Irritable Bowel Syndrome, So Now What Do I Do, Part Two!

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Okay so here is what we know so far…….click here to read part one in case you missed it!

There is a connection between food intolerances and IBS.

Keeping a food journal can help you to make the connections between what you are eating and your IBS flare-ups.

Soluble and insoluble fiber can make a huge difference in your symptoms.

Sugar is a huge factor in perpetuating your IBS symptoms.

The importance of probiotics.

How important it is too eat smaller meals slowly so as not to overwhelm your digestive tract.

So, now let’s talk about other changes that you can make to get control of your IBS.

Limit the amount of fatty foods that you eat.
Red meat is a very common trigger that can cause a reaction instantly.
Some find that they feel better if they eliminate red meat all together.

Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
Water regulates the digestion as well as powers the muscles.
If you are dehydrated your digestive problems will be amplified.

Along with eating slower, eat foods that make digestion easier.
When you are experiencing a flare-up, eat food that has been processed in a way that makes it easier for your body to obtain the nutrients that it needs without working overtime.
Soups and smoothies are perfect for these times.

Along with the food irritants we discussed earlier, avoid alcohol, tobacco and gum.
Alcohol and tobacco are very acidic and will irritate your system.
Most gums contain artificial sweeteners and chemicals that just don’t sit well with a twitchy digestion.

Take a multi vitamin.
For many, IBS makes it hard for the body to absorb the proper nutrients.
While there is no substitution for real whole foods, help your body along during these tough times but adding a good multi.

Use herbs as medicine.
You don’t have to be a trained herbalist or go foraging in the rain forest to gain relief from herbs.
Here are a few that I recommend.

Peppermint is one of the oldest herbal remedies known to woman.
You can take it for indigestion, gas and nausea.
It has an anti-spasmodic action with a calming effect on the muscles of the stomach, intestinal tract and uterus.
It is an anti-bacterial.
It stimulates the gallbladder to secrete its store of bile which the body uses to digest fats.
It improves the muscles that line the stomach and intestines and relieves diarrhea and has a calming numbing effect on the whole GI tract.
It can be such a strong muscle relaxant that it can cause problems for people with GERD or heartburn.

Chamomile is considered an official drug in 26 countries.
It is an antispasmodic., anti-fungal, anti inflammatory, anti-peptic and has incredible sedative properties.
It has a dramatic calming affect on smooth muscle tissue, which makes it the perfect remedy for gastrointestinal spasm, and menstrual cramps.

Ginger is instrumental in helping to relieve many different gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from simple gas to severe nausea and cramps.
It provides relief for morning sickness, post chemotherapy nausea and has been shown to be more effective for preventing motion sickness than Dramamine.
If you have overeaten a meal, it has proven to be very helpful as it contains a very powerful digestive enzymes.
Ginger also tones digestive muscles.

Other herbs that play a role in digestive disorder relief are: fennel, caraway, anise, oregano and catnip.

As you can see there are foods that can cause your IBS flare-ups, foods that will help ease your issues, ways of eating as well as herbs that will go a long way to reduce the number of occurrences as well as the severity of the problems you are having with IBS.

If you want to learn more about your IBS symptoms and want to make the steps to be free of this limiting issue, forever, shoot me an email and let’s talk!

You Deserve to be Healthy!
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OMG I’m Stressed! Stress and Your Digestion!

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Your body reacts to everyday stress in the same way it reacts to the stress of being chased by a bear.

What is even more important is if you are plagued by constant stress your body will start to show the wear and tear of being on alert too much of the time.

Here are some signs that your digestion is being affected by stress:

·         Bloating:  When you are under stress you are more likely to swallow air, which can cause bloating.
·         Flare-ups with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Studies suggest that stress will make flare-ups more frequent.
·         Diarrhea:  Stress can trigger diarrhea.
·         Ulcers:  Stress may not cause ulcers but they sure do aggravate them and can even increase the chance you will develop one.
·         Constipation:  If you suffer from this condition you know that if you add a little stress to the mix your balanced system goes way out of whack.
·         Acid reflux and indigestion:  These conditions are aggravated by stress and can lead to more damage in the esophagus.

So, in anticipation of future stress here’s what you can do to protect your digestion:

·         Walk it off: This is an aerobic exercise that not only lets you burn off the stress but  produces brain chemicals that perk up your mood.
·         Let it out: Okay so at the Thanksgiving dinner table you may not want to break down into an sobbing heap but if you feel emotional, the best thing to do is privately let it out.  Holding in emotions makes them more intense and creates a situation that affects your body.
·        Laugh it off: Hunt for the humor.  I like this one the best.  I am really good at looking at even the most stressful situation and finding something funny in it.  If you struggle with this, watch a comedy, read a funny book or watch your favorite comedian. 
·         Revamp your to-do list: Having too much to do really creates a lot of stress.  Rate the importance of each task and start shuffling the less important to another time.
·         Write in a journal or diary:  This ties into expressing your emotions.  Write it down and get it out.  Make sure that you don’t keep re-reading if it makes you anxious.
·         Listen to relaxing music: For some of us music can make all the difference in our mood and outlook!  Find music that lifts and inspires you and play it loud.
·         Breathe: I know when I am under stress, I hold my breath.  Not good!  Breathe in through your nose for a count of four; hold it for four, breath out through your mouth for a count of four.  Do this four times each day or when you feel stress.  It really works for me.
·         Catch those ZZZ’s:  We are better able to handle stress when we are well rested.
·         Put down the bottle: Alcohol can really bring out the emotions and not always in a good way.  Alcohol also dehydrates us and makes us tired and irritable.  Definitely not a de-stressor.
·         Eat foods that support you! Avoid sugar and process foods that will cause mood swings, cravings and a lack of energy.  Vegetables (mainly leafy greens) and small quantities of fruit with lean, clean protein will keep you operating at your peak, maintaining mental clarity and boosting your immune system. 
 
 So go out and enjoy life with friends and family.  Pay attention to how you are feeling and follow these 10 suggestions for beating stress and you should feel better soon!

You Deserve to be Healthy and Stress-Free!

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Bear Image courtesy of Hal Brindley / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Water, The Game Changer!

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60-70 % of our body is made up of water.

80% of our weight is water.

We could live weeks without food but only days without water.

Our brain and heart are made up of 73% water, lungs 83%, skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

So what does water do?

Control body temperature

Cushions your joints

Carries nutrients throughout your body

Thins the blood and makes it less likely to clot

Reduces the symptoms of arthritis

Helps with weight-loss by filling you up without adding calories or raising your blood sugar

But what is does for your digestion is huge:

Flushes waste from our body in the form of urine

Assists digestion in the processing of nutrients

Prevents constipation by softening your stool and keeps food moving through your digestive tract.

Reduces heartburn by washing out the acid in your esophagus

Lowers your risk of colon cancer

Lowers the chance of gallstones occurring

The effectiveness of adding fiber, magnesium and exercise in fighting a slow digestive process depends on your drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.

I have often said that if you are going to do just one thing to improve your health, it would be to drink 8 glasses of clean water a day.

Remember, anything with caffeine acts to dehydrate your body so you need to drink even more!

It is also important to know that the water you are drinking is clean water.

If you have a well, have it tested for bacteria and pollutants.

If you have city water, contact your water department and find out the quality of the water.

Bottled water is not necessarily the answer as the source and quality of bottled water is not regulated.

Having problems remembering to drink your water?

Put a 32 oz pitcher on your desk when you first arrive at work and make the commitment to drink it all by lunch.

Then do it!

Do the same in the afternoon.

Think plain water is too boring?

Add lemons, limes, strawberries, cucumbers or even apple slices and let them sit over night.

You will have a soft infused flavor.

So how many glasses of water do you drink a day?

What strategy could you use to drink the 8 glasses needed to create good digestive health?

You Deserve to be Healthy and Hydrated!

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Sources:

The Complete Guide to Digestive Health by FC&A Publishing

Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski

Water Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

 

What Would You Do If You Had More Energy?

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Yep talked about this one before but it is sooo important that I am doing it again.

What could you achieve if you had more energy? Where’s your spark?  You know you had one once!

What could you do with more energy? Write a book? Get a promotion or maybe a job you’d really love? Run a marathon? Start a business? Get out of a bad marriage? Move to a better place?

Having more energy is not related to your genetic make-up, people are not just lucky and have more energy.

They do things that give them more energy and avoid those things that reduce their energy!

I am reluctant to even write how easy it is to have more energy because your going to say, “Ya, I know Mindy but these things are hard to do.  You make it look simple but it really isn’t.  I’m busy, don’t know what to cook, don’t like to cook, can’t find the time for sleep or exercise and drinking water, palease…..that is a super big pain in the butt!”

Yep that is what you are going to say and then in the next breath….if only I had more energy!

On the off chance that I have a reader or two that really wants to have more energy, that really wants to accomplish great things in life, have fun with their kids, give great things to the world, I am sharing the 10 top things you can do to have more energy and tell you that I am here to help you get all the energy you need to do GREAT things!

THE TOP 10 WAYS TO HAVE MORE ENERGY!

1. Drink more water – no excuses, unless you live in a poor third world country you have access to clean water.  Drink-up! 8 glasses a day.

2. Eat more leafy greens – come on now – a spinach omelet, a salad with protein for lunch and a side salad with dinner isn’t too much to ask. I mean you can get those baby greens in a box, anyone can create a salad, no?

3. Get moving – move your body every day for 30 minutes.  You have 30 minutes and you need to moved it.  Get up a little earlier, walk at lunchtime, take the kids on a bike ride, walk on the treadmill.  We are not talking gym time here, but simple movement in everyday activities.

4.  Get 8 hours sleep.  I know what you thinking but you can do it if you really want more energy. There are strategies that will make this happen for you.  You have great things to achieve, get some sleep, the world needs you.

5. Dump the downers.  Harsh maybe but you know you want to.  Feel your energy level go from a 8 to a 2 when you see that certain person’s name on caller id? Unless it is your mom (and we have other ways to deal with her) dump them.  Be nice but please, do you really need that kind of negative energy? You’ve got stuff to do.

6. Dump the processed foods – like sugar, bread, fat-free stuff, white rice…most have chemicals and all of these mess with your insulin levels which affect your weight, digestion and energy levels. Once you start eating to have more energy you won’t need the bagels, donuts or other energy depleting foods that lull you into thinking that they keep you going throughout the day.

7.  Dump the dairy.  All of it if it affects your digestion, which we will find out once you go without for a week or two.  Most of it if it has no affect on your digestion, and that is really rare.  You will not have any idea how much of a difference this makes until your eliminated it for 7-10 days. Your energy will soar with dairy out of your diet.

8.  Dump most of the caffeine.  A cup is fine, needs to be organic as regular coffee has tons, I mean tons of chemicals in it.  If you think you are not affected by those well, I have a bridge to sell ya….

9. Dump the chemicals, pesticides, GMO’d food – buy as much organic as you can afford.  Chemicals will slow you down and may even kill you.  Who needs them.  Ever see the suits they wear to spray weed and pest killer on food crops.  This shit is toxic and we eat it.  It is slowing you down and making you sick.

10.  Find the thing that makes you sing! Whether it is a job idea, a hobby, a person, a pet, books…find what you love to do, what lightens your heart, what gets you up in the morning and do more of it….be selfish about it. Have someone else do the dishes or the laundry.  Ask for help, your have important stuff to do.

So you say, “hey Mindy this is all well and good.  Not anything I have not heard before but hey, I can’t do this myself.  I have a family, a job, and aging parent I care for. When the heck am I supposed to do all this stuff.  There is just way too much planning , preparation and time involved in having more energy!”

I can help.  I have helped tons of women and men have more energy!

It’s all started with a single phone call, a single email.

A single conversation about what you want to achieve, how having more energy change your life.

This first call is FREE! 

Email  me at MindyKannon@yahoo.com

We will talk about how I can help you reach your health goals and if it feels right we can take your journey to better health, more energy and more life together.

Your life is important and you need energy to live that life so please give me a call or shoot me an email and let’s talk.

You Deserve to be Healthy and Have More Energy!

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What Goes Down Must Come Up! Heartburn and Acid Reflux!

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Heartburn and Acid Reflux is caused by stomach acid backing up into your esophagus. 

The esophageal sphincter is supposed to keep the stomach contents in place but if the sphincter relaxes, acid can push up into the esophagus. 

The most common sensation is a burning sensation above the stomach, excessive salivation, belching, regurgitation and a sour taste in the mouth. 

Nearly one third of Americans experience frequent heartburn known as GERD.  Another 3 to 7 percent suffer from Barrett’s esophagus illness caused by acid reflux that results in scarring, constriction of the esophagus and swallowing disorders. 

Some medications can cause heartburn such as birth control pills, diazepam, nicotine, nitroglycerine, progesterone and provera. 

Heartburn is common amongst pregnant women that are experiencing all their organs being more confined to a tight area. 

Stress plays a huge part in this. 

Other triggers are wearing tight fitting clothes, lying down after a meal, bending over when full and eating a excessively large meal. 

Acid Reflux is when the stomach acid is regurgitated into the esophagus.  This can cause heartburn but you do not necessarily feel pain with acid reflux.  If you experience heartburn in the middle of the night make sure you eat at least 4 hours before going to bed. 

These problems are rarely seen in those eating a high fiber diet. 

Heartburn sufferers take antacids for temporary relief.  Initially, use of antacids causes the body to produce more HCI which helps digest the food.  Eventually the cells that make the acid get exhausted and they begin making much less HCI.  Anti acids also decrease your stomach’s ability to digest protein by reducing the effectiveness of protease enzymes

Here are some healthy suggestions for reducing acid reflux. 

1.  Eat healthy food – bet that was a surprise. 

2.  Increase fruit, vegetables, grains and high-fiber foods. 

3.  Drink plenty of water, for some this alone can remedy the situation.

4.  Various spices and herbs have been known to help.  Slippery elm is soothing to the mucus membranes.  Slippery Elm can be found in tea or lozenge form.  Ginger tea is also a great thing to drink to calm your digestive tract. What to avoid:

1.  Foods that are more acidic like tomatoes and citrus are more likely to cause heartburn. 

2.  Dairy products have been shown to trigger symptoms.  I have more clients that believe that a cold glass of milk will soothe their stomach.  Not true – and the higher the fat content the more the issues. 

3. Alcoholic beverages, coffee and to some extent tea provoke heartburn as well as high fat, fried, spicy foods; onions and chocolate (say it isn’t true!). 

Trigger food are personal so you need to figure out what bothers you.  

The most long-lasting, natural remedy without side-effects is to adjust your food intake as well as any lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your heartburn or acid-reflux.

Work with your doctor, digestion coach or nutritionist to isolate the factors that affect your health.  From there good health is a breeze!

You Deserve to be Healthy!

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Dealing with Chronic Constipation

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Constipation affects 4 million Americans each year.  Physicians write more than a million prescriptions for constipation annually, and we spend $725 million a year on laxatives.

Constipation is a disorder that inhibits a person from moving their bowels.  Not everyone needs to go every day but if you have chronic difficulty, constipation can be uncomfortable and painful.  It often produces a bloated feeling because the bowel distends with gas and a large amount of stool.  Some people feel fatigued; have aches and mental sluggishness and still others get headaches.    This condition can also lead to other issues such as diverticulitis, colon cancer and hemorrhoids.

The most common cause of constipation is insufficient fiber in the diet but there are many other contributors to this very frustrating problem.  People with IBS sometimes have constipation because their colon may not contract properly.  Some medications may also cause constipation: iron supplements, antidepressant medication, painkillers and some hypertension medications.  People suffering from low thyroid or an excess of calcium in the blood can suffer too.  Other disease can also affect our ability to move our bowels: lupus, strokes, diabetes and kidney disease are just a few. Hormones also play a role in digestive regularity. As women go through the various stages of their menstrual cycles their bowel habits change.

Change of lifestyle habits can have a huge affect on your body’s ability to move waste.  Change in eating, sleeping or fluid intake amounts can alter the rhythm of the body.  Some people have a lazy bowel where the muscles do not effectively contract; this is sometimes caused by an overuse of laxatives. 

Many issues are caused by our ignoring our body’s urge to go to the bathroom.  Whether we are shy in a public bathroom or don’t have time – the longer the waste remains in the body the more water that is reabsorbed back into the body making the stool, smaller, harder and more difficult to move.  So we need to pay attention to our body, when you have to go, stop what you are doing and go to the bathroom.

Bowel transit time is the preferred measure of digestive health.  Optimal time is 12 to 24 hours.  Slow transit time raises the risk of colon cancer and contributes to other health problems as well as raises toxins in the body.

The way to remedy constipation is determined by the cause.  If medication is at fault then dosage and drug type can be altered.  

1.  Addition of water, fiber, vegetables and fruits are an incredibly simple remedy for this chronic condition. 

2.  Exercise is also a wonderful addition to a healthy diet along with stress reduction and relaxation therapies.    It may take time to retrain your bowels, mostly if you have been putting off the urge to go for a long period of time. 

3.  The addition of Psyllium fiber is another way to help move things along.  Taken in the morning and in the evening with an 8 oz glass of a juice and water mixed will surely speed up the process without the urgency and drama that can be caused by some of the harsh teas and laxatives. 

4.  Adding probiotics can remedy an imbalance of intestinal flora which also brings relief for constipation or diarrhea. 

5.  Try magnesium taking this supplement can restore the rhythmic muscle relaxation and contraction.  We have a widespread deficiency of magnesium that strongly contributes to the prevalence of constipation. 

6.  Address lactose intolerance.  You may have an issue with dairy.  Try to eliminate it from your diet for three weeks and see how you feel.  There are many different ways to remedy constipation.

7.  Exercise, you move your bowels move.

8.  Slow down.  You digestion will run much more smoothly if you eat slow and when you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, relax and take your time!

Constipation can be embarrassing, painful and debilitating.  In almost every case I have had in my practiced all that is called for is simple changes in lifestyle of food consumption to have a last impact in eliminating constipation. 

Please leave a comment below letting me know if your suffer from constipation and what remedies have worked for you in the past.

You Deserve to be Healthy!

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Give Sugar the Old Smack-Down!

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Is all that sugar you are eating leaving you feeling guilty?

Are you under the illusion that the only way you can get through the day is to eat sugary foods that will give you the boost you think you need to make it through your “to do” list?

Think you don’t have a sweet tooth but crave bread and crackers? (sorry same affect on your body – sugar coaster!)

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a crazy woman about avoiding dairy products.  I know what it does to your health.

But, dairy doesn’t even begin to compare to sugar in how it can adversely effect your health….

Not even close…..

By starting your day with a glass of juice, a bagel, cereal, muffin or donut you are setting yourself up for a day filled with more ups and downs than the Superman Ride at Great Adventure.

Couple that “ride of thrills” with all the damage your doing to your body and I can’t bare to watch.

There are 10 simple things that you should do if you want to be healthy and at third place on that list, after drinking water and exercising is, Give Up The Sugar!

So what’s a sweet tooth to do?

Some people can gradually wean themselves off of sweets, eliminating one serving a day until they are down to a manageable level.

 
You can substitute in more natural sugar like fruit in for the processed goodies and slowly transition their diet that way.
 
Most need to go cold turkey.

They are unable to stop at just one (cupcake, snickers bar, little Debbies, soda.)

The good news about going cold turkey is that if you can go a few days without sugar your cravings diminish and it’s affects fade. 

Sugar is a drug and we are addicted.

So when you feel your energy wain and you are thinking you need a snack, try: and drink a big glass of water, go for a quick walk, eat a piece of fruit or a sweet veggie, eat a little protein, have a handful of almonds.

In a short time (usually a few days) your cravings for sugar will disappear and you will have tons more natural energy!