Aloe Vera Juice and IBS

Aloe Vera Juice and IBS

There is something new that everyone is talking about it’s Aloe Vera Juice which is sometimes also referred to as Aloe Vera Water. The juice contains either just the gel/pulp and/or parts of the green leaf which includes the latex – which is all combined together to form the juice. Aloe Vera Juice may be combined with other beverages, juices, and smoothies, and includes many health benefits including regulating blood sugar, improving digestion, and constipation.

Aloe Vera is full of vitamins, nutrients, essential amino acids, and is thought of as a superfood which many overall health benefits.

The Formula

To make an Aloe Vera Juice Smoothie, you will want to combine a milk of your choice (cow’s milk, goat’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk or oat milk) along with approximately ½ cup of aloe vera leaf gel. To get the aloe vera gel, take a sharp knife and cut away both ends of a leaf of the aloe. Peel one side of the leaf and scoop out the slimy and clear gel.

Combine with 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit of your choice, a sweetener of your choice (raw sugar, honey, stevia, maple syrup, agave syrup, or date honey), and 1 tbsp of chia seeds. Blend and serve over ice.

How much sweetener to add is up to you; Aloe Vera Gel is generally speaking fairly bitter but also may resemble a cucumber taste, so it just depends on how sweet you need it to be and how naturally sweet the fruit is that you’ve used.

How Aloe Vera Helps IBS

Aloe Vera has historically been known to help with digestive issues, including both constipation and diarrhea which are common symptoms of IBS. Aloe juice can soothe the digestive tract serving as a natural laxative, and therefore it’s important not to drink too much of the juice daily.

Though there are mixed reviews about the benefits of Aloe Vera Juice on IBS, nothing definitive has been concluded about potential benefits. Yet individuals with IBS claim that it has improved their symptoms vastly, and since it provides many overall general health benefits, there is no concern about introducing it to IBS patients as one of the tools in the treatment toolkit planned together with your physician.

Purchasing Aloe Vera Juice

As with any purchase, be sure to discern which is the best processed Aloe Vera Juice on the market. Check to see if the juice has been prepared with the gel/pulp which can be consumed daily or the entire leaf of the aloe plant (gel/pulp and latex) which should not be taken more than a few times a week or it can cause kidney issues and stomach cramps.

In general, read the label of whatever it is that you are purchasing as there are many Aloe Vera products being sold on the market today that contain no Aloe Vera whatsoever.

Precautions About Aloe Vera Juice

The consumption of Aloe Vera Juice has been found to cause cancer in rats, and so it is worthwhile to take the juice in small amounts. It may also cause cramping and diarrhea which would aggravate IBS rather than provide benefits. It is always beneficial to come to your doctor’s appointment armed with ideas and run them by your physician before implementing them.

Tips for Dating With IBS

Tips for Dating With IBS

In any new type of relationship, a concern is always on when and how to introduce to the other person that you suffer from any kind of medical issue. With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the issue may need to come up earlier in the dating relationship depending on a number of factors regarding how active the symptoms are and how much they are manifesting themselves.

Top Tips For Dating When You Suffer From IBS

#1 Honesty is the Best Policy:

Rather than there be secrets about the circumstances of why you may need to interrupt the date for an extended visit to the bathroom, it is best to share the circumstances of having IBS early on briefly but also honestly so that the person you are dating is not left in the dark. By confronting the issue head-on, it will give you a sense of the character of the person you are dating – in terms of their reaction. The stress of managing aggravated symptoms during a date without having been honest may potentially just exacerbate the issue. Moreover, since so many millions of people suffer from IBS or another illness, it may be an opportunity to reach one another and both share something that is often considered taboo to talk about while in a new dating relationship.

#2 Understand That IBS May Be a Deal Breaker:

It’s no surprise that not everyone will be supportive or understanding or willing to continue dating you with the sharing of IBS. You should assume that it may cut short a date or may be the last date you have with that person. On the other hand, if that’s the case, you really would not want to be building a short or long term relationship with that person. A person’s character really shines through with this kind of thing.

#3 Dress Practically:

There is no reason to aggravate your IBS symptoms by wearing something too tight or uncomfortable. Be smart and practical with choosing your outfit so that if you have a flare up, you need not take extra time peeling off your tight-fitting clothes.

#4 Throw Away Your Shame:

There is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed about having IBS. Even those without IBS will have likely experienced at least one or a few of the symptoms including gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea. If you need to use the bathroom, there is no reason to feel shameful for needing that time to help pass the unpleasant symptoms you may be experiencing. It’s very easy to feel bad and uncomfortable in a situation like this, but flipping it on its side is exactly what is needed. Life is not always straightforward, and that’s okay too.

#5 Plan Your Dates Wisely:

Though you may love to the idea of taking a hike to see the changing colors in the fall time, you may wish to stay out of the woods and close to a bathroom during the first number of dates while getting to know one another. Similarly, if you are going for a long drive to another undetermined location, it’s okay to be sure that the circumstances of the destination are something that is workable for you. Definitely, take pride in making sure whatever is arranged works for you and if it doesn’t, better to share than end up in a truly hard situation that spirals into something much worse.

Common IBS Symptoms in Men and Women

Common IBS Symptoms in Men and Women

It is estimated that IBS effects anywhere from 25 to 45 million Americans with two-thirds of them being women. Most patients with IBS will not seek treatment and which leaves a big gap in the data available on IBS. Symptoms can vary according to each person and they can be triggered by eating certain foods or from maintaining a certain lifestyle. Although many symptoms of IBS will be the same for both men and women, some can vary. Continue reading to learn more about the varied symptoms.

General Symptoms That Affect Both Men and Women

Although more men than women report symptoms of IBS, the following is a list of the most common IBS symptoms shared by both men and women:

  • Increased or decrease the number of bowel movements
  • Stools that have mucus, liquid or are watery
  • Alternating between diarrhea and constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Lower back pain
  • Upset stomach after eating a meal
  • Nausea
  • Bloating, gas and/or pain

Research shows that men are less likely than women to report their symptoms which makes it hard to collect gender-specific data about varying symptoms. For some IBS patients, symptoms will be constant but for others, they come in cycles. In order to be diagnosed with IBS, symptoms must occur at least three days every month.

IBS Symptoms in Women

Many women with IBS will generally be diagnosed past the age of puberty in their childbearing years. Research has found that women with IBS will also report gynecologic problems. Women will have varied symptoms according to their menstrual cycles. Before and during their period women diagnosed with IBS will report experiencing stomach pain and diarrhea. Around halfway through their cycle, around day fourteen, women will report experiencing increased bloat and constipation. Women diagnosed with IBS are more likely to experience the following symptoms than men:

  • Fatigue
  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Sensitivity to foods
  • Amplified symptoms of PMS
  • Cramping
  • Backaches
  • Painful cramps during menstruation

Approximately one-third of women during pregnancy will report experiencing increased heartburn, nausea and constipation than from when they were not pregnant. It is believed that symptoms of IBS occur because of the pressure of the fetus against the internal organs.

IBS Symptoms in Men

Research has shown that men are less likely to report their symptoms of IBS than women. This makes it hard to gather data regarding the different symptoms of IBS in men and women. Studies indicate that because of hormonal differences, men can be less sensitive to symptoms of IBS. Men with IBS can experience issues with sexual intimacy and are likely to suffer from depression.

Studies show that IBS has similar symptoms on both men and women and can affect both in similar ways. Although it has not been scientifically verified, it is expected for pregnant women to experience in IBS flare-ups during pregnancy and menstruation. Needless to say, if you are a man or woman and are experiencing symptoms of IBS, talk to your doctor in order to get diagnosed and to come up with a plan to get relief from your symptoms.

IBS – Tips for Your Travels

IBS – Tips for Your Travels

Even with the excitement of an upcoming trip, those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) know that traveling is not easy and can cause lots of challenges that are far from straightforward.  Planning and strategizing to help you be sure that your IBS is not aggravated over the course of the vacation is key because being in a new place, on a different schedule, and far away from your kitchen, can present difficulties and anxiety too. But don’t let that delay planning your trip; instead, consider the following tips.

Carefully Plan Food and Meals

While traveling, if you are not staying in a place with kitchen facilities, planning your own food is key for individuals with IBS. This will include making the best food choices off a menu in a restaurant and/or piecing together parts of the menu with side dishes you can always order separately. Especially if you are aware that certain foods that you eat such as greasy foods or not eating enough fiber will cause you difficulties, you will want to order carefully.

One tip is to carry around smart and healthy snacks that will carry you over until you get to a restaurant where you can choose your meals wisely. Also be sure to carry around a reusable water bottle so you are sure to get enough fluid intake through the trip from the very moment you leave your home.

Maintain a Schedule

Being sure to keep a good routine even while you are enjoying your travels is key. If you are in a different time zone, this always presents challenges to get your sleep and meal schedule in sync with your new location so that your gastrointestinal system does not get out of whack. Continue to eat your regular meals just as you would if you were not traveling. Be sure to get enough sleep and plan extra time for jetlag at the beginning of your trip.

Planning Bathroom Stops

It is a careful balance between sightseeing and running non-stop while also ensuring to able to plan time adequately for bathroom breaks. Check with tours to be sure how much flexibility there is with taking breaks and be sure to carry around small pocket-change in case you visit a country which charges for bathroom use. And most importantly, be aware of your body and do not ignore any symptoms that may arise. Be sure to address them immediately.

Leave as Much Worrying as Possible at Home

There is a lot of stuff around vacationing that is simply out of your control and with IBS, those pieces may become anxiety producing. Because there is a link between stress triggering episodes of IBS, it will be to your advantage to plan accordingly for your trip, but also recognize that it’s almost impossible to plan for everything. Be sure to talk honestly about IBS with the people you are traveling with so that they will understand what may be happening at any given time. Most importantly, enjoy the trip and the upcoming adventure and making new memories.

Digestive Enzymes & IBS

Digestive Enzymes & IBS

IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and it is difficult to diagnose. Although there is no known cure, there are many ways to appease your sensitive bowels. Symptoms of IBS alternate between both diarrhea and constipation, accompanied by pain from bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. This is not just caused by the stomach flu; symptoms occur for 6 months or more. If you have prolonged symptoms of anything on this list, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Because IBS is located in the large intestine, a healthy diet and frequent exercise are not the only treatments needed for this disorder. An enzyme supplement should be added to your diet. Digestive enzymes have proved to appease nasty IBS symptoms by helping your digestive tract back to its normalized state. More about how these enzymes work is written below.

Medication vs. Enzymes: What You Need To Know

Your doctor has probably outlined the kinds of medications you can take to help treat your IBS. However, many clinical studies have not concluded that medications help IBS at all.

That’s where enzymes come in. Enzymes designed to be easily digested are actually complex proteins. They work by breaking down foods so your body can use the nutrition for energy. Your pancreas has the job of creating these types of enzymes, but sometimes it needs an extra amount if your bowel is having severe problems.

Just like you should be well-versed on the medications you take, so, too should you be on the quality of the digestive enzymes you may take. Anti-inflammatory ingredients like peppermint oil and turmeric help soothe irritated abdominal organs, while the enzymes work to relieve unpleasant symptoms like uncomfortable bowel movements, gas and bloating.

3 Ways Digestive Enzymes Help Your Digestion

IBS is triggered by your diet. If you eat something that causes a flare-up or have a poor diet that is causing intestinal distress, taking a digestive enzyme can treat both your pain and stabilize the enzymes in your gut to prevent further troubles in the future.

Three things digestive enzymes help you are:

  • maintain a healthy digestive tract
  • break down fats, protein, and carbs for nutrient absorption
  • reduce bloating, gas and cramping after eating

All three of these functions do not function normally if you suffer from IBS or any of its symptoms. And all three of these can be assisted by an influx of enzymes. If you eat some food and get food poisoning, your digestive tract may be out of commission for a few days, but then go back to normal. However, this doesn’t happen with IBS: flare-ups and painful cramps happen all the time and do not go away.

The same thing is to be said of nutrient absorption. If your stomach doesn’t have the correct amount and type of enzymes, nutrients will not be efficiently absorbed and used by your body. That’s where digestive enzymes come in: they can maintain a healthy balance of enzymes while reducing IBS symptoms like bloating.