Are Gluten-Free Diets and Nutritional Supplements Beneficial for Individuals with IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an inflammatory intestinal disorder that often causes abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. It is also sometimes referred to as a spastic or irritable colon. Unfortunately, the root causes are not always easily deduced.

The symptoms associated with IBS are unpleasant and can cause significant stress in the digestive system. Additionally, digestive stress may increase susceptibility to other health concerns. Some of the potential contributors to this condition may include:
  • 1. Food intolerances/sensitivities
  • 2. Emotional distress or anxiety
  • 3. Severe Intestinal infections
  • 4. Family history
Since all four factors are often present in people with IBS, experts address the symptoms holistically and comprehensively.

Food intolerances and IBS

Food intolerances are the first consideration of many wellness professionals when helping an individual with IBS. There are eight foods in particular that natural health advocates claim are the most likely culprits of inflammatory responses: gluten, soy, milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, and GMO foods.
Gluten, which is present in wheat, rye, and barley, is often at the top of that list. For those with celiac or severe digestive issues, gluten may be the most stressful to the gastrointestinal tract. In extreme cases for sensitive individuals, eating gluten could trigger an autoimmune reaction and damage the gastrointestinal lining. This reaction may impact the digestive system and stress other bodily systems and organs.
If an individual continues to eat the offending foods, health issues can become compounded. Eating foods that cause inflammatory responses can keep the body in unhealthy cycles of inflammation. Discovering these food intolerances may involve a four-day rotational diet or food sensitivity testing with a licensed natural health practitioner.

Lifestyle Strategies For Those With IBS

Since gluten intolerance and other sensitivities seem to be a shared characteristic among those with IBS, consider these simple lifestyle strategies:
  • 1. Eat a healthy, nutritious, and organic diet.
  • 2. Remove all food intolerances from your diet.
  • 3. Reduce emotional stress in your life, wherever possible.
  • 4. Take a high-quality multivitamin and, if recommended, a probiotic supplement.
If you live with IBS, ask your licensed natural health practitioner which supplements and tests might be right for you!
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