With the 2013 well under way and a few hints of spring, how many of us can honestly say that we have stuck to the fresh start we promised ourselves?

 

The most common New Year’s resolution is to eat more healthily, loose weight and exercise more. However, this can be more than just facing your will power if you suffer from I.B.S and other digestive problems.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

As you cut out, what you know to be naughty foods, sugary, sweet food you may find that you start suffering with a new set of problems like headaches and feeling lethargic. When this happens, it’s easy to give up your best intentions, feeling like you’ve failed, eat forbidden foods and feel momentarily better before the doom and gloom sets in of feeling like you’re never going to be able to change.

 

If this sounds like your story, it is worth knowing that, your body is doing the best it can and is not letting you down (although it may feel like it). What is likely to be happening is that the digestive system needs some support. All sorts of day to day actions can cause havoc on digestion. The most obvious being processed foods, sugary foods, caffeine drinks and alcohol. But also strain can be put on the system by irregular eating patterns, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, stress, anti-biotics, medications and parasites.

 

Our digestive system hosts the largest colonies of bacteria, with a healthy adult carrying on average 1.5 – 2 kg of bacteria in the gut. These bacteria are a highly organised micro-world with a number of vital functions that our bodies require of them.

 

If this organized eco-system of bacteria in our gut becomes unbalanced due to havoc and stress then the good bacteria will find it hard to work in defence of the digestive system.  The longer the body is compromised the worse the situation becomes.

 

The digestive tract is coated with a bacterial layer which provides a natural barrier against invaders, undigested food, toxins and parasites. As well as providing a physical barrier, they work against invasive micro organisms by producing anti-biotic- like substances that are anti-viral and anti-fungal and engage the immune system to respond to these invaders. They strive to keep the pH levels correct so that invading microbes cannot survive. If the less desirable gut bacteria become dominant Leaky Gut Syndrome develops as the mucus layer is weakened and allowing undigested foods and substances that would normally be digested to cross over and enter the bloodstream.

 

When this happens the immune system sends out antibodies to fight these foreign substances causing allergic reactions, pain and inflammation throughout the body.

 

Wow – so it’s no wonder, with all this is going on in the body, that sticking to a new diet in January is near on impossible.  But the real question is how to heal the gut.

 

Removing the culprits in the diet is the obvious start, but doing this alone isn’t enough. Fasting is great, to give the liver a rest, but not always practical so eating foods that are gentle on the digestive system to help clear waste out of the body.  Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help to detoxify the body.

Supplements such as Glutamine will help repair the gut wall and a high-quality Pro-Biotic will help build up the good bacteria inside the gut.

 

Depending on your symptoms, homeopathic remedies will ease discomfort. Nux Vomica can help when the symptoms are worse from eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol or coffee, and when you’re burning the candle at both ends.  You could try Pulsatilla if there is a sensitivity to fatty rich foods, yet little thirst. Indigestion and heartburn are worse at night and better for fresh air.  If the symptoms are worse between 4.00pm and 8.00pm and when you do eat you are full up after a couple of mouthfuls then Lycopodium may help. If this is the remedy you need there is likely to be a lot of gas which is worse eating cabbage and onions.

 

These are a few things that you can consider for yourself but if you feel the need for extra support I invite you to the ‘Healthy Gut Clinic’ I am running, which offers a natural way to achieve healing. There is no quick fix to optimum health, but if you are prepared to commit, you will start to reap the rewards instantly.  I don’t believe that anyone should feel worse during a course of treatment so aim for a gentle but effective, lasting approach.

 

Written by Sarah Allenby-Byrne

Ready to start working on your gut then visit Sarah:

Healthy Gut Clinic at Coast – Mondays 4.00pm – 7.00pm

                                                                 —  Wednesdays 10.00am – 2.00pm

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