by Sinead Fine (MAHA)

TEN STEPS TO A HEALTHY BOWEL

  1. Drink more water and fluids.
  2. Exercise more.
  3. Plums

  4. Use relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
  5. Eat properly - slowly, in peace, chewing well and avoiding liquids with meals and for 1 - 2 hours afterwards.
  6. Increase fibre in diet - more fruit, vegetables, cooked millet and oats, nuts, seeds and seed oils.
  7. Omit foods that may create aggravation - such as citrus, wheat, corn, eggs, dairy.
  8. Take Pre and Pro-biotic foods and supplements - Probiotics such as acidophilus, bifidus and other gut bacteria should be taken. Pre-biotic foods promote good bacteria and are found in some forms of dietary fibre, which contain fructooligosaccharides. Prebiotic foods like chicory, asparagus and tomatoes as well as buying in the form of supplements help the healthy gut bacteria to proliferate. Also eat more fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, buttermilk and natural yoghurt.
  9. Cut down on intake or avoid known gut irritants - alcohol, caffeine, smoking, saturated fats.
  10. Take suitable herbs if necessary to combat symptoms - such as Peppermint, Camomile, Slippery Elm, Agrimony, Blackberry leaves, Valarien, Wormwood, Fennel, Cumin, Anise etc.
  11. Try the following supplement regime for better assimilation of food:
  • Multivitamin/multimineral - To provide nutrients you may be losing because of poor absorption or diarrhoea.
  • B-complex - 50-100mg of each vitamin in times of stress. Extra pantothenic acid (B5) is often very useful in times of stress on top of the B vitamins, as it supports the adrenal glands, but do not take long term. Excess pantothenic acid (B5) can cause diarrhoea.
  • Vitamin C - 200-500 mg x twice a day. Buffered Vitamin should be used by those irritated by the ascorbic form.
  • Magnesium - 400-800 mg per day with food. Can help with muscle cramps and constipation. Can also stop or cause diarrhoea depending on the dose - each person has individual needs - check with your natural therapist or local health food store.
  • Psyllium - Can help bulk up stools in cases of diarrhoea while allowing decongestion in constipation. Take plenty of water when taking psyllium.
  • Digestive bitters - Taken before food, bitters are herbs that help to increase enzyme production.
  • Digestive enzymes - To help food digestion when taken with meals.
  • Flaxseed and Hemp Oils - For hormonal balance, lubrication of bowels and much other health benefits

NOTE

Psylium - should not be used within two hours of taking any other drug, as it may delay absorption.
Valerian - may cause excessive drowsiness in those on sedative drugs or drugs which have sedative side effects e.g. antihistamines. Also do not take if suffering from strong depression.
Fish Oils - Avoid if on anticoagulant drugs e.g. Warfarin
Garlic - May increase potency of blood pressure tablets

Homeopathy can be effective in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Please contact your local Homeopath for constitutional treatment.