What is IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal problem for people with improper food habits and leading stressful (fear, anger, guilt, performance oriented) lifestyle. IBS is a condition or a acute discomfort in stomach area, combined with symptoms like excessive flatulence (gas release), stomach bloating, painful bowel movement, constipation or diarrhea and abnormal stool. A large proportion of patients with IBS also have indigestion, chronic fatigue syndrome, painful menstrual periods, urinary frequency (going to the toilet too often), headaches and poor sleep. The symptoms can vary among person to person, male or female, duration of suffering and frequency.
Common Symptoms of IBS –
- In irritable bowel syndrome the person has to go to the toilet often and has loose, watery or pellet like stools.
- Diarrhea rarely occurs at night and is most severe before and after breakfast. At other times the person is constipated. Most people with irritable bowel syndrome alternate between episodes of constipation and diarrhea. They also experience recurrent, colicky or cramping pain in the lower part of the abdomen which is relieved by defecation. They often have a painful rectum and mucous in their stools.
- The person often gets bloating of the abdomen that worsens throughout the day. There is also a feeling of incomplete defecation
- Panic attacks, acid reflux and heart burn.
Common Causes of IBS –
- Imbalance growth of bad bacteria & yeast in the lower large intestine.
- High intake of carbohydrates & sugar, therefore feeding bad bacteria in the large intestine and producing ill effects.
- FODMAP food which does not digest in the smaller intestine moves to large intestine in undigested form and gets fermented by bad bacteria’s resulting in formation of short chain fatty acids and unpleasant gases including carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen etc.,. in turn stomach gets upset, stomach bloats and releases excessive gas.
- Certain food not tolerated by the body like lactose and wheat.
- Some kind of stress, fear, anxiety or trying to perform competitive tasks produces high level of stress hormone cortisol on continuous basis, resulting in lowering the production of vital digestive enzymes in stressful mindset promoting indigestion and IBS symptoms.
- Exhaustion of the immune system, the patient T-Cells production seems to be running down. Reference
- Hormonal imbalances in women during menstrual periods.
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Lack of sleep
How Kefir can help to combat IBS at the root level ?
- Kefir is a traditional probiotic food with multiple strains of good bacteria’s and yeast which helps to break down the food, assists body to absorb nutrition and eliminate the residuals with ease. When a person consumes these probiotic foods, the beneficial bacteria’s settles in the GI tract and predominantly in larger intestine arresting the bad bacteria population and its bad activities. Research Reference
- Kefir changes our food preferences naturally – Good bacteria introduced in our gut mainly feeds on plant based high fibre food, so we naturally incline towards the vegetables & dark greens and avoid sugary junk food or carbohydrates which are the main food for bad bacteria’s. Our body & mind listens to our Gut flora food preference!
- Kefir is considered as an anti-inflammatory food, it reduces the inflammation and heals stomach ulcer wounds.
- Kefir contains the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan which raises the level of the Serotonin (happy hormone) in our brain and GI tract. Thereby Kefir helps to soothe our stress and improve sleep pattern. Reference
- Kefir modulates the immune system which is very important for IBS patients who have a weak immune system. Reference
Which Kefir will suit you?
Milk kefir is a traditional probiotic fermented milk which is enjoyed as an healthy and delicious food throughout the world. Milk kefir tastes like yogurt or sour curd. Though milk is considered as high FODMAP in lactose, once fermented, lactose turns into lactic acid which is easily digestible by even lactose intolerant people.
Water kefir / Coconut Water Kefir
Water kefir is most simplest and easiest probiotic drink fermented in sweet water (sugar or jaggery) or pure tender coconut water. The sugar part is consumed by the bacteria’s leaving us a wonderful probiotic drink with billions of gut friendly bacteria’s. Water kefir tastes like soda reduces the bloating and congestion. You can read some IBS patients testimonies and water kefir experience in a health forum.
One of our customer who consumed water kefir has given her testimony about her journey of recovering from IBS Symptoms permanently. Name: Swetha Testimony
Other important lifestyle change suggestions for IBS recovery –
- Avoid spicy and sugary foods that trigger your symptoms
- Eat high-fiber foods, mainly prebiotic food which feeds the probiotic bacterias.
- Change to low FODMAP diet to manage the symptoms.
- Add anti-inflammatory food to your diet.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Exercise regularly
- Get enough sleep
- Perform de-stressing activities like meditation, fun or play activities, love & forgive everybody and get into spiritual prayers which will lower your unwanted stress hormones which is always activated in your IBS case. (This is the most important part of lifestyle change, so I kept it for last)
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