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April is National Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder individuals struggle with worldwide.   The disease can be difficult to diagnose, because there are no physical signs, or specific testing that can be done to confirm IBS.  Therefore, the diagnosis is a process of ruling out other conditions.  Women are more frequently diagnosed with the disease than men, but the reasons are unknown.

This disease is characterized by symptoms that last for at least 6 months and involve belly pain for at least 3 days in a month, for at least 3 months.  If you have two of the following symptoms you may have IBS:

  • Changes in bowel movement patterns (diarrhea or constipation, and change in structure)
  • Bloating and excess gas
  • Pain in lower belly
  • Mucus in stools

What causes IBS? 

The cause is not fully understood; however, there may be possible factors like genetics, prior infections, trauma, as well as, alterations in bowel bacteria, and increased intestinal inflammation.

How to manage IBS?

Lifestyle changes are important in managing IBS. These include the following:

  • Reducing stress
  • Hypnosis
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise

Can Nutrition and Supplements help with IBS?

Nutrition plays a role in managing all disease including IBS.  First, avoid trigger foods, and stimulants (caffeine, tobacco), and non-nutritive sweeteners (sorbitol and Xylitol).   Supplements can help with managing the disease, turmeric, peppermint oil and probiotics, have been show to improve symptoms of IBS.  Probiotics help with building health bacteria in the gut, so they are something you want to take on a daily bases.  Not all supplements are created equally, verify the quality and select those with the most scientific research backing their benefits.

Inflammation Management ABCs

Inflammation is the root of all disease, and controlling it will help reduce symptoms.  Start with increasing fiber to feed healthy bacteria, add fish oil to help reduce inflammation, and add a food supplement supported by clinical trials that reduces inflammation.  Our experience has shown that Juice Plus+ is backed by clinical trials that support its inflammation busting properties, as well as studies that verify its support for healthy DNA, among numerous other health benefits.  Learn more about the product on our website under the nutrition tab.



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