DON’T TAKE IT SITTING DOWN
Author: Linda Alexander April 2013
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – one of the recent illnesses plaguing people in the UK. What is it? What causes it? Why does it affect so many people? What can be done about it?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is described as a set of symptoms including diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and abdominal pain., nausea and vomiting, depression, anxiety and stress. It is estimated to affect 10 to 20% of people at some time and is more common in women and people aged 25 to 45.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about IBS. Patients get very worried, thinking they have some dreadful disease, when in fact it is actually the opposite.
The good thing about getting a medical diagnosis of IBS is that it means there is nothing CLINICALLY wrong with you. To explain, this does not mean it is psychological or in your head. It does not mean the symptoms are imagined. They are very real, distressing and debilitating. People can lose their social lives, their jobs and relationships as a consequence of IBS.
The shocking lack of public toilets in the UK and Glasgow in particular does nothing to help the situation with many people afraid to go out, in case they disgrace themselves in public. They are unable to travel by car or public transport, by plane or train through fear of not being able to get to a toilet.
But you are not ill in the clinical sense, you do not have crones disease, you do not have diverticulitis, coeliacs disease, colitis, you do not have bowel cancer.
Food Sensitivity or Stress?
The chances are you have a food sensitivity or it is stress related, or a combination of both.
Lactose Intolerance or Wheat Sensitivity?
Lactose intolerance can often be mistaken for IBS. Cutting out milk and dairy products may help to reduce symptoms and identify what the condition actually is, IBS or Lactose intolerance.
All we have to do is deal with finding out if food is causing the problem or not. Then we can look at the possibility of stress and deal with that. It is fairly simple as we already know the “suspect” foods.
There are a number of suspect foods in IBS. The biggest, commonest one is WHEAT and any product containing wheat. Wheat is contained in biscuits, cakes, breakfast cereals, pastries, pasta, bread (including brown and wholemeal).
Many people are conditioned into believing that they should eat bread and also that by eating brown bread they are making a healthier choice. Not so. Brown bread is white bread with colouring.
Many people rely on fast foods, especially during working hours and tend to buy rolls, sandwiches, baguettes and burgers. Carbohydrates are a necessary part of our diet. Nutritional experts advise around a third of complex carbohydrates on a daily basis, a third protein and a third essential fatty acids for optimum health. Complex carbs are different from simple carbs. In the UK most people eat far too much carbohydrate.
How You May be affected by Wheat.
White flour is nutritionally devoid of vitamins or minerals. White flour has been so refined that any goodness in the original husks of the wheat is removed.
Wheat is a starch. It is also a simple carbohydrate which means that it enters the bloodstream much quicker than complex carbohydrates. The effect is similar to a sugar rush. So much starch entering the system creates a sugar rush to the brain and causes a sharp rise in blood sugar levels.
This is followed by the system pumping out insulin to cope with the sugar high. In some people the next stage is hypoglycaemia type symptoms as the insulin reserves are used up.
Symptoms can be sudden drop in blood sugar causing such symptoms as extreme lethargy and/or sleepiness, brain fog, poor concentration, poor memory. These feelings can be temporary as the body is very good at normalising itself, but with regular repeated doses of wheat they can cause an allergy/addiction response.
People crave wheat or bread in a vain attempt to keep the HIGH feeling. This results in continual yo-yoing of the blood sugar.
This can be a precursor to diabetes.
Candida Albicans and IBS
A history of Candida Albicans (Thrush) is another factor in IBS.
Candida Albicans is a bacteria which lives in the human gut and depends on yeast and sugars to stay alive. What is the raising agent in bread? Yeast. Yeast is in itself a bacteria which multiplies at a massive rate when heated and in the right environment.
The presence of candida albicans in the body causes people to crave yeast, yeast products and sugars. There are other unpleasant symptoms such as oral and vaginal thrush, bloating, brain fog, headaches and even depression.
The three most obvious and common products are Bread, Alcohol (especially wine), Sugar and Cheese.
This can result in a condition known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. This means that the gut is leaking undigested food out of the system. The nutrients from the food are not absorbed resulting in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The symptoms of deficiency vary enormously. One is B12 deficiency known as pernicious anaemia. The subject of deficiency is too large to go into here.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help.
The good news is that hypnotherapy can help people to make the necessary dietary changes which will in due course reduce the cravings and bring relief of symptoms. Hypnotherapy is used to help make it much easier to change habits by giving suggestions to the unconscious mind that the client has lost interest in certain foods and is much more attracted to other foods.
Hypnotherapy is also used to reduce stress and anxiety which can also upset gut function and lower the body’s ability co cope with possible allergens.
This does not mean that these products have to be given up for life. Coming off them for a while gives the body a chance to cleanse itself and the immune system to recover.
After a period of time small amounts can be re-introduced and responses monitored. If the symptoms come back the person can make a personal decision on whether they want to put up with the symptoms and enjoy their sandwiches or prefer to find alternatives to bread, cereals and wheat. Some alternatives are Rye Bread, Ryvita, Rice Cakes, Oatcakes, Rice and Porridge to name a few, all of which do not contain wheat.
Please get in touch if there is anything you would like to ask in relation to hypnotherapy and irritable bowel syndrome.
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