disease and all the new gluten-free products that were hitting the shelves. Again to my surprise, I was NOT gluten intolerant.
I even did an allergy test for common things people are allergic to. All I found was that I was allergic to dust and certain pollens – both of which I don’t eat by choice!
Back to square one. My doctor finally diagnosed me with IBS. So I started to research everything about IBS.
It seems there are two main causes– food allergies and overgrowth of bad bacteria in the small intestine.
Since I had done every possible allergy test, it must have been the bacterial growth.
So we have a TON of bacteria in our gut which are either good or bad. The good has to outweigh the bad and keep that balance in order for us to stay healthy. And when there is an imbalance that’s when your immune system starts to flare up and red flags start popping up.
When the bad bacteria start to take over or get to places they shouldn’t be (like the small intestine), that’s when they start to feed on your food and grow! That’s one of the major causes of IBS and is called small bowel bacterial overgrowth.
As the bacteria ferment and feed on your food, they produce gas that causes bloating. I guess you can think of it as the bacteria “farting” in your intestines. I know, it’s gross.
Now the best part, how to get rid of the suckers!
Just like anything else, there’s no glove that fits all but you can try different methods to see which ones work best for you.
I made a trip to my doctor a few times in the hopes of finding a cure. Each time he’d try to prescribe me a new pill that’s just come out or say something like “you can’t cure it, you just need to learn to manage it” and tell me to take more fiber (or Metamucil).
It definitely wasn’t the answers I was looking for. So I did my own testing that you can try as well.
I know what you’re thinking, it’s impossible. It actually isn’t. With the number of hormones, antibiotics, and bacteria that’s in animal products, it’s amazing we haven’t been wiped out yet.
Our bodies are not genetically built for breaking down animal protein. When they go through our intestines, they start to ferment (aka rot) and create more of the bad bacteria and you already know how that ends.
That’s unnecessary inflammation that you definitely don’t want to add to your IBS symptoms.
There are now vegan alternatives for almost everything you could possibly imagine. But if you still feel that it’s too hard, you might at least want to cut down on the dairy and meat.
Start by eliminating one item at a time. Give it at least two weeks to see
You can also start having Meatless Mondays. Or even better, start incorporating one new plant-based dish at least once a day. See what works best for you and get creative.
Here are some delicious breakfast recipes you can start with!
The reason I recommend this over probiotics is that there are so many bacterial cultures out there. In order for you to know which good bacteria you’re lacking in your intestine, you’d have to do a lot more testing and find the probiotic with that exact bacterium in the correct amount.
But fermented foods are naturally occurring bacteria that can help your body gradually build up all the good bacteria it’s missing.
These could be foods like any pickled vegetables such as cabbage, pickles, mushrooms and any other vegetables you like.
When foods ferment, they create good enzymes, vitamins, and fatty acids, and a ton of probiotics. They also break the food down to a more digestible form.
This helped my digestion tremendously!
They’ve been around for many years in many cultures and they are linked with overall health.
If you really don’t like any of these then take probiotics with at least a million cultures to make sure you get a bit of everything that you’re missing.
Yes your breath might be stinky for a little bit but you can always fix that with mouth wash and some strong gum.
Onions and garlic are part of the same family of root vegetables. They each have MANY benefits. Garlic can help fight diabetes, colds, and even lower blood pressure. Onions can help in preventing or fighting diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neuromuscular diseases.
Onions contain a prebiotic fiber, inulin, that helps feed and encourage the growth of the healthy bacteria in your gut which in turn helps your body absorb food better.
Garlic, on the other hand, will dispose of the bacteria and parasites in your intestine without harming the good bacteria that’s in there.
Try incorporating them raw in at least one meal per day, with salads or as toppings.
This seems self-explanatory but I need to emphasize its effects.
Your small intestine takes up about 60 percent of your entire immune system! So when you’re stressed, your immune system is exposed to bacteria and parasites.
This then triggers and activates your immune system that creates chaos leading to IBS.
When you’re not feeling well you’re stressed and your body produces cortisol which cycles back and stresses you out even more.
To get out of the cycle you can exercise, meditate, take long nature walks, find a hobby, and watch your favorite movie or TV show, or play with your pet if you have one.
Even simple breathing exercises can help alleviate stress.
One thing to note about IBS is that it’s not life-threatening but if you have it, you’re more likely to develop Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) which is life-threatening.
IBD includes digestive disorders like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. It’s much easier to treat IBS and the symptoms are a lot less severe compared to IBD.
IBS doesn’t have to be something you “learn to deal with”. You can get rid of it once and for all. To my doctor’s surprise, I am now symptom-free and I want to help who want to cure their IBS without the use of medication.
Start by cutting down or completely eliminating meat and dairy and instead eat fermented foods which have the good bacteria your gut needs. Incorporate more of the healthy bacteria into your diet and help your gut do its work.
Add garlic and onion
Last but not least, just relax and take it easy. Eliminating stress isn’t anything that’s easily measured but you will definitely feel its benefits in your overall health.
All in all, make healthier choices for a healthier body 🙂
Let me know what’s been working for you and your IBS. I’d love to hear your remedies!
I am a true believer in improving your health by what you do on a daily basis. I am a health advocate and believe that you can achieve any health-related goal based on your diet and daily habits. I am still relatively new (coming up on two years and counting!) to the vegan world and would love to take you with me on my journey!