To enjoy a healthy life you need to have a happy gut!
Do you feel grumpy on the day when your bowel movement hasn’t been normal?
Even multiple studies have confirmed that your gut health is important to ensure better immunity, physical & mental health and overall quality of life.
Today we will discuss irritable bowel syndrome ( IBS), its symptoms, causes and natural cure as per Ayurveda.
What is IBS?
IBS is a functional disorder that affects your gastrointestinal tract (gut).
IBS affects around 11% of the population globally. It is not one condition but when a group of symptoms occur together they are collectively termed IBS.
It is also known as spastic colon, nervous colon, mucous colitis and spastic bowel. As the name suggests, it is mainly related to the colon, the large intestine.
IBS is a chronic condition that requires long term management or it may end up causing serious damage to the large intestine.
Symptoms of IBS
In irritable bowel syndrome, the movement of your bowels is affected. Although every person faces different symptoms, they all generally feel fatigued and decreased life quality in the long run.
You may experience
- Abdominal pain
- Incomplete emptying of the rectum
- Painful elimination
- Mucous in stool
- Bowel movement right after meals
You may have a combination of symptoms different from other IBS patients.
These symptoms are quite common and could be experienced by even a healthy person. But if you experience these repeatedly for a long time and if they are more intense than normal, then you should consult a doctor immediately because IBS could mess with your normal day-to-day routine.
Problems with IBS
IBS is something that eventually hijacks your health and normal way of life.
1. Unpredictable bowel movements
IBS can deteriorate the quality of your life. People with IBS find it difficult to plan anything in advance due to their.
2. Frequent visits to the bathroom
They can not get involved in social activities away from home. Availability of bathrooms is their top priority at parties rather than a delicious platter.
3. The pain!
Not just that, IBS can make trips to the bathroom terrible as the passage of stool becomes painful for people with constipation.
4. Psychological hell
The negative psychological effects that follow make the situation even harder to manage for people with chronic IBS. People have reported feelings of fear, anxiety, hatred, guilt and shame.
Types of irritable bowel syndrome
- IBS-C (Constipation dominant)
- IBS-D ( Diarrhoea dominant)
- IBS-M ( Diarrhoea + Constipation, mixed consistency)
Risks involved with IBS
Having irritated and unpredictable bowel movements are not the only thing to worry about with IBS. If left untreated for a long time it can be damaging to the gut and overall health.
Some of the complications that come with IBS are
Sitting for too long on a toilet can push blood to the lower areas. Stained and swollen veins down there can cause haemorrhoids.
2. Anal fissures
Exerting a lot of pressure on your anal muscles can cause cuts and bleeding. It can be painful when the dry stool passes through this.
3. Rectal prolapse
Pushing too much to relieve yourself can weaken the rectal muscles and may result in mild to serious rectal prolapse.
IBS-D can lead to frequent visits to the bathroom with runny stool. This can leave your body deprived of sufficient fluid and lead to dehydration.
5. Improper nourishment
IBS can cause weight loss due to stress and diet restrictions. You may need to avoid a lot of foods that could be bad for your irritated gut and can lead to malnourishment. IBS also disrupts digestion and nutrient absorption.
Natural management of IBS as per Ayurveda
Ayurvedic treatment of IBS is done by taking into consideration digestive functions, physio-psychological personality type (dosha type) and the symptoms involved.
This helps to provide the patient with a highly personalised treatment.
According to a study on the efficacy of Ayurvedic versus the conventional medicine approach to treating irritable bowel syndrome, it was found that Ayurveda was successful in symptom reduction and treatment of IBS.
This encourages people to choose herbal treatments over any other as they have zero side effects and tend to enhance overall health.
5 Ayurvedic herbs for irritable bowel syndrome
Bilvadileha is a mixture of various herbs that are used to relieve the symptoms of IBS. In a study, done on patients with IBS, Bilvadileha was found to be effective in treating IBS with no adverse reactions after the trial.
Made from 3 fruits powder, triphala is a tonic for overall health. It helps in balancing the tridosha low-cost and managing IBS-C, IBS-D and IBS-M.
According to research, triphala helps in improving a lot of other gastrointestinal disorders along with IBS.
Dasamoolarishtam is effective in reducing bloating and abdominal gas. It contains many herbs along with the ten herb roots known as Dashamula that is a great tonic for gut health.
4. Cumin Seeds
Studies show that cumin extract can be useful in improving all IBS symptoms. It is a low-cost remedy that is easily available in the kitchen. Cumin improves stool consistency and reduces mucous discharge and frequent urge to use the bathroom.
Fenugreek is packed with soothing and anti-inflammatory effects. It is also useful in managing IBS-D and it provides relief in bloating, watery stool and abdominal cramps.
These herbs are very useful in IBS management. They are natural and have no side effects. Some of the above herbs come with exceptions for people with other health disorders like hypertension. Therefore, you should always consult a vaidya before taking them.
To sum up
IBS symptoms may seem very normal at first but need medical attention. Ayurveda provides some of the highly beneficial remedies and a well-researched line of treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.
A person with IBS should not self-medicate themselves as this may end up disturbing their gastrointestinal tract even more. Always seek the help of an experienced vaidya before choosing even the natural herbs.
How do you feel when you have irritable bowel syndrome?
Due to a disturbed gut, you may feel irritated and tired. Having frequent bowel movements in IBS-D you may feel drained as your body loses a lot of water. Some people experience abdominal cramps and bloating due to indigestion or the food acting up in the stomach.
In IBS-C you may feel the urge to pass stool but can not do so, this makes you gassy and causes mood swings.
What foods trigger IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Foods that cause bloating like beans, cabbage, carbonated beverages, lentils, etc tend to upset the stomach of many people. Fruits after sunset or after a full meal do not digest well and may cause acid reflux.
Never eat foods that digest easily after the heavy ones as this can make the fast-digesting food rot in your intestines.
How do you calm irritable bowel syndrome?
Avoid eating anything bad for your gut like spicy or oily foods. Fast for a few hours if you feel that your digestion is not working fine or only take light meals.
Relaxing your mind, brain and gut health are affected by each other, if you are stressed you may feel like relieving yourself.
Soothe your stomach with probiotic foods like yoghurt, watermelon, grapefruits. If you have IBS-D you can take a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds with warm water. This stops diarrhoea.
Sipping warm water while down in a squat pose eases bowel movements in the morning.
Does IBS cause weight gain?
Irritable bowel syndrome is both terrifying and painful. It gets you anxious every time not knowing when your next flare-up might be. You can not eat your favourite food and have to go to the toilet right after eating, in most IBS cases. This does take a toll on your health and you tend to lose weight as your body is not properly nourished.
In IBS-C the undigested food gets stuck in the track and begins to take the form of ama, body toxins in Ayurveda. Ama and bad digestion could be the cause of your weight gain.