Everything You Need to Know about IBS Symptoms and Treatment

One of the most common GI issues people in the Thryve Gut Health Program suffer from is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a gastric problem with several symptoms which overlap with other conditions that cause gastrointestinal distress.
 
These uncomfortable symptoms have blurred lines with symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), to name a few. Therefore, differentiating between these common GI issues can be an issue all within itself!
 
Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of IBS. Also, we’ll discuss what you can do to treat this gastrointestinal problem and how to prevent IBS from occurring in the future.

 

What is the Cause of IBS?

 
Approximately one out of ten people are diagnosed with IBS. This statistic breaks down to about 15% of the world’s population suffering from this gastric problem [1].
 
blood pressure


Suffice to say; there’s a good chance that you or a loved one has these sort of GI problems and aren’t even aware of it.
 
The thing is, despite all of the science that has been done, there does not seem to be any specifically-known causes of IBS. There is, however, a lot of educated hypotheses.
 
According to a meta-analysis by Harvard:
 

“No one knows what causes IBS. Some studies suggest that the nerves of the colon may be much more sensitive than usual in people with IBS. The normal movement of food and gas through the colon causes pain, intestinal spasms and an irregular pattern of bowel movements [2].”

Harvard
Unlike other GI issues, such as the similarly named Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), IBS doesn’t cause other gastrointestinal disorders like colitis. Also, those with IBS are not any more likely to develop fatal gastrointestinal disorders such as colon cancer.
 
With that being said, the symptoms of IBS are very uncomfortable and do cause serious gastrointestinal distress. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of IBS.

 

IBS Symptoms

 
There are many symptoms of IBS that will bleed over into other GI disorders. The difference is the frequency of these symptoms, the stomach bacteria making them happen, and which foods might be triggering these episodes.
 
Here’s a slight glimpse at some of the foods that may cause symptoms of IBS. As you can see many of these foods are within the wheelhouse of a healthy gut diet plan. However, don’t get stressed about it. We’ll talk about that a little bit later.
 
Thryve Microbiome Testing for IBS
 
The main symptoms of IBS include:
• Diarrhea
• Bloating
• Constipation
• Gas in Stomach
• Cramping
• Abdominal Pain
• Frequent Bathroom Trips

Symptoms of IBS can cause a lowered quality of life for most people. In the same breath, everyone has a unique gut biome (which is why we started Thryve Inside). So, some might find these symptoms tolerable and the GI issues won’t impede on their day-to-day routine. No matter where you are on the spectrum, no one needs to live their life in gastrointestinal distress.

 

Individual Gut Biome and GI Issues

 
While we outlined the main symptoms of IBS above, these GI problems can vary quite drastically from person to person. Some people may mainly experience constipation, while others battle bouts of diarrhea. It’s not uncommon to experience both symptoms at the same time or to fluctuate between the two regularly.
 
In fact, according to Harvard:
 

“The severity of the disorder varies from person to person. Some people experience symptoms that come and go and are just mildly annoying. Others have such severe daily bowel problems that IBS affects their ability to work, sleep and enjoy life. In addition, symptoms may change over time. A person may have severe symptoms for several weeks and then feel well for months or even years [2].”

Harvard
Knowing how bad the symptoms can be, what can be done to treat or prevent IBS so that it is far more manageable? Let’s take a look!

 

How to Treat or Prevent IBS

 
There is no known cure for IBS. However, it is possible to help treat this gastrointestinal problem, which can help to reduce the severity of some of the symptoms. While these life hacks won’t have the symptoms go away for good, it may help. Knowing what may trigger an onset of GI issues, and how to combat that source, may cause you to avoid unnecessary pain.

 

Destress

 
While stress does not cause IBS, it can make the symptoms of it much worse. That is why practicing mindfulness is so important. Mental stress can easily transform into something more physical in the long run.
 


The best ways to destress would be to take a break, and just meditate.
 
If you feel the need to move around, then find a compromise with yoga.
 
In fact, there are many yoga poses for all sorts of GI problems.
 
You can also do other fun activities like playing video games, going outside in the sun for a walk, and listening to calming music. Do whatever you need to do destress. Thanks to the gut-brain-axis, if your mind is at ease, then your gut will be too.

 

Change Your Diet

 
Remember when we discussed food triggering those horrid symptoms? You might want to eliminate some trigger-happy nom-noms from your menu plan. Try adopting a low FODMAP diet.
 
veggies
The FODMAP diet is popular among people who are trying to lessen their uncomfortable GI problems. This diet was crafted specifically to help reduce digestive issues in people who suffer from them. It removes foods that contain ingredients that may cause GI issues.
 
Some of these foods are rather typical, such as fatty animal meats and refined sugar. However, other inclusions in a low FODMAP Diet shocking because they are healthy, such as onions and beans.
 
Another thing that you should limit is caffeine. Many of us need our morning cup of coffee in order to start the day. For a lot of us, that morning cup of coffee also has us running to the bathroom. Attempt to eliminate, or at the very least reduce, the amount of caffeine that you consume every day.
 
Lastly, consider adding more fiber to your diet. This addition to your menu is excellent because fiber is known to help with both constipation, as well as diarrhea.
 
Fiber is mainly found in plant foods. Eat a lot of leafy greens, carrots, and berries to reduce gastrointestinal distress.

 

Consume Probiotics Supplements

 
Most symptoms of IBS start at the gut. Think about it…diarrhea, bloating, cramping? That’s all gastrointestinal distress. So, you need to make your gut biome a better place for your microbes to live. That’s why you need personalized probiotics supplements for gut health.
 
Probiotic
 
A diverse microbiome can prevent any one type of bacteria in the gut from overpopulating. Having a plethora of intestinal flora species can help prevent SIBO, which is a disorder many with IBS have.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome AND SIBO

 
Approximately one-third of people who are diagnosed with IBS also have SIBO [3]. A study looking into this matter looked at the gut health of healthy volunteers and people who are diagnosed with SIBO.
 
331 people participated in this study. Results found that 105 of the IBS patients and 7 of the healthy volunteers have SIBO.
 
Furthermore, scientists conducting the experiment broke the IBS group into four categories. People were classified by which symptoms were most intense for them.
 
Symptom groups classified included:
 
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Mixed Constipation and Diarrhea
• Unclassified
 
Results found,
 

“Patients with IBS have been classified according to Rome III criteria into 4 groups: IBS-constipation, IBS-diarrhea, IBS-mixed (alternation of constipation/and diarrhea) and IBS-unclassified. Diarrhea and mixed symptoms were found to be predictive for SIBO.”

Rom J Intern Med.
These results are why taking probiotics supplements that are unique to your gut biome are so essential. Enroll in the Thryve Gut Health Program to get an in-depth analysis of your particular stomach bacteria.
 
Using that knowledge, we then formulate personalized probiotics supplements targeted at the intestinal flora causing you gastrointestinal distress.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “About Us.” About IBS, 24 Nov. 2016, www.aboutibs.org/facts-about-ibs.html.
 
[2] Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, December 10). Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Harvard Health. Retrieved May 1, 2019, from Harvard Health website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-a-to-z.
 
[3] Moraru, Ioana G, et al. “Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Is Associated to Symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Evidence from a Multicentre Study in Romania.” Romanian Journal of Internal Medicine = Revue Roumaine De Medecine Interne, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25509557.
 

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CCF Tea: Ayurvedic Diet Herbs for Weight Loss

CCF tea is an Ayurvedic diet remedy that helps improve symptoms of IBS, burn fat, and reduce inflammation. Learn how to make CCF tea and find other gut healing recipes!
 
Society is becoming more health-conscious. Many of us are turning to all-natural remedies to deal with everyday ailments associated with poor gut health. One growing wellness trend in gut healing recipes is drinking CCF tea. CCF tea is a spicy yet smoky staple of an Ayurvedic diet. It also contains ingredients that help digestive problems and promote weight loss. Let’s learn more about the benefits of this brew and how to make CCF tea.

 

What is CCF Tea?

 
CCF tea is a blend of anti-inflammatory Ayurvedic herbs that fight inflammation in the gut. They’re also known to stimulate weight loss. So, what are these miraculous herbs? Let’s discuss the three ingredients that put the CCF in CCF Tea.

 

Cumin Seeds

 
Cumin seeds are typically ground into the cumin spice we associated with Middle Eastern culinary staples. They are derived from the Cuminum cyminum plant, which is native to Asia.

 

Boosts Digestive Enzymes

 
Research suggests that cumin seeds are an excellent addition to tea for digestive health. It promotes the growth of many pivotal digestive enzymes [1].
 
Some of the enzymes enhanced by CCF tea include:
coriander seeds CCF tea
• Amylase
• Protease
• Lipase
Phytase
 
Amylase is one of the digestive enzymes responsible for breaking down carbohydrates that makes us gain weight [2]. Meanwhile, lipase helps us blast fats that accumulate along the waistline.

 

Improves Symptoms of IBS

 
57 patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) participated in a study with cumin oil [3]. Cumin oil is derived from cumin seeds. When you seep cumin seeds in hot water for CCF tea, these nutrients seep into the brew.
 
The study noted that,
 

“Abdominal pain, bloating, incomplete defecation, fecal urgency and presence of mucus discharge in stool were statistically significant decreased during and after treatment with Cumin extract. Stool consistency and defecation frequency were also both statistically significant improved in patients with constipation dominant pattern of IBS.”

Middle East J Dig Dis
One of the primary compounds in cumin seeds in cuminaldehyde. This potent compound has antiallergic and antioxidant properties [4]. Experts hypothesize this compound plays a significant role in the benefits of CCF tea for IBS.

 

Coriander Seeds

 
The second ingredient in CCF tea is coriander seeds. They are derived from the Coriandrum sativum plant. Like cumin seeds, coriander is also a part of the parsley family. In fact, the stems and leaves of coriander are used as cilantro.

 

Fight Fungal Infections

 
If you get frequent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), get your pinky up with some CCF tea. Coriander seeds are 1 of 26 Ayurvedic herbs that in vitro studies show helps fight off the frequency of UTIs [5].

 

Improve Mental Health

 
coriander seeds ccf tea
Many of us enjoy herbal teas for relaxing at the end of the day. Coriander seeds can help provide that relief through the gut-brain-axis. One animal study looked at the benefits of coriander seeds for anxiety in comparison to prescription medication, Diazepam [6].
 
Results noted that coriander seeds exhibited anxiolytic traits. Experts hypothesized that this effect was due to the amount of linalool in coriander seeds.
 
Linalool is a potent terpene responsible for many of the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. Seeing as up to 70% of the essential oils in coriander seeds is linalool, it’s no wonder people drink CCF tea for anxiety!

 

Immune-Boosting Properties

 
Coriander seeds are also amazing for boosting your immune system naturally. They are rich in antioxidants that help fight off free radicals that cause inflammation in the gut.
Some of these antioxidants, in particular, are especially supportive of the immune system, such as:
• Terpinene
• Quercetin
• Tocopherols
 
By drinking CCF tea, you can help arm your immune system to fight off pathogenic bacteria and opportunistic viruses [6].

 

Fennel Seeds

 
Fennel seeds are the final ingredient in CCF tea. They are derived from a Mediterranean plant that goes by the scientific name of Foeniculum vulgare. It’s a member of the carrot family and has a licorice-like flavor.

 

Anti-inflammatory Benefits

 
Fennel seeds have over 28 known essential oil compounds. One unique terpene that belongs to this Ayurvedic herb is anethole. Research shows that this compound has a significant influence on the NF-kB and TNF-α signaling pathway [7].
fennel ccf tea
Our NF-kB and TNF-α pathway influences:
• Cell Proliferation
• Cell Differentiation
• Apoptosis
Fat Metabolism
• Blood Coagulation
 
This fennel seed compound has also exhibited neuroprotective, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties [8].

 

Suppress Appetite

 
The reason why fennel is one of the most effective Ayurvedic herbs for weight loss is that it helps curb your appetite.
 
One study involving nine women compared the appetites of women who drank a placebo tea and women who had 8.5 ounces of tea with 2mg of fennel seeds [9].
 
Results found those who consume fennel tea were significantly less hungry. Experts believe the credit belongs to our old friend, anethole.

 

How to Make CCF Tea

 
You don’t really need any more convincing to drink CCF tea. So, now it’s time to make the brew. Making CCF Tea is simple, fun, and affordable. Here’s how!

 

CCF Tea Recipe

 
Ingredients:
• 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
• 1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
• 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
• 4 cups Distilled Water

 

Directions:
1. Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan.
2. Cover the pan with a lid.
3. Allow to boil for about five minutes.
4. Strain the tea into a mug.

 

What Does CCF Tea Taste Like?

 
drinking ccf tea
CCF tea has a bite that spice lovers would love. However, it’s not too intense for people with a sensitive tongue. The cumin has a smoky, earth-like tone. At times, there’s a bit of a cinnamon aftertaste that can be credited to this savory Ayurvedic herb.
 
That spice is complimented by the zest of coriander. Coriander has a citrusy note that’s accentuated by slightly bitter peppery nuances.
 
Lastly, the fennel adds a tart and tangy twist to the tea. You can easily add some fresh lime juice, lemon slice, or cinnamon stick to change up the flavor profiles.

 

How to Incorporate CCF Tea Into My Routine

 
When ingredients like cumin, coriander, and fennel aren’t a part of your everyday life, it might never cross your mind to make a CCF tea. Sometimes you need a little nudge in the right direction. Let us be that nudge!
 
Members of the Thryve Gut Health Program receive at-home gut tests. That way, we can analyze their DNA to let them know how specific react tot he bacteria that’s actually in their gut.
 
CCF tea thryve gut health
 
In the Thryve Gut Health Program, we have hundreds of recipes that including gut healing foods. We give you insights as to how they can improve your particular gut bacteria.
 
CCF tea thryve inside
 
So, if you’re all tea’d out. We have plenty of more recipes that will get your gut in shape in no time!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Milan, K.S. Muthamma, et al. “Enhancement of Digestive Enzymatic Activity by Cumin (Cuminum Cyminum L.) and Role of Spent Cumin as a Bionutrient.” Food Chemistry, Elsevier, 26 Feb. 2008, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814608002483.
 
[2] “Digestion and Enzymes – Digestive System – KS3 Biology Revision – BBC Bitesize.” BBC News, BBC, 2020, www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z9pv34j/revision/2#:~:text=Carbohydrase%20enzymes%20 break%20down %20starch%20into%20sugars.,it%20begins%20to%20taste%20sweet.
 
[3] Agah S, Taleb AM, Moeini R, Gorji N, Nikbakht H. Cumin extract for symptom control in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a case series. Middle East J Dig Dis. 2013;5(4):217‐222.
 
[4] Sowbhagya HB. Chemistry, technology, and nutraceutical functions of cumin (Cuminum cyminum L): an overview. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(1):1‐10. doi:10.1080/10408398.2010.500223.
 
[5] Rath, S., & Padhy, R. N. (2014). Monitoring in vitro antibacterial efficacy of 26 Indian spices against multidrug resistant urinary tract infecting bacteria. Integrative medicine research, 3(3), 133–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imr.2014.04.002.
 
[6] Das Gupta, S., & Suh, N. (2016). Tocopherols in cancer: An update. Molecular nutrition & food research, 60(6), 1354–1363. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201500847.
 
[7] “Pathway: TNF Alpha/NF-KB.” Pathway Commons::TNF Alpha/NF-KB, Memorial Sloane Keating Center and University of Toronto, Oct. 2011, www.pathwaycommons.org/pc/record2.do?id=543635#:~:text=Pathway%3A%20TNF%20alpha%2FNF%2D,surface%20receptors%2C %20TNFR1%20and%20 NFR2.&text=The%20free%20NF%2DkappaB%20translocates,induces%20expression%20 of%20certain%20genes.
 
[8] Aprotosoaie AC, Costache II, Miron A. Anethole and Its Role in Chronic Diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;929:247‐267. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-41342-6_11.
 
[9] Bae, J., Kim, J., Choue, R., & Lim, H. (2015). Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) Tea Drinking Suppresses Subjective Short-term Appetite in Overweight Women. Clinical nutrition research, 4(3), 168–174. https://doi.org/10.7762/cnr.2015.4.3.168.

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How to Stop Diarrhea: From IBS to Food Sensitives

If there’s an illness that all age groups will experience multiple times in their lives, it’s diarrhea. Unfortunately, cases of too much pooping pops up at some of the most inconvenient times. Experiencing diarrhea symptoms can have a negative impact on your life. This sentiment is especially true if you have chronic diarrhea from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or other GI problems. Let’s take a look at how to stop diarrhea fast and in the long-term.

 

What Causes Diarrhea?

 
To stop diarrhea, you need to know what causes it. There are many triggers, so each case can be unique. They may overlap with other causes of diarrhea that are more chronic, such as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD).
 
Common causes of diarrhea include:
Many causes of diarrhea, too little toilet paper
• Viral Infection
• Bacterial Infection
• Parasites
• Alcohol Abuse
• Medication Side Effects
IBS
• IBD
• Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
• Diabetes
• Too Many Laxatives
• Food Sensitivities
 
Each situation might require specific attention. For instance, if you are traveling and get a severe case of diarrhea, go to a doctor. There’s a risk you may have contracted a bacterial infection or a parasite.
 
Cases of IBS and SIBO might benefit from lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise alterations. Meanwhile, a food sensitivity might just require an enzyme supplement. Whatever the case may be, here are some hacks to stop diarrhea.

 

Stop Diarrhea Life Hacks

 
Diarrhea can be a symptom of a much larger issue. Listen to your body. Discuss your concerns with your doctor. If your symptoms of diarrhea are fleeting, a few of these hacks might work. In the case of someone with food allergies, some tips might cure your frequent diarrhea problems. Some of these tips might even help you diagnose a bacterial infection. Let’s take a look!

 

Drink Lots of Fluids

 
Cheers!
When you have diarrhea, your intestines don’t hold many fluids. Water just passes through in one way and out other end. This is an issue because your large intestine relies on water to push out toxins and help the body absorb nutrients.
 
It’s easy to get dehydrated when you have diarrhea [1]. Dehydration can lead to even more complicated medical issues. So, be sure to drink your fluids on your journey to stop diarrhea.

 

Eat Electrolytes

 
We rely on water as conductors for electrolytes. Theses are little volts of energy our body depends on to function. For one, they help our muscles contract. Therefore, electrolytes are very influential in gut motility [2].
 
When we have diarrhea, we miss out on many of these minerals. So, to give our gut a chance to recoup, we need to fill it with beneficial foods.
 
stop diarrhea with electrolytes
Light it up with electrolytes!
Electrolyte-rich foods include:
• Kale
• Poultry
• Strawberries
• Spinach
• Flounder
Bananas
• Watermelon
• Avocados
• Broccoli
 
There are hundreds of food choices out there that are rich in electrolytes. Unfortunately, some of them might be allergens. For instance, some people are sensitive to lectins in legumes. However, kidney beans are an abundant source of electrolytes. This can be a conundrum, which we’ll get into next.

 

Cut Out Allergens

When people begin to develop chronic conditions, such as IBS and IBD, it gets harder to stop diarrhea. It’s more about the long-term game than the short-term remedies.
 
Many of us eat allergen-rich foods every day. Unfortunately, it’s hard for us to know which foods are causing the allergies. To stop diarrhea for the long haul, you need to try an Elimination Diet.
 
You’re going to cut out some of your faves, like sugar and gluten. However, you’ll drop healthy foods that are typical gut irritants, such as nightshade vegetables. Once you starve out the bad stomach bacteria, slowly integrate these foods back in to see what’s triggering the response.

 

Soluble Fiber

 
When you have diarrhea, you lose a lot of water. So, you need to clog the leak. The most effective way to stop diarrhea naturally is to add bulk to your stool.
 
Dietary soluble fiber soaks up water. Therefore, trips to the bathroom will seem less urgent.
 
Sources of soluble fiber for diarrhea include:
stop diarrhea with fruit
Don’t let this man-go!

• Sweet Potatoes
• Mangoes
Gluten-Free Grains
• Peaches
• Rice
• Kiwis
• Apples
• Berries
 
As you can see, some of these soluble fiber sources also provide electrolytes. However, these foods also serve as prebiotics for probiotics. So, not only will soluble fiber help stop diarrhea, it can help prevent a reoccurrence by strengthening your beneficial stomach bacteria.

 

Drink Herbal Teas

 
stop diarrhea with tea
Don’t you feel relaxed just looking at it?
An excellent way of handling uncomfortable GI problems is herbal tea. Herbal teas were used as tonics in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
 
That’s because hot water causes pressure on the the botanicals. This reaction causes the herbs to release beneficial terpenes and antioxidants. These minerals get to work, providing GI relief.
 
Herbal teas to drink to stop diarrhea discomfort include:
• Peppermint – Soothing
• Licorice Root – Anti-inflammatory
• Chamomile – Relaxing
• Ginger/Turmeric – Anti-inflammatory
 
Just make sure the tea is decaffeinated. Caffeine is a stimulant. Therefore, it might empower your gut muscles to start contracting. The end result would be the complete opposite of stopping diarrhea!

 

Enzyme Supplements

 
If you realize you are sensitive to gluten or lactose, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every now and then. You’re just going to need a little extra help. That assistance can come from enzymes.
 
Look into getting all-natural supplements for your specific sensitivity. For instance, gluten enzyme supplements contain an enzyme useful in breaking down gluten known as dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV). Just one of these enzyme pills may help someone with gluten sensitivities enjoy a beer or a slice of bread with dinner.

 

Slow Down on Exercise

 
It’s not every day you’ll hear a gut health program to slow down on exercise. However, if you have diarrhea, consider it. For one, exercise will cause you to get dehydrated and sweat out electrolytes.
 
As one study on exercise and diarrhea noted,
 

“One quarter to one half of elite athletes are hampered by the gastrointestinal symptoms that may deter them from participation in training and competitive events. Vigorous exercise-induced gastrointestinal symptoms are often attributed to altered motility, mechanical factor or altered neuroimmunoendocrine secretions [3].”

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 
When you have diarrhea, your body is already struggling. While there’s no gain without pain, pushing yourself with diarrhea is unneeded stress. It’s borderline masochistic.
 
If you need to get some workout in, we hear you. Try yoga. There are many yoga positions for GI problems. These movements can help detoxify organs and get enzymes interacting to get everything else back on track!

 

Over-the-Counter Medications

 
One of the most efficient ways to stop diarrhea fast is over-the-counter medications. You can find a number of them throughout the pharmacy.
 
pills to stop diarrhea
Quick fix? Yes.
Long-term solution? No.
The top two choices are:
• Loperamide (Imodium)
• Bismuth Subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol)
 
While these are great quick fixes, over-the-counter meds aren’t long-term solutions.
 
These remedies are not intended for daily use. They’re for isolated occasions. Unfortunately, people turn to these quick fixes to mask an underlying issue, living in denial. Over time, these medications can do more harm than good.

 

Probiotics

 
Our gut microbes are deep in the thick of things, especially when it comes to your diarrhea problems. So, it’s best to have more beneficial stomach bacteria in your body. That way, they can fight off the pathogens that spur diarrhea in the first place.
 
The first step to stop diarrhea in the long-term is to your gut tested. At Thryve Inside, we send you everything you need to secure a sample and mail it to us safely.
 
From there, we conduct a DNA test to determine which intestinal flora is in your system.
 
With these results, our team recommends a probiotic supplement tailored to your gut biome.

 

A study looked at how probiotics can stop diarrhea, noting,
 

“Probiotics can make diarrhea go away about one day faster…About 55 out of 100 people who took probiotics were diarrhea-free after three days [4].”

Informed Health
Knowing which intestinal flora are in your gut and which bacteria we’re trying to grow, our team can also help your diet.
 
thryve gut health food recommendations
Get personalized recommendations
 
Our database contains 1,500 ingredients. The easy-to-use interface will explain why specific foods will help the bacteria in your supplement, and which ones will cause the pathogenic bacteria to flourish. We can ever steer you towards which foods to avoid to stop diarrhea.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Akech, Samuel, and Philip Ayieko. “Risk Factors for Mortality and Effect of Correct Fluid Prescription in Children with Diarrhoea and Dehydration without Severe Acute Malnutrition Admitted to Kenyan Hospitals: an Observational, Association Study.” The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, VOLUME 2, ISSUE 7, P516-524, JULY 01, 2018, 20 May 15AD, www.thelancet.com/journals/lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(18)30130-5/fulltext.
 
[2] Marciani, L., Garsed, K. C., Hoad, C. L., Fields, A., Fordham, I., Pritchard, S. E., … Spiller, R. C. (2014). Stimulation of colonic motility by oral PEG electrolyte bowel preparation assessed by MRI: comparison of split vs single dose. Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society, 26(10), 1426–1436. doi:10.1111/nmo.12403
 
[3] de Oliveira, Erick Prado, and Roberto Carlos Burini. “The Impact of Physical Exercise on the Gastrointestinal Tract.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19535976.
 
[5] InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Can probiotics help against diarrhea? 2016 May 4 [Updated 2019 Dec 19]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK373095/
 

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Eat the Rainbow: Foster Good Health Through a Whole Foods Diet

Consuming whole foods is the best way to maintain optimal health through diet. While cutting the junk out of your regimen will help you lose weight, fight off inflammation, and improve stomach bacteria, just following a whole foods diet might not give you optimal nutrition benefits. Our body depends on micronutrients to act as catalysts for energy to perform vital bodily functions. The best way to incorporate as many nutrients as possible into your diet is to eat the rainbow.

 

What Does Eat the Rainbow Mean?

 
Eating the rainbow doesn’t mean to chow down on a bag of Skittles. While you would technically be consuming every color in the rainbow, these tart candies are formulated with artificial ingredients. Suffice to say; Skittles don’t jive on a whole foods diet.
 
When you eat the rainbow, it means you are incorporating a variety of foods that share the same colors as the rainbow.
 
Therefore, eating the rainbow means that the following colors should appear on your plate during your meals:
 

eat the rainbow
Eat Skittles in theory, not in reality

• Red
• Orange
• Yellow
• Green
• White
• Violet
 
Foods varying in colors have differing degrees of nutrients. In some cases, these foods have minerals that other popular culinary options might be lacking. When you eat the rainbow, you cover those gaps and set yourself up for a healthier lifestyle.

 

Why You Should Eat the Rainbow

 
A food’s hue is one of the few ways that non-sentient beings can communicate with us. By looking at its flesh, we can determine some of the key nutritional characteristics of a fruit or vegetable.
 

What you get is what you see

Pigment compounds are potent antioxidants. Higher levels of certain compounds will give popular foods their particular color.
 
For instance, carrots and sweet potatoes have an abundance of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is responsible for these vegetables’ familiar hue. However, beta-carotene is also essential for repairing sun-related skin conditions and preventing ultraviolet (UV) damage [1].
 
When you eat the rainbow, you provide your body with trace minerals that it might be lacking. It’s an all-natural way to boost your immune system because you’re not over-inundating the body with the same compounds over and over again. Therefore, your immune cells get a more well-rounded backup. Inevitably, you’ll feel healthier, including fewer GI problems and a stronger defense against illness.

 

How to Eat the Rainbow

 
Making lifestyle changes, such as choosing to eat the rainbow, may take you outside of your comfort zone. However, these are the moments where you will see the most improvement in your life. So, let us explain how to eat the rainbow so you can reap the most nutrition out of your meals.

 

Spread Colors Out Over Meals

 
Eating the rainbow isn’t as tricky as it sounds. Just make sure you have a wide variety of colors interjected into your meal plans. You don’t need to have them all in one meal. Just be sure that you get at least one fruit or vegetable of each color in throughout the day.

 

Switch Up Your Color Sources

 
Obviously, the greater the variety of foods you eat, the better off your system will be. Sure, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are both green. However, they have differing levels of iron, potassium, and calories.
 
Then there are the trace minerals we don’t even think about. Broccoli has an abundance of pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) when compared to Brussels sprouts. This B-Vitamin is essential for healthy hair [2]. Therefore, someone trying to improve skin-related wellness would benefit from extra broccoli over Brussels sprouts.

 

Eat Whole Foods

 

not a way to eat the rainbow
Not what we had in mind for eating the rainbow

 
Make sure you are eating as many whole foods as possible. Packaged products may have color. However, they also come with a litany of added ingredients. In fact, their “colors” are part of the problem! Not to mention, the plastic packaging they come in can also do a number on our system.
 
For best results, try to eat as many raw foods as possible. When we cook our foods, the pressure causes chemical changes. One of these alterations is the death of nutrients.
 
An analysis by The New York Times found,
 

“Water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin B and a group of nutrients called polyphenolics seem to be the most vulnerable to degradation in processing and cooking. Canned peas and carrots lose 85 to 95 percent of their natural Vitamin C. After six months, another study showed that frozen cherries lost as much as 50 percent of anthocyanins, the nutrients found in the dark pigments of fruits and vegetables. Cooking removes about two-thirds of the vitamin C in fresh spinach [3].”

New York Times

 
eat the rainbow frozen fruit
Frozen food is clutch in a whole foods diet
 
Interestingly enough, the article also noted that frozen fruits and veggies had higher nutritional value than whole foods bought from the produce aisle.
 
The reason why is that nutrients begin oxidizing the moment the food source is picked.
 
It loses even more value in transit from to store to counter to belly. Freezing slows down this dying process, further maintaining the food’s nutritional value.

 

Eat the Rainbow Benefits

 
Benefits you get when you eat the rainbow range from color to color. Each pigment has a unique interaction with the system. That’s why it’s best to have a revolving variety of food sources. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each color when eating the rainbow.

 

Red Food Benefits

 
You need a little extra energy to get to the top of the rainbow. That’s why so many red foods contain a wide variety of beneficial nutrients. One in particular that gives red benefits when you eat the rainbow is known as lycopene.

 

Lycopene

 

The primary compound to give red-hued foods their vibrant hue is lycopene. This carotenoid plays a monumental role in combating Leaky Gut Syndrome and, ultimately, an autoimmune disease.
 
Research shows that lycopene significantly disrupts the growth of free radicals within our system. Really, it’s our body’s greatest defense mechanism against these cancer catalysts.
 
One analysis noted,
 

“Lycopene is the most potent antioxidant among pigments (e.g. from the most potent to the least potent antioxidants are: lycopene, α-tocopherol, α-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin=β-carotene, and lutein) [4].”

Cell J.

 
In fact, one study found that lycopene was twice as effective in preserving DNA than beta-carotene [5]! With these benefits, lycopene can also prevent free radicals from damaging elastin along the gut lining. Therefore, lycopene may assist collagen in repairing the gut barrier.
 
Another analysis notes that red foods in an eat the rainbow diet can also help reproductive organs.
 
Highest levels of lycopene are found in:
• Adrenal Glands
• Liver
Prostate
• Testicles
 
Therefore, people who are having issues with infertility may want to up their red-food intake.
 
Some of the best red foods that are rich in lycopene include:
 

eat the rainbow kimchi
Red cabbage kimchi is an excellent proboitic snack

• Tomatoes
• Watermelon
• Red Cabbage
• Papaya
• Grapefruit
• Sundried Tomato
 
Up your lycopene intake by eating fermented red cabbage, like kimchi. This probiotic treat will not only provide you with nutrition, but it can also introduce beneficial stomach bacteria to your system.
 
You might find it odd that a superfood such as strawberries wasn’t on this list. Shockingly, these red fruits have very low levels of lycopene. We’ll discuss where strawberries can be grouped a little later.

 

Orange Food Benefits

 
The carotenoids responsible for orange-colored foods are two primary carotene molecules–alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.

 

Alpha-Carotene

 
Alpha-carotene has strong antioxidant capabilities that can improve your quality of life. One study looked at the alpha-carotene intake of 15,318 adults over a 14-year period [6]. During the course of this study, 3,810 participants passed away. Researchers found the higher levels of this antioxidant in the system, the longer the person’s lifespan tended to be.
 
Compared to intake of alpha-carotene that reached between 0 and 1 mcg/dL, life expectancy increased with more servings of alpha-carotene as follows:
• 2-3 mcg/dL – 23%
• 4-5 mcg/dL – 27%
• 6-8 mcg/dL – 34%
• 9+ mcg/dL – 39%
 
So, the more alpha-carotene foods you consume, the greater chance you have of living a longer (and healthier) existence.

 

Beta-Carotene

 
On top of alpha-carotene, the other beneficial pigment found in orange foods is beta-carotene. This molecule is the precursor to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for many functions, including strengthening our eyesight.
 
Some of the best sources of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene include:
 

Homemade sweet potato fries– a healthy guilty pleasure

 
• Cantaloupe
• Oranges
• Sweet Potatoes
• Carrots
• Pumpkin
• Apricots
• Squash
• Bell Peppers
 
An excellent way to up your orange intake is to add some carrots or bell peppers to your next stir-fry. Use pumpkin puree as a thickening agent when baking. Perhaps alternate your apple a day with an apricot or serving or cantaloupe?

 

Yellow Food Benefits

 
As you reach the middle of our edible rainbow, you will start to receive anti-inflammatory benefits. Some of the compounds that give foods a yellow hue include lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptothanxin.

 

Lutein and Zaexanthin

 
Like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin play a significant role in maintaining eye health. These minerals tend to hang out in the macula. This area is the most sensitive part of the retina. It’s also the first to become damaged by blue light.
 
Studies show that lutein and zeaxanthin in the macula block blue light from causing oxidative stress that leads to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) [7].
 
As a tidbit, too much screen time subjects us to retina-damaging blue light. It can also throw off our circadian rhythm and sleep cycles. So, if you are having trouble sleeping, try upping your yellow food intake.

 

Curcuminoids in Turmeric

 
When you eat the rainbow of yellow foods, you will also receive anti-inflammatory benefits. One of the most potent yellow foods is turmeric. This rhizome is unique in that it has curcuminoids that give the Indian root its vibrant yellow hue. However, research shows that these heart-healthy molecules can do more than just dye fabric [8].
 
Studies suggest curcumin can prohibit the following pro-inflammatory biomarkers:
• Phospholipase
• Lipooxygenase
• Cyclooxygenase 2
• Leukotrienes
• Thromboxane
• Prostaglandins
• Monocyte Chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)
• Interferon-inducible Protein
• Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)
• Interleukin-12 (IL-12)
 
Some of the best yellow foods you should choose to eat the rainbow are:
 

Turmeric ginger latte FTW

 
• Turmeric
• Ginger
• Pineapple
• Corn
• Mustard Greens
• Turnips
• Honeydew
• Avocado
• Eggs
• Gold Potatoes
• Pasta
• Salmon
 
Mixing and match yellow-orange and yellow-green foods into your diet can really help you get a wide variety of nutrients. Whip up a mango salsa to pair with your salmon. Create an avocado pesto to enjoy with whole wheat pasta. Make a turmeric latte to go with eggs for breakfast. There are many ways to get your yellow on when you eat the rainbow!

 

Green Food Benefits

 
Perhaps no portion of the eat the rainbow spectrum is more feared than the greens. We hated them as a child, and the adult in us tends to put it off. However, greens are perhaps the most nutrient-dense food sources in the color wheel.

 

K and B-Vitamins

 
Greens are an excellent source of Vitamin K and B-Vitamins. These minerals are essential for blood cell production and DNA formation. So, make sure you get plenty of greens in your diet.

 

Indoles

 
Greens also contain an abundance of indoles. These phytochemicals are essential for producing pivotal neurotransmitters, such as serotonin [9]. So, while looking at greens might make you feel anxious, eating them is actually good for your mental health!
 
Consuming greens also serves as an excellent source of prebiotics for your probiotics. There are many dietary fibers in green foods that are hard for our bodies to produce. Therefore, beneficial stomach bacteria will eat them to create energy. Furthermore, probiotic bacteria also create indole metabolites.
 
A study on the benefits of indoles stated,
 

“While indole is a major intercellular signal within the gut microbial ecosystem, it also interacts with the gut epithelium. Cell culture experiments have shown that it modulates the secretion of glucagon-like peptide 1 by mouse entero-endocrine L cells, and induces genes promoting tight-junction resistance and an anti-inflammatory cytokine profile in the human HCT-8 cell line derived from enterocytes [10].”

Front Neurosci

 
As suggested by the results, eating greens can actually improve your gut motility. By producing hormones that regulate the tight junctions, we are less susceptible to developing GI conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

 

Green Foods to Eat

 
Stock up on the following greens to eat the rainbow:
 

eat the rainbow greens
So many ways to eat your greens

 
• Kale
• Spinach
Spirulina
• Bok Choy
• Artichokes
• Broccoli
• Brussels Sprouts
• Edamame
• Chives
• Peas
• Jalapeño
 
The easiest way to get your greens in to eat salads. However, don’t opt for the nearly nutrient-deficient iceberg lettuce. Switch it up with some collard greens or watercress.
 
Furthermore, start using fresh herbs in cooking. Cut up some basil and put it in your water. Throw jalapeños and chives into your guac. Get your green on any way possible!

 

White Food Benefits

 
In terms of light, white encompasses all of the colors on the spectrum. Therefore, white foods are super-nutritious. Sure, we might stay away from white rice and white sugar. However, there are many nutritious white foods you can chow down on when you eat the rainbow.
 
White foods have an earthy flavor that is caused by a variety of flavonoids. In particular, these foods have an abundance of quercetin and kaempferol.

 

Quercetin

 
Quercetin is a potent antioxidant. In addition to its free radical-busting properties, quercetin has shown to improve respiratory problems caused by allergies [11].
 
Research suggests quercetin works like an over-the-counter antihistamine. Its presence prevents cells from secreting histamines into the system that fosters allergic reactions.

 

Kaempferol

 
Kaempferol is ideal for improving blood circulation and heart health. In vitro studies show that this antioxidant monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1) [12]. MCP-1 is one of the primary biomarkers for atherosclerosis [13].
 
Atherosclerosis is when plaques build up in the arteries, creating roadblocks for red blood cells commuting back to the heart. Many people develop atherosclerosis due to excess of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
 
One of the most efficient ways for your body to rid itself of excess LDL cholesterol is through the activation of LDL receptors (LDLR). LDLR oxidizes LDL cholesterol at a faster rate, so it leaves the system.

 

White Foods to Eat

 
You can find quercetin and kaempferol rich foods with:
 

Onions and garlic make everything better

• Onions
• Garlic
• Coconut
• White Grape Wine
• Leeks
Yogurt
• Cauliflower
• Scallions
• Celery
• Endives
• Peas
• Jicama
• Mushrooms
• Parsnips
• Bananas
 
Onion and garlic of some of the fragrant spices. Try sauteing them in coconut oil with bell peppers. Replace one of your beef dinners with a portabello mushroom one night per week. Opt for a banana yogurt smoothie for energy instead of another coffee. There are many ways to get your whites in!

 

Violet Foods

 
Sort of like green has some overlaps with yellow and white; violet foods take in foods that are mixtures of blue and red. So, here you will find strawberries. However, you’ll also see blueberries here…and they even have blue in their name!

 

Anthocyanins

 
how to stimulate the vagus nerve
Anthocyanins and vagus nerve stimulation can improve your mood and cognition

 
What determines the intensity of the dark hues on fruits and vegetables comes down to a group of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These powerful antioxidants are actually what help leaves transition colors in the fall [14].
 
As the leaves die, built-up sugar from the sap produces anthocyanins. This reaction is triggered by a lack of phosphate within the tree’s system.
 
As for humans, these blue pigments can do wonders for neurological health. Studies on the purple sweet potato found that anthocyanins mirrored DPPH radical scavenging [15]. That means, these antioxidants sort of swept up potential free radicals.
 
In addition, the purple sweet potato anthocyanin (SPA) also prohibited lipid peroxidation. This process is one of the first steps to losing pivotal fats that make up a healthy brain.
 
The results of the purple sweet potato study found,
 

“SPA markedly enhanced cognitive performance, assessed by passive avoidance test in ethanol-treated mice. Combined treatments with SPA and CME (Cordyceps mushroom extract) did not significantly influence the effects of SPA alone. These results demonstrate that anthocyanin prepared from purple sweet potato exhibits memory enhancing effects, which may be associated with its antioxidant properties.”

Arch Pharm Res. 

 
Compared to its control, the anthocyanin seemed to do all the heavy lifting. Now, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to consume purple foods to eat the rainbow.

 

Violet Foods to Eat

 
It’s very easy to get your anthocyanin on. There are many foods with an abundance of these neuroprotectors. Rule of the thumb, the darker the skin, the more antioxidant content.
 
Some of the best violet foods to eat include:
 

eat the rainbow
So many colors, so much time to eat them all!

 
• Blueberries
• Blackberries
• Strawberries
• Red Cabbage
• Purple Sweet Potatoes
• Purple Carrots
• Eggplant
• Rhubarb
• Beets
• Goji Berries
• Açaí
• Tomatoes
• Currants
• Apples
• Blue Corn
• Plums
 
Now, if you are battling conditions like IBS or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), you might want to stay away from some of these foods. Members of the nightshade family, such as eggplant and tomatoes, may set off GI problems.
 
You can still benefit from purple sweet potatoes, which with “yams” are the only types of potatoes that aren’t apart of the nightshade family. Plus, everyone can benefit from a beet salad with Gorgonzola cheese, red cabbage slaw with apple cider vinegar, or strawberries and rhubarb with gluten-free grains.

 

Eat the Rainbow with Thryve Inside

 
We’ve given you a lot of ingredients. Ready to get some recipes? Join the Thryve Inside Gut Health Program.
 

thryve gut health food recommendations
We let you what you should and shouldn’t eat for YOUR gut biome.

Our team will test your stomach bacteria with the equipment we send to you to collect a sample from your own home. With those results, we formulate custom probiotics tailored to your microbiome.
 
As a member of the Thryve Inside Gut Health Program, you will get exclusive access to our database. We have over 1,500 ingredients categorized and loads of delicious recipes. Eating the rainbow for a healthy gut has never been easier!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Stahl, Wilhelm, and Helmut Sies. “β-Carotene and Other Carotenoids in Protection from Sunlight.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23053552.
 
[2] Goluch-Koniuszy Z. S. (2016). Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause. Przeglad menopauzalny = Menopause review, 15(1), 56–61. doi:10.5114/pm.2016.58776
 
[3] Parker-pope, Tara. “Ask Well: Does Boiling or Baking Vegetables Destroy Their Vitamins?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 Oct. 2013, well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/ask-well-does-boiling-or-baking-vegetables-destroy-their-vitamins/.
 
[4] Pirayesh Islamian, J., & Mehrali, H. (2015). Lycopene as a carotenoid provides radioprotectant and antioxidant effects by quenching radiation-induced free radical singlet oxygen: an overview. Cell journal, 16(4), 386–391. doi:10.22074/cellj.2015.485
 
[5] Di Mascio, P, et al. “Lycopene as the Most Efficient Biological Carotenoid Singlet Oxygen Quencher.” Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Nov. 1989, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2802626.
 
[6] “High Alpha-Carotene Levels Associated with Longer Life.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 23 Nov. 2010, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101122172121.htm.
 
[7] Junghans, A, et al. “Macular Pigments Lutein and Zeaxanthin as Blue Light Filters Studied in Liposomes.” Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 July 2001, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11437346.
 
[8] Chainani-Wu, Nita. “Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Curcumin: a Component of Tumeric (Curcuma Longa).” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044.
 
[9] Konopelski, Piotr, and Marcin Ufnal. “Indoles – Gut Bacteria Metabolites of Tryptophan with Pharmacotherapeutic Potential.” Current Drug Metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29708069.
 
[10] Jaglin, M., Rhimi, M., Philippe, C., Pons, N., Bruneau, A., Goustard, B., … Rabot, S. (2018). Indole, a Signaling Molecule Produced by the Gut Microbiota, Negatively Impacts Emotional Behaviors in Rats. Frontiers in neuroscience, 12, 216. doi:10.3389/fnins.2018.00216
 
[11] Rogerio, A P, et al. “Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Quercetin and Isoquercitrin in Experimental Murine Allergic Asthma.” Inflammation Research : Official Journal of the European Histamine Research Society … [Et Al.], U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18026696.
 
[12] Kowalski, Jan, et al. “Effect of Kaempferol on the Production and Gene Expression of Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 in J774.2 Macrophages.” Pharmacological Reports : PR, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15849384.
 
[13] Linton MRF, Yancey PG, Davies SS, et al. The Role of Lipids and Lipoproteins in Atherosclerosis. [Updated 2019 Jan 3]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK343489/
 
[14] Klein, Joanna. “Why Does Fall Foliage Turn So Red and Fiery? It Depends.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Oct. 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/science/leaves-fall-foliage-colors-red.html.
 

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Chia Seeds for IBS: How a Little Seed Helps GI Discomfort

Our Mayan ancestors coined this tiny black seed “chia” because it means “strength” in Maya. This plant-based food source is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that can help boost our endurance. However, chia seeds aren’t just a powerhouse in the weight room. They’re also ideal for easing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Let’s take a look at why you should consume chia seeds for IBS and how to add more chia strength to your healthy gut diet plan.

 

What are Chia Seeds?

 
chia seeds for ibs
Little but powerful
Chia seeds originated in South America. Early Aztec and Mayan ancestors cultivated this crop throughout subtropical regions. The seeds are derived from the flowering plant, Salvia hispanica. This classification makes chia seeds related to the mint family.
 
These minuscule superfoods are oval-shaped. They are predominantly gray with black or white spots. Chia seeds have a hard exterior, making these protein sources hard to chew. That’s why many people soak chia seeds prior to use, add them to yogurts, or blend into smoothies.

 

Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds

 
As they say, “big things come in small packages.” For such a small food, chia seeds are packed with nutrition. This gluten-free food source is extremely low on the glycemic index. Just one ounce of nutrition powerhouse contains 137 calories [1].

 

Complete Protein Source

 
Vegans love themselves some chia!
You can use chia seeds for IBS; however, many vegans use this powerhouse as a protein source. Just one ounce contains 9% of the recommended daily value of protein per day.
 
Plus, chia seeds are complete proteins. They contain all of the essential amino acids our body doesn’t produce on their own. As an omnivore, you can receive a majority of these amino acids through animal fats. Seeing as vegans opt-out on meat, they must turn to other sources, like chia seeds.

 

Heart Health

 
Not only are chia seeds a complete protein source, but they have an ideal balance of omega-3s to omega-6s.
 
A smorgasbord of omega-3s
One ounce of chia seeds contains:
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids (4915 mg)
• Omega-6 Fatty Acids (1620 mg)
 
This balance is around the recommended 3:1 ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s. Typically, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is inundated with omega-6s in comparison to omega-3s.
 
Consequently, too many omega-6s can lead to the development of calcium build-ups in the arteries, resulting in heart disease. Thankfully, eating omega-3 rich foods can improve the development of atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty build-ups cause arteries to thicken.
 
An analysis involving omega-3 fatty acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), found,
 

“Investigators fed LDLr-deficient mice with a high fat diet for 8 weeks before switching to a normal diet with or without 5% EPA for an additional 4 weeks. EPA supplementation increased plasma HDL levels and caused the plaque to regress by 20.9%. Furthermore, the expression of several pro-inflammatory factors including IFN-γ, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, were all significantly reduced in the atherosclerotic plaques in the EPA-treated mice [2].”

Nature Reviews, Cardiology
As noted, EPA helped lower levels of LDL cholesterol, while exponentially improving HDL cholesterol levels. So, not only should you eat chia seeds for IBS, you can consume the strength pellets for heart health, too!

 

Other Nutrients in Chia Seeds

 
Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals necessary for optimal functioning. This superfood contains a ton of nutrition in small servings.
 
This efficient energy source also contains:
• Copper (3%)
• Zinc (7%)
• Calcium (18% DV)
• Phosphorous (27% DV)
• Manganese (30% DV)
• Dietary Fiber (37%)
 
As you can see, there is an abundance of dietary fibers in these heart-healthy snacks. Let’s take a closer look at the fiber in chia seeds. After all, these nutrients are the primary reason as to why people consume chia seeds for IBS.

 

Why Use Chia Seeds for IBS?

 
Chia seeds are rich in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is critical for improving many GI problems. The reason soluble fiber relieves gastrointestinal distress is that it helps draw in water. Let’s take a look at how this characteristics makes chia seeds for IBS a must.

 

Helps You Go to Bathroom

 
A majority of us don’t drink enough water every day. Therefore, we need help from the foods we eat. By consuming chia seeds, its soluble fibers will seek water from other food sources, muscles, and other parts of the body. This benefit helps add liquid to bulky stool, making it easier to pass.

 

Eases Symptoms of IBS

 
chia seeds for ibs
Chia compliments many foods that improve gut health
Consuming chia seeds for IBS can help with symptoms, such as:
 
• Diarrhea
• Constipation
• Stomach Pain
• Digestion
• Bathroom Frequency
• Vomiting
 
Consuming chia seeds for IBS symptoms is a more natural way of handling GI problems than over-the-counter meds. Eating seeds is non-habit-forming and provides you with a bunch of nutrition. However, the benefits of chia seeds for IBS don’t end with the bathroom. They set you up for an overall healthy lifestyle.

 

Replenishes Water and Electrolytes

 
Whether nausea caused by IBS makes you vomit, or you have an extreme case of diarrhea, IBS taps your water supply. We can quickly become dehydrated and lose out on electrolytes due to IBS.
 
Chia seeds are hydrophilic. Therefore, they attract liquids. In fact, these little seeds hold up to 15 times their weight in water!
 
An analysis on the health benefits of chia seeds stated,
 

“Chia seed contains appreciable amount of fibre, which can absorb up 15 times water the weight of seed. The presence of higher extents of fibre help in diabetes mellitus by slowing down the digestion process and release of glucose, it also improves the peristaltic movement of intestine and reducing plasma cholesterol [3].”

Journal of Food and Science Technology
As the study noted, chia seeds also helped with involuntary movements of the intestine. Therefore, chia seeds can improve the ease of bowel movements, nutrient absorption, and gut motility. These are even more reasons why chia seeds for IBS are an excellent addition to your healthy gut diet plan.

 

Can You Have Too Many Chia Seeds for IBS?

 
Just as too many of one type of beneficial stomach bacteria or omega-6 fatty acids can throw off a system, so can too many chia seeds. It’s best to err on the side of caution when consuming chia seeds for IBS. Otherwise, you can actually worsen your symptoms.
 
Having too many chia seeds when you have IBS may cause:
Bloating
• Diarrhea
• Cramping
• Gas in Stomach
 
chia seeds for ibs
A little chia goes a long way
When you start consuming chia seeds, stick to the dietary guidelines we’ve already presented. Begin with one ounce. If you don’t notice any benefits, only go up by a 1/2 teaspoon. Once you start to feel gastrointestinal distress, back off.
 
Everyone’s sensitivity to chia seeds for IBS is different. One ounce may still be too much. Cut back a 1/4 of a teaspoon per serving until you find that sweet spot.

 

Chia Seeds for IBD

 
If you are experiencing flare-ups of Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), lay off the chia seeds. While this higher-fiber food is excellent for preventative care and treatment, chia can also exasperate symptoms.
 
So, if you are already feeling the effects of your bouts with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease, stop eating the chia. Once the flare-ups subside, you can slowly integrate chia seeds into your routine.

 

How to Consume Chia Seeds for IBS?

 
While chia seeds have been around for centuries, the masses are just waking up to its potential benefits. Now, this superfood is blowing up and being added to everything. Here are some easy ways to add chia seeds for IBS to your healthy gut diet plan.

 

Chia Gel

 
As we mentioned, chia seeds have a grainy and tough exterior. Therefore, they might pose as a choking hazard or add an uncomfortable crunch to your food. The best way to soften up your chia seeds for IBS is to create a chia gel.
 
chia gel for ibs
Chia gel and pudding are the two most popular ways to consume these seeds
All you need to do is add 1/3 cups of chia seeds to two cups of distilled water in a container you can seal. Mix the two together, so they are well-integrated. Then shake the mixture vigorously for 15 seconds. Mix with anything from fresh lime juice to apple cider vinegar to honey, or just leave your chia water alone. Place the container in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
 
You will see that this hydrophilic food source will puff up. You now have a gelatinous-like superfood. Eat this chia gel as-is or add to an energy drink. Vegans can also use this concoction as an egg substitute for baking!

 

Add to Yogurt Bowl

 
Another popular way to consume chia seeds for IBS in a yogurt bowl. Like water, probiotic-rich yogurt will get sucked up by the chia seeds. So, mix in your chia and allow your yogurt bowl to sit for a few minutes. This probiotic treat will get thicker and easier to digest.

 

Mix with Oatmeal

 
Next time you’re allowing your oatmeal to sit, add in some chia seeds. They, too, will soak up the hot water in your breakfast. Now, you have a complete protein source to kickstart and energize your day that provides you with both the soluble and insoluble fiber you need to defeat IBS.

 

Thryve Gut Health Program and Chia Seeds for IBS

 
Unsure if chia seeds for IBS are right for you? Speak to your doctor if you are on any medications before upping your chia seed intake. In the meantime, take a moment to join the Thryve Gut Health Program, as well.
=
foods for gut health thryve inside recommendations
As a member of the Thryve Gut Health Program, we will test the stomach bacteria in the system. That way, we can determine which intestinal flora are triggering your bouts of IBS.
 
From there, we can figure out a healthy gut diet plan to promote probiotic growth and fight off the spread of pathogens. Our database of 1,500 ingredients can help you find delicious and innovative ways to consume chia seeds for IBS.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Seeds, Chia Seeds, Dried Nutrition Facts & Calories.” Nutrition Data Know What You Eat., 25 May 2018, nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2.
 
[2] Moss, Joe W E, and Dipak P Ramji. “Nutraceutical Therapies for Atherosclerosis.” Nature Reviews. Cardiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5228762/.
 
[3] Ullah, Rahman, et al. “Nutritional and Therapeutic Perspectives of Chia (Salvia Hispanica L.): a Review.” Journal of Food Science and Technology, Springer India, Apr. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926888/.
 

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Everything You Need to Know about IBS Symptoms and Treatment

One of the most common GI issues people in the Thryve Gut Health Program suffer from is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a gastric problem with several symptoms which overlap with other conditions that cause gastrointestinal distress.
 
These uncomfortable symptoms have blurred lines with symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), to name a few. Therefore, differentiating between these common GI issues can be an issue all within itself!
 
Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of IBS. Also, we’ll discuss what you can do to treat this gastrointestinal problem and how to prevent IBS from occurring in the future.

 

What is the Cause of IBS?

 
Approximately one out of ten people are diagnosed with IBS. This statistic breaks down to about 15% of the world’s population suffering from this gastric problem [1].
 
blood pressure
Many people are diagnosed with IBSALisn

Suffice to say; there’s a good chance that you or a loved one has these sort of GI problems and aren’t even aware of it.
 
The thing is, despite all of the science that has been done, there does not seem to be any specifically-known causes of IBS. There is, however, a lot of educated hypotheses.
 
According to a meta-analysis by Harvard:
 

“No one knows what causes IBS. Some studies suggest that the nerves of the colon may be much more sensitive than usual in people with IBS. The normal movement of food and gas through the colon causes pain, intestinal spasms and an irregular pattern of bowel movements [2].”

Harvard
Unlike other GI issues, such as the similarly named Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), IBS doesn’t cause other gastrointestinal disorders like colitis. Also, those with IBS are not any more likely to develop fatal gastrointestinal disorders such as colon cancer.
 
With that being said, the symptoms of IBS are very uncomfortable and do cause serious gastrointestinal distress. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of IBS.

 

IBS Symptoms

 
There are many symptoms of IBS that will bleed over into other GI disorders. The difference is the frequency of these symptoms, the stomach bacteria making them happen, and which foods might be triggering these episodes.
 
Here’s a slight glimpse at some of the foods that may cause symptoms of IBS. As you can see many of these foods are within the wheelhouse of a healthy gut diet plan. However, don’t get stressed about it. We’ll talk about that a little bit later.
 

Thryve Microbiome Testing for IBSLearn More: Top 17 Shocking Foods You Should Avoid with IBS

 
The main symptoms of IBS include:
• Diarrhea
• Bloating
• Constipation
• Gas in Stomach
• Cramping
• Abdominal Pain
• Frequent Bathroom Trips

Symptoms of IBS can cause a lowered quality of life for most people. In the same breath, everyone has a unique gut biome (which is why we started Thryve Inside). So, some might find these symptoms tolerable and the GI issues won’t impede on their day-to-day routine. No matter where you are on the spectrum, no one needs to live their life in gastrointestinal distress.

 

Individual Gut Biome and GI Issues

 
While we outlined the main symptoms of IBS above, these GI problems can vary quite drastically from person to person. Some people may mainly experience constipation, while others battle bouts of diarrhea. It’s not uncommon to experience both symptoms at the same time or to fluctuate between the two regularly.
 
In fact, according to Harvard:
 

“The severity of the disorder varies from person to person. Some people experience symptoms that come and go and are just mildly annoying. Others have such severe daily bowel problems that IBS affects their ability to work, sleep and enjoy life. In addition, symptoms may change over time. A person may have severe symptoms for several weeks and then feel well for months or even years [2].”

Harvard
Knowing how bad the symptoms can be, what can be done to treat or prevent IBS so that it is far more manageable? Let’s take a look!

 

How to Treat or Prevent IBS

 
There is no known cure for IBS. However, it is possible to help treat this gastrointestinal problem, which can help to reduce the severity of some of the symptoms. While these life hacks won’t have the symptoms go away for good, it may help. Knowing what may trigger an onset of GI issues, and how to combat that source, may cause you to avoid unnecessary pain.

 

Destress

 
While stress does not cause IBS, it can make the symptoms of it much worse. That is why practicing mindfulness is so important. Mental stress can easily transform into something more physical in the long run.
 
Align the mind and gut

The best ways to destress would be to take a break, and just meditate.
 
If you feel the need to move around, then find a compromise with yoga.
 
In fact, there are many yoga poses for all sorts of GI problems.
 
You can also do other fun activities like playing video games, going outside in the sun for a walk, and listening to calming music. Do whatever you need to do destress. Thanks to the gut-brain-axis, if your mind is at ease, then your gut will be too.

 

Change Your Diet

 
Remember when we discussed food triggering those horrid symptoms? You might want to eliminate some trigger-happy nom-noms from your menu plan. Try adopting a low FODMAP diet.
 
veggies
Switch it up!
The FODMAP diet is popular among people who are trying to lessen their uncomfortable GI problems. This diet was crafted specifically to help reduce digestive issues in people who suffer from them. It removes foods that contain ingredients that may cause GI issues.
 
Some of these foods are rather typical, such as fatty animal meats and refined sugar. However, other inclusions in a low FODMAP Diet shocking because they are healthy, such as onions and beans.
 
Another thing that you should limit is caffeine. Many of us need our morning cup of coffee in order to start the day. For a lot of us, that morning cup of coffee also has us running to the bathroom. Attempt to eliminate, or at the very least reduce, the amount of caffeine that you consume every day.
 
Lastly, consider adding more fiber to your diet. This addition to your menu is excellent because fiber is known to help with both constipation, as well as diarrhea.
 
Fiber is mainly found in plant foods. Eat a lot of leafy greens, carrots, and berries to reduce gastrointestinal distress.

 

Consume Probiotics Supplements

 
Most symptoms of IBS start at the gut. Think about it…diarrhea, bloating, cramping? That’s all gastrointestinal distress. So, you need to make your gut biome a better place for your microbes to live. That’s why you need personalized probiotics supplements for gut health.
 

ProbioticLet’s Get Personal: Thryve Inside

 
A diverse microbiome can prevent any one type of bacteria in the gut from overpopulating. Having a plethora of intestinal flora species can help prevent SIBO, which is a disorder many with IBS have.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome AND SIBO

 
Approximately one-third of people who are diagnosed with IBS also have SIBO [3]. A study looking into this matter looked at the gut health of healthy volunteers and people who are diagnosed with SIBO.
 
331 people participated in this study. Results found that 105 of the IBS patients and 7 of the healthy volunteers have SIBO.
 
Furthermore, scientists conducting the experiment broke the IBS group into four categories. People were classified by which symptoms were most intense for them.
 
Symptom groups classified included:
 
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Mixed Constipation and Diarrhea
• Unclassified
 
Results found,
 

“Patients with IBS have been classified according to Rome III criteria into 4 groups: IBS-constipation, IBS-diarrhea, IBS-mixed (alternation of constipation/and diarrhea) and IBS-unclassified. Diarrhea and mixed symptoms were found to be predictive for SIBO.”

Rom J Intern Med.
These results are why taking probiotics supplements that are unique to your gut biome are so essential. Enroll in the Thryve Gut Health Program to get an in-depth analysis of your particular stomach bacteria.
 
Using that knowledge, we then formulate personalized probiotics supplements targeted at the intestinal flora causing you gastrointestinal distress.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “About Us.” About IBS, 24 Nov. 2016, www.aboutibs.org/facts-about-ibs.html.
 
[2] Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, December 10). Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Harvard Health. Retrieved May 1, 2019, from Harvard Health website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-a-to-z.
 
[3] Moraru, Ioana G, et al. “Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Is Associated to Symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Evidence from a Multicentre Study in Romania.” Romanian Journal of Internal Medicine = Revue Roumaine De Medecine Interne, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25509557.
 

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Gastrointestinal Problems: The Differences Between IBS, IBD, SIBO & Leaky Gut

Gastrointestinal problems are the number one reason people join the Thryve Gut Health Program. The issue with determining which conditions are causing you gastrointestinal distress is that many of the symptoms of GI problems are the same. However, just because symptoms of gastrointestinal problems are alike doesn’t mean that they should all be treated the same way.
 
Four of the most common gastrointestinal disorders include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), irritable bowel disease (IBD), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and leaky gut syndrome. Let’s take a look at the many differences and similarities surrounding these gastrointestinal problems and how the Thryve Gut Health Program may help.

 

What Are the Similarities in Gastrointestinal Problems?

 
Gastrointestinal distress comes and goes throughout our lives. Sometimes we have too much on Thanksgiving dinner, while other times we might have drunk the water on vacation when we shouldn’t have. Whether you are exhibiting long-term symptoms or overnight GI problems, many causes of gastrointestinal distress will overlap.

 

Symptoms of GI Problems

 
When you are experiencing gastrointestinal distress, you  may be suffering from any of the following:
 
• Bloating
• Cramping
• Feeling Constipated
• Heartburn
• Acid Reflux
• Diarrhea
• Indigestion
• Pain

Whether you are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or leaky gut syndrome, these gastrointestinal problems tend to manifest. This makes diagnosing gastrointestinal disorders so difficult. However, there is a difference between these common GI problems. Let’s examine those differences.

 

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition that affects up to 11% of the population [1]. Two out of three of these people are women. Those who have IBS experience sharp abdominal pains. These ab pains prompt the person to urgently use the bathroom.
 
Technically, IBS is a functional disorder. It’s sporadic hit-and-run strategy causes the person experiencing the gastrointestinal problems to alternate between diarrhea and feeling constipated.
 
While IBS can impede on your everyday life, it doesn’t cause inflammation or autoimmune disease. In these moments, IBS graduates to one of the more serious gastrointestinal problems–irritable bowel disease (IBD).

 

What is Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)?

 
Irritable bowel disease (IBD) is when there is inflammation in the gut biome that causes severe or permanent damage. When you have IBD, your bathroom frequency increases. You may have blood in your stools and experience severe bouts of fatigue.
The direct cause of IBD is unknown. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) attribute to these gastrointestinal problems to a compromised immune system [2].
 

The Immune System and IBD

 
When the immune system is robust, then your gut biome is strong enough to fight the onslaught of opportunistic stomach bacteria, fungal infections, and other suppressors.
 
As the immune system becomes compromised, inflammation begins to form next to tissue cells. This is when the different types of IBD come into play.
 

Types of IBD

 
IBD is a blanket term to describe two conditions in particular. Those who have IBD are either diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s Disease. Let’s take a closer look at the differences.

 

Ulcerative Colitis

 
As the name suggests, ulcerative colitis (UC) creates long-term ulcers in the GI tract [3]. For the most part, it damages the large intestine and colon.
 
Ulcerative colitis develops over time. Patches of inflammation pop up, typically within the innermost lining of the large intestine. Symptoms of UC remain consistent. An ulcerative colitis relapse after treatment is extremely common, affecting up to 30% of patients within one year [4].

 

Crohn’s Disease

 
Crohn’s Disease is bit more invasive than UC (if you can imagine that being possible). That’s because Crohn’s affects all layers of the GI tract. In addition, it spurs up between healthy cells. Therefore, it helps destroy our number one defense mechanism against autoimmune disease.
 
Typically, Crohn’s Disease happens at the end of the small intestine. However, it can penetrate through the entire intestinal wall. 67% of those who are treated for Crohn’s Disease tend to have a relapse within five years.

 

What is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?

 
As the name suggests, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is when foreign stomach bacteria take up residence in the small intestine. That means opportunistic microbes destroy healthy cells and alter the pH level. These changes make it more difficult for probiotic bacteria to survive in the gut biome.
 
When you suffer from SIBO, you will experience normal gastrointestinal problems. One of the symptoms you might not recognize is that you will lack nutrient absorption.
 
The small intestine plays a crucial role in how our body processes vitamins and minerals [5]. When the organ is compromised, we might not get the protein necessary to power through the day or the micronutrients needed for energy.
 
Those with SIBO might be prescribed antibiotics. If this happens, it is imperative you supplement with probiotics. Antibiotics wipe out all intestinal flora. An empty stomach may destroy the bacterial overgrowth, but it leaves a clean slate for any other microbe to come into town. By getting rid of SIBO with antibiotics, you might make your body susceptible to irritable bowel syndrome.

 

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

 
Last is certainly not least because we all have some form of leaky gut. Our small intestine is created by cells that have small pockets that allow for ventilation and nutrient absorption. When we suffer from chronic inflammation caused by IBD or SIBO, it may widen those holes between the cell wall. This reaction leaves the body open to toxic interactions.
 
Leaky Gut Syndrome is when toxins permeate from the gut to the bloodstream. When this happens, it can trigger a number of gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune disease, and mental health issues.
 
There are a number of supplements for Leaky Gut Syndrome. Some of the best supplements for leaky gut include:
 

slippery elm for leaky gutLearn more about the best supplements for Leaky Gut Syndrome
 
The key to how to repair a leaky gut is to stop eating foods that will cause inflammation and allergic reactions. From there, heal the lining with healthy fats, lean proteins, and complex carbs. Lastly, enroll in the Thryve Gut Health Program to try microbiome testing and get personalized probiotics supplements.

 

Thryve Gut Health Program for Gastrointestinal Problems

 
If you have gastrointestinal problems, please consult a physician. While they test you for the gastrointestinal disorders we discussed, let Thryve help you start your wellness journey.
 
First, try microbiome testing. No matter which gastrointestinal problems you experience, your intestinal flora has been compromised. You need to build back up your gut flora by taking gut health supplements. The best chance successfully figuring how to get rid of bad bacteria in the gut is to test the intestinal flora in there.
 
With the Thryve Gut Health Program, we send you a gut test kit to perform in the privacy of your own bathroom. Just collect a tiny sample from toilet tissue with the sterile swabs we provide. Swirl the swab in the vial with preservative we supply and mail in the discreet, self-stamped envelope enclosed with the gut test.
 
Based on the results, we formulate personalized probiotics supplements targeted to fight off the harmful stomach bacteria. With continued use of personalized probiotics supplements, these beneficial gut flora will colonize your system. In turn, your gastrointestinal problems may become more tolerable.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Canavan, C., West, J., & Card, T. (2014). The epidemiology of irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical epidemiology, 6, 71–80. doi:10.2147/CLEP.S40245.
 
[2] “CDC -What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)? – Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Division of Population Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/ibd/what-is-ibd.htm.
 
[3] “Ulcerative Colitis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Mar. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353326.
 
[4] “Learn the Facts About Crohn’s Disease.” Crohn’s and Colitis, www.crohnsandcolitis.com/crohns.
 
[5] Kiela, P. R., & Ghishan, F. K. (2016). Physiology of Intestinal Absorption and Secretion. Best practice & research. Clinical gastroenterology, 30(2), 145–159. doi:10.1016/j.bpg.2016.02.007.
 

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Why Vitamin D is the Best Supplement for IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is not a fun disease to have. Symptoms of IBS can impede on your quality of life, causing frequent bouts of diarrhea and GI problems. This constant uncertainty and discomfort can cause anyone to embark on a quest for the best supplement for IBS.

 

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

 
IBS is one of the most uncomfortable gastrointestinal disorders. This condition typically transpires in the large intestine. The large intestine is where your body stores food and water. When gut motility gets compromised, a viral infection takes over the organ, or harmful bacteria grows, these situations may all cause IBS.
 
Clinical Advisor describes IBS as:
 

“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional bowel disorder in the general population, affecting approximately 25 to 45 billion people in the United States There is no known etiology, which makes identifying treatment for IBS a frustrating task for healthcare providers [1].”

Clinical Advisor
While IBS is very common, it shares many of the same symptoms as other diseases like ulcerative colitis, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and SIBO.

 

Symptoms of IBS

 
Symptoms of IBS includes [2]:
Just point me in the right direction

• Cramping
Bloating
• Abdominal Pain
• Gas in Stomach
• Diarrhea
• Mucus in Stool
 
It is a chronic condition that develops over time. Therefore, there is no quick cure for IBS. You must seek IBS treatments and be sure to work closely with your physician.

 

IBS and Microbiome Testing

 
Since IBS is one of the most common gastroenterology diseases, you want to take your first plan of attack on IBS by fixing your gut health. Achieving this task doesn’t happen overnight. You’re going to need help.
 
Thryve Probiotics and Microbiome Testing
Take the time to ThryveInside

First, you need to test the gut bacteria in stomach. Using our Thryve At-Home Gut Health Test Kit, we can determine which harmful bacteria is causing your gastrointestinal distress.
 
By knowing which gut flora is causing these GI problems, we can then formulate a personalized probiotic supplement. It will contain beneficial bacteria that will combat the harmful microbes. Learn more about your gut health with our free Ultimate Guide to Healing a Leaky Gut.
 
While Leaky Gut Syndrome isn’t IBS, there are a lot of parallels, which as mentioned before, makes diagnosing IBS so tricky.
 
As you start your journey to gut health, it’s good to get the right nutrients to combat IBS. let’s take a more in-depth look at the best supplement for IBS, Vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D: The Best Supplement for IBS

 
Vitamin D has been shown to be fairly beneficial when it comes to symptoms of IBS. This is because IBS might be a symptom itself of being deficient in this vitamin [1].

 

The Rise in Vitamin D Deficiency

 
Vitamin D, also known as The Sunshine Vitamin, is one that many people do not get enough of. In fact, studies have shown that up to 65% of people in the US either are deficient or have an insufficient amount of Vitamin D [3].
 
vitamin d deficiency
We spend most our days sheltered from the sun

There are many reasons why this can be the case. The biggest one being that many of us just do not go outside often anymore. We spend the majority of our time in front of our keyboards or game systems, not even allowing sunlight to come through the window.
When it comes to adding Vitamin D to your diet, there are many ways to do it, as well as some pros and cons of each.

 

How To Get More Vitamin D

 
Sunlight is probably the best way to get Vitamin D, as your body is best able to process it and use it. However, even small amounts of sun exposure can increase your risk for skin cancer, so it is best to balance your risks and benefits, and always wear some form of sunscreen.

Soak in the rays responsibly
Supplements are another option. They are readily available at almost any store and inexpensive to purchase. Unfortunately, supplements can only do so much.

 

 

 

Vitamin D Foods

 
While going outside is still the best option for upping your Vitamin D intake, you can help bring up levels with supplements. However, Vitamin D foods can also improve your Vitamin D levels.
 
Many companies fortify plant-milks and cow’s milk with Vitamin D. This is done to combat our lack of Vitamin D intake. However, Vitamin D has also shown in studies to help with the absorption of calcium within the body.
 
Stronger bones sound like a dream come true, but don’t go overboard with Vitamin D and calcium consumption [4].
 
Research indicates,
 

“The safe upper level of vitamin D recommended by the Endocrine Society when accompanied by calcium supplements results in frequent hypercalciuria. The risk of kidney stones at these levels should be investigated.”

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf).
Getting it from your foods can help as well, and lots of fatty fish, like Salmon and Trout, as well as mushrooms exposed to UV light, can have much higher levels of Vitamin D [5].

 

The Science of Vitamin D and IBS

 
People who have IBS are often also are deficient in Vitamin D. There are two strong, probable causes that these two issues go hand-in-hand:
 
• Not Having Enough Vitamin D is causing IBS
• IBS-induced diarrhea is preventing Vitamin D absorption
 
According to one study that was published in 2018 in the Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology:


“Recent studies have suggested a relationship between vitamin D and IBS. Vitamin D has a potential role as immune modulator, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial agent that can explain its role in IBS. Furthermore, vitamin D receptors (VDR) are expressed in the gut affecting gut function, motility, and IBS symptoms. Moreover, depression, which initiates or aggravates IBS symptoms, is more common in vitamin D deficiency [6].”

Saudi J Gastroenterol
A lot of the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency trigger symptoms of IBS. When our body is lacking an essential nutrient in cell production and vitamin absorption, it may cause joint pain, GI issues, and inflammation. All of this stress may cause someone to develop IBS.

 

Why Vitamin D is the Best Supplement for IBS

 
Vitamin D deficiencies are so common among people who have IBS. It might be best to talk to your doctor about seeing if you have it, and what you can do to help reduce the symptoms.
 

Vitamin D for IBS

No beating the sun

But, is there any research showing that Vitamin D is the best supplement for IBS? There is a study that looks at this very topic that was published in 2018. It is titled “Vitamin D status in irritable bowel syndrome and the impact of supplementation on symptoms: what do we know and what do we need to know?”
 
The conclusion of the study states that:
 

“The available evidence suggests that low vitamin D status is common among the IBS population and merits assessment and rectification for general health reasons alone. An inverse correlation between serum vitamin D and IBS symptom severity is suggested and vitamin D interventions may benefit symptoms [7].”

Eur J Clin Nutr.
It should be noted the study also states that the evidence found was not reliable as a standalone analysis and that further research is needed. However, this knowledge is beneficial for people who may suffer from IBS. This news gives hope that increased sunlight might be the best supplement for IBS.

 

Corrective Actions and IBS Treatments

 
With that being said, there is no harm in getting outside more and trying out a supplement that many people take. However, you should consult your physician first. They need to be aware of any changes you make to your diet and lifestyle, including supplements and microbiome testing.
 
IBS is a serious disorder that can harm your overall quality of life. While there are some things you can change in your lifestyle to fix it, do not take it on all by yourself. Talk to your physician, get outside, change your diet, and improve your gut health.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Pollock, M. E., Barrett, Crnpc., Barrett, D. C., Barrett, C. C., & Barrett, F.-B. C. (2019, February 8). Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Vitamin D: Is There a Connection? – Clinical Advisor. Clinical Advisor. Retrieved from clinicaladvisor.com/home/topics/gastroenterology-information-center/irritable-bowel-syndrome-and-vitamin-d-is-there-a-connection/.
 
[2] “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Mar. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016.
 
[3] E, M., & al., et. (2019, April). Prevalence and predictors of vitamin D deficiency in a nationally representative sample of adults participating in the 2011-2013 Australian Health … – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30674358.
 
[4] Aloia, John F, et al. “Safety of Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements, a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Clinical Endocrinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30180273.
 
[5] U.S Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. 2014. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Available at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.
 
[6] Amrousy, D. E. (2018, April 1). Vitamin D supplementation in adolescents with irritable bowel syndrome: Is it useful? A randomized controlled trial. PubMed Central (PMC). Retrieved from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5900470/.
 

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Top 17 SHOCKING Foods to Avoid with IBS

Up to 45 million people know the feeling. Frequent bloating, cramping, gas in stomach…living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a literal pain in the rear. Unfortunately, whole grains, seeds, legumes, and other foods that are healthy for most are triggers of IBS symptoms for others.
 
Health-conscious people with IBS feel like they’re dodging bullets in The Matrix when they’re just trying to figure out which gut healing foods actually agree with their gut. So, what are some of the foods causing the sour stomach that comes with IBS? Here are the Top 17.

 

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

 
With over 7% of the American population diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it’s a valid possibility that you may have IBS as well.
 
This condition is caused by carbohydrates our body can’t digest. The carbs that cause these uncomfortable situations are called FODMAPS.
 
FODMAP stands for:
• Fermentable
• Oligosaccharides
• Disaccharides
• Monosaccharides
• Polyols
 
These carbs are short chains, which makes FODMAPs poor for absorption within the large intestine. If the large intestine is uncomfortable, you will feel uncomfortable courtesy of different forms of gastrointestinal distress.
 
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include:
Water Compress for Stomach Pain
• Constipation and/or Diarrhea
• Anxiety
• Change in Time of Bowel Movements
• Cramping
• Fatigue
• Stomach Pain
If you are suffering from one or more of the following gastrointestinal problems, please consult a physician. In the meantime, it’s not a bad idea to start making dietary changes.

 

Don’t Eat These Foods with IBS

 
Unfortunately for those with IBS, there are many foods that are hard for our body to digest. Therefore, they linger. In some cases, these foods may cause harmful bacteria to fester. Other foods may just disrupt an already sour stomach.
 
Thryve Microbiome Testing for IBS
By joining the Thryve Gut Health Program, we help you determine foods that fit in with your dietary restrictions.
 
Foods are a lot like humans. They are all unique. Not one food has the exact same nutritional value as the other. In fact, not one Gala apple has the same nutritional value as the Gala apple right next to it in the bunch. Therefore, not every food is going to have the same reaction with every individual.
 
Of course, you should avoid refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, saturated fats, and processed foods. They’ll trigger IBS, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and a load of other gastrointestinal issues and health conditions. Therefore, we’re not going to shine a light on those foods today.
 
There are many healthy foods out there that may, unfortunately, cause symptoms of IBS to persist. Here are some you should avoid.

 

Alcohol

 
We all like to relax with a drink every now and then. However, sometimes we need to relax on the drinking. Alcohol has been used in medicine for over a century. That’s because strong alcohol can wipe our bacteria. Much like antibiotics, alcohol can do this to the good and the bad.
 
Excessive alcohol use may lead to the growth of gastrointestinal issues related to IBS. The reason IBS symptoms are linked to alcohol use is that excessive liquor alters your gut health, making your stomach a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. To get control of the bacteria, you can partake in microbiome testing.
 
By knowing the bacteria in your gut, Thryve can personalize probiotics for you to help restore balance in your system. As a result, symptoms of IBS and other gastrointestinal disorders may subside. If you believe you are addicted to alcohol, please seek help for treatment.

 

Apple Skin

 
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it’ll also keep someone with IBS on the toilet. Apples are extremely high in dietary fiber. This notion is especially true in the skin.
 
Apple skins are indigestible to the system. That’s what makes apples great prebiotics for probiotics. Unfortunately for those with IBS, no breaking down happens in the small intestine. Once the apple skin reaches the large intestine, it’s up to bacteria to chomp away.
 
As a result, digestion of food like apple skin create:
apple for gut health
Carbon Dioxide
Hydrogen
Methane

You don’t need to pass Science 101 to know gas in stomach leads to gastrointestinal distress associated with IBS such as bloating and feeling constipated.

 

Blackberries

 
Having a superfruit on a list of foods to avoid seems like a bad April’s Fool Day joke. However, if you eat blackberries with IBS, the joke is on you.
blackberries
While blackberries are high in antioxidants, they are also rich in salicylates. As a matter of fact, salicylates are actual active ingredients added to many Aspirin products. Therefore, the symptoms of IBS associated with eating too many blackberries may mirror those with a sensitivity to Aspirin–frequent bouts of diarrhea.

Broccoli

 
The little kid in you is probably like, “See! I was right all along!” Broccoli is an excellent source of plant-based molecules. However, it also contains a lot of sulfur.
 
When sulphur mixes with our stomach acids, it produces hydrogen sulphide. Hydrogen sulphide leads to gastrointestinal issues such as a sour stomach.
In addition, broccoli is rich in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber adds bulk to our stool. For those with IBS, the large intestine may already have enough on its plate. Overwhelming the system may cause a tear in the intestines, resulting in Leaky Gut Syndrome.

 

Carbonated Drinks

 
If you already have a sour stomach, why add bubbles to the mix? Might as well throw some Pop Rocks in there too for good measure! We don’t condone the use of sugary carbonated beverages like soda. These syrup-based bevies are high in refined sugars that will do a number on your gut health.
carbonated water
 
With that being said, the boujee La Croixs of the world will also cause gastrointestinal distress. While seltzer won’t cause IBS to develop like soda will, it can cause gas in stomach and bloating. If you have IBS, your common symptoms will only be further exasperated.

 

Cabbage/Sauerkrat

 
Cabbage has very high levels of insoluble fiber. As we mentioned, this adds bulk to your digestion system. As a result, you may feel uncomfortable symptoms associated with IBS.
 
We are huge cabbage fans at Thryve because this vegetable makes for some awesome fermented foods like kimchi. That is why if you are going to eat cabbage, sauerkraut and kimchi are the best way to go.
kimchi gut healthy foods
When you ferment foods, the probiotic bacteria feast on the sugars within the brine. These are the sugars (carbs) that got stuck in our large intestine. Therefore, eating kraut (or kimchi) can help you digest cabbage because probiotics did the work for you already. Cabbage on it’s own? Stay away if you have IBS!

 

Chia Seeds

 
Chia seeds are a catch-22 food for those with IBS. This powerful protein source also has an abundance of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber soaks up water. Therefore, if you have diarrhea from IBS, chia seeds may exasperate the situation.
 
In the same breath, if you are are feeling constipated, chia seeds may help. By drawing water in, chia seeds will help break up the solid stool that you’re having trouble passing.
chia seeds
 
If you are experiencing issues with digesting chia seeds, soak them before eating. Put the seeds in a lactose-free pudding, Greek yogurt bowl, or water to ease the digestion of food.
 
In the long-term, research believes chia seeds can actually help prevent IBS in bodies that don’t already have gastrointestinal disorders. However, if you already have IBS, then remove chia seeds from your diet to avoid flareups.

 

Chili Peppers

 
Chili peppers come with intense flavor and can bring a litany of fruitful notes and dashes of heat to any dish. Unfortunately, adding flair to our plate adds flare to your gut.
 
chili peppers
Research indicates elevated levels of capsaicin, the active compound in peppers, can cause abdominal pain. When capsaicin interacts with TRPV1-immunoreactive nerve fibers, it caused the body to create substance P (pain) in the colon.

 

Coffee

 
We know. You need your coffee to get your day going. However, it also gets your plumbing going. For everyday coffee drinkers, that’s part of the routine. For IBS sufferers, coffee can throw a bomb in your routine.
coffee
 
Caffeine stimulates your body. Research indicates that coffee also stimulates colonic reactions. These unfavorable IBS symptoms can be further exasperated when you add dairy and artificial sweetners to your morning joe.
 
If you need a caffeine pick-me-up, opt for kombucha. This is a fermented tea that has probiotic bacteria. Probiotics may improve gastrointestinal distress, clearing symptoms associated with IBS. To further nurture a healthy microbiome, try a gut test kit so Thryve can personalize probiotics for your IBS condition.

 

Dairy

 
As we mentioned, dairy can complicate your coffee consumption. Our love affair with dairy goes back to the womb. However, humans are the only mammals to consume dairy past childhood. Furthermore, we’re the only species to consume another mammal’s milk. Suffice to say, lactose in dairy is one of the top allergens for humans.
A study was conducted, examining the long-term effects of lactose on the gastrointestinal issues of 230 patients. 68.2% of the subjects had trouble digesting lactose. The analysis concluded, “Lactose malabsorption may induce abdominal symptoms indistinguishable from those of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); however the exact relationship between the two conditions and the optimal differential diagnostic workup are still to be defined.”

 

Legumes

 
Legumes are tough on the system. They are rich in lectins. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins. So, it’s like adding something bulky that your body can’t digest…onto something bulky that your body can’t digest.
 
If you have IBS, avoid foods such as:
legumes for IBS
• Baked Beans
• Black Beans
• Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans
• Kidney Beans
• Lima Beans
• Split Peas
 
Unfortunately, for clean eaters like those following a Paleo Vegan Diet, limiting legumes is a challenge. Legumes are a great source of protein.
 
However, turn to the following Low FODMAP options:
 
• Firm Tofu
• Tempeh
• Nuts
• Seeds
 
Now, firm tofu and tempeh are tricky for those with IBS. We’ll get to that a bit later in our soy section.

 

Mushrooms

 
These tasty fungi are rich in a compound known as mannitol. Mannitol is a polyol. Only one-third of polyols can be absorbed by the body.
 
mushrooms
Seeing as mushrooms have high levels of this crystalline compound, it’s hard for us to digest them. Therefore, they linger and trigger uncomfortable symptoms associated with IBS.
 
In addition, high mannitol foods act as a laxative. Since they are poorly absorbed, the sit in the large intestine and draw in water. For those with IBS, mushrooms may cause an increase of bowel momvements. Also, msuhrooms are high in crystallines, so mannitol ferments faster.

 

Onions

 
The flavor of onions can transform any meal, but the presence of onions can disrupt any gut with IBS. The reason for IBS symptoms due to onions is because these alliums have high levels of fructans.
onions
 
Fructans are polymers of the fructose molecule. They cause a litany of gastrointestinal issues when consumed in high doses. If you are using onions and have IBS, lay low on the garlic, scallions, and shallots!

 

Potatoes

 
Potatoes, especially sweet potatoes, can be great dietary sources of fiber for beneficial probiotic bacteria. However, potatoes (and other nightshades) often send IBS symptoms into a tizzy.
 
These resistant starches sit in your stomach because your body can’t break it down. As your probiotics feast on the potato fibers, they will release gas in stomach that may cause gastrointestinal distress.
 
If you do choose to eat potatoes with IBS, make sure it’s in small quantities. Also, opt for the sweet potato we gave a shout-out to. They are rich in many beneficial micronutrients.

 

Soybeans

 
As we mentioned earlier, soy products like firm tofu and tempeh are low FODMAP solutions for plant-based eaters looking to swap out legumes. Yet, here is the soybean on the list of foods to avoid with IBS. Let us explain.
 
Soybeans are rich in fructan and oligosaccharides, the O in FODMAP. Plus, they are low in fiber. Therefore, you are stuck with IBS irritants in your intestines.
 
Fructan and oligosaccharides are also water-soluble. That means if you place these food products in water, they will seep into the liquid. Therefore, products sitting in water like tofu and fermented foods like tempeh are gut healthy foods in the soy family.
 
This low FODMAP option is possible because the tofu block doesn’t have the IBS triggers. The water it’s sitting in does! With that being said, avoid soy milk if you have IBS. It’s made by soaking soybeans in water. You are drinking high FODMAP water.

 

Watermelon

 
Speaking of water, watermelon has a lot of it. This makes the fruit troublesome for those who have diarrhea associated with IBS.
 
watermelon
Watermelons are high in mannitol. As we mentioned with mushrooms, mannitol is not IBS-friendly. It also has elevated levels of sorbitol. Research on sorbitol and IBS find that this alcohol-free sugar triggers diarrhea.

 

 

Whole Grains

 
You didn’t think we’d forget the top allergen in the world–gluten. Gluten is a sugar molecule found in wheat.
This sticky protein is hard for our body to digest. It also has a gelatinous texture that wreaks havoc on the fibers surrounding our intestines.
 
Whole grains are also high in fiber. Therefore, if you have diarrhea problems due to IBS, whole grains may increase the frequency of your bowel movements.

 

Microbiome Testing and IBS

 
If you are experiencing symptoms of IBS, there are many factors at play. The first step to healing your gut health is to get a gut bacteria test kit. The Thryve At-Home Gut Test gives you everything you need to discreetly and sanitarily collect a sample and mail to our laboratory.
 
gut health test kit
With microbiome testing, we can determine the harmful bacteria that cause a majority of the symptoms associated with IBS. That way, we can formulate a personalized probiotic supplement complete with the beneficial bacteria missing from your microbiome.
The process of microbiome testing can take two to four weeks. While you wait, it’s the perfect moment to make dietary changes. That means eliminating the foods that disrupt IBS.
 
Lastly, as a member of the Thryve Gut Health Program, we work with you to feed your probiotics adequately. Our trained staff is well-versed in IBS triggers and foods that can help your beneficial bacteria in stomach grow. Once you reclaim your gut health, IBS can kiss your behind!

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A Biologist’s Take On Three Common Digestive Disorders.

As perfect as we are all born into this world, the human condition offers some of its own biological challenges for us to deal with while we crawl, walk and start running.
 
As we know, our body functions as a result of an extremely well-orchestrated symphony involving all the complex bodily processes of digestion, metabolism, immunity and the obvious oversight of the nervous system.
 
There is a complex network of interaction underlying all our bodily processes. And hence, it is safe to assume that small glitches in such a heavily interconnected network of systems can have varied effects on the healthy functioning of our body.
 
So, let us try to understand what these bodily glitches are, and how they present themselves and affect our health. We will attend to one bodily process at a time.
 
The end goal is to use this knowledge to manage our challenges through well-informed intervention and seeking the right management strategy to live a healthy life. Can’t put a price tag on good health, can we?
 

 

Digestion

 
Digestion is a process in which our gastrointestinal tract (GI), liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are involved. All these organs comprise the digestive system and they work together to break down food into nutrients. These nutrients are used by our body for growth, cell repair, and energy which drives all the biological processes.  
 
So, in this article, we will take a look at three of the most common digestive ailments that affect Americans;  Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Constipation and Celiac disease.  

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

 

Studies conducted have shown that about 12% of people in the United States have IBS.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder.  This means that IBS is related to discrepancies with how the brain and the gut interact with each other and function. These discrepancies may lead to changes in the way the muscles of the bowel contract. The consequence-  The many symptoms that follow including persistent pain in the abdomen and changes in the bowel movement which leads to either constipation, diarrhea or both.  
 
Women are two times more likely to develop IBS than men. Factors that can influence the onset of IBS are having family members who have developed IBS,  depression, food intolerance and sensitivities, a severe infection of the digestive system, and having a stressful life history and present.   
 
The diagnosis of the syndrome is made based on the characteristics of the stool and its movement and the associated discomfort with it.
 
IBS treatment that is generally utilized by doctors includes recommendations in the patient’s diet and other lifestyle factors, certain medications,  probiotics, supplements, and mental health therapies.
 
The dietary changes that are usually recommended in case of IBS are consuming more fiber in the diet, avoiding gluten and following a particular eating plan like a low FODMAP diet. The lifestyle changes promoted for IBS treatment include increasing physical activity, addressing and avoiding the usual sources of stress and getting healthy amounts of sleep.

 

Constipation

 

 
Affecting about 42 million people in the United States alone, constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal (GI) conditions.  Well, constipation is an uncomfortable condition which is typically characterized by the following; where a person has fewer than three bowel movements a week and experiences bowel movements with stools that are dry, small and hard which may be difficult or painful to pass.  
 
Even though constipation is fairly common among all age groups, women (during pregnancy and after birth), older adults, non-Caucasians and people taking anti-depression/painkillers treatment are more likely to experience constipation.  
 
Well, the complications associated with constipation is not pretty as well. Hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapse, and fecal impaction, need I say more?
 
Constipation is treated based on the cause, severity, and the duration of the condition.  The treatment might include over the counter medications, dietary interventions, and physical exercises.
 
Changing the way we eat can help treat constipation.  Consuming liquids throughout the day, eating more fruits, vegetables, and food with fiber can aid the treatment of this condition. And indulging in physical exercises every day will also help regularize your bowel movements.  

 

Celiac Disease

 

As many as one in 143 Americans (who comes up with such statistics right?) suffer from Celiac disease and most are unaware of having the condition. Celiac disease is a digestive condition where the small intestine is damaged but the damage is not restricted to the small intestine.
 
The condition is triggered by consuming gluten-containing food. Gluten is a protein present in wheat, barley, and rye.  To add to this list is a long line of products such as pre-packaged foods,  lip balms, lipsticks, hair and skin products, supplements which also contain gluten in them.
 
Celiac disease is no joking matter, it can result in long-lasting digestive problems and rid your body off the opportunity to absorb nutrients efficiently.  And unlike gluten sensitivity or wheat intolerance, celiac disease damages the small intestine.  The small intestine has specialized finger-like projections called villi which helps in the absorption of nutrients from the food we consume. They are the victims of the celiac disease.
 
The complications associated with celiac disease include malnutrition, fastening the process of osteoporosis (bone softening), reproductive problems and nervous system disorders.  
 
Celiac disease presents itself as digestive problems among other symptoms, the common ones being bloating, constipation, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, chronic diarrhea, and to get to the icky bit, pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stools that float. Well, it had to be said.
 
The diagnosis of the disease is done based on the patient’s medical and family history, physical exams, and tests which may include blood tests, biopsy, and genetic tests.
 
Removing gluten from the diet is most essential part of the treatment. It helps in healing the war injuries of the small intestine. And as the small intestine (villi) recovers, so will the patient’s health while preventing further damage.
 
The immediate recovery from celiac disease after following a gluten-free diet is somewhere between days to weeks after this diet is started. The complete healing can take up to several years in adults. People with celiac disease can eat foods such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, and rice as long as they are not spiked with any gluten-containing additives. And instead of wheat flour, buckwheat, rice, soy, amaranth, bean, or quinoa flour can be used.
 
The digestive system is a complex environment where many factors work together to ensure good health. We, as owners of this system, need to understand our body and learn to listen to it. And the most important bit of this article, the ability to understand what Hippocrates once said about food, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
 
Disclaimer: The above article is sponsored by Thryve, the world’s first Gut Health Program that incorporates microbiome testing and personalized probiotics to ensure a healthier gut, happier life, and a brighter future.

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