Although not completely understood, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) seems to be more common these days than the sniffles. With symptoms ranging from excessive gas, cramping, bloating, and intermittent bouts of constipation and diarrhea, IBS (also called a spastic colon) usually has nothing to do with food allergies or intolerances. It's more likely a functional problem with the muscular movement of your intestines. In fact, it's generally diagnosed when the serious gastrointestinal ailments are ruled out. Some doctors say that people can even bring it on with anxiety or nerves.
Dietary treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms include eating slowly, increasing fiber gradually (insoluble and soluble), eating several smaller meals throughout the day, and taking pro-biotic supplements. Also, you may want to keep a food log for a week or two to see whether any particular foods exacerbate the symptoms. Some common culprits include alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, carbonated beverages, dairy foods, fatty foods, beans, sorbitol, spicy foods, and cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. Also, see whether there's a correlation between your work schedule and the days you're feeling bad; some people find that the symptoms improve on the weekends when they're relaxing.
Food for Thought_
For further info on celiac disease, write to
Celiac Disease Foundation 13251 Ventura Blvd., Suite 3
Studio City, CA 91604-1838 818-990-2354
For further reading on life without gluten or wheat, order
Against the Grain
Jax Peters Lowell
Henry Holt and Company, Inc.
Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Foods for Kids Sheri L. Sanderson Woodbine House, 2002 1-800-843-7323 www.woodbinehouse.com
Kids With Celiac Disease Danna Korn
Woodbine House, 2002
You can also try alternative remedies such as taking enteric-coated capsules of peppermint oil three times a day between meals (skip this one if you have heartburn), or explore yoga, meditation, or hypnosis to lessen stress and anxiety, which can sometimes wind up in your gut. Also, for women who notice IBS flare-ups around the time of menstruation, take evening primrose oil or black cohosh.
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What Is The Gluten Free Diet And What You Need To Know Before You Try It. You may have heard the term gluten free, and you may even have a general idea as to what it means to eat a gluten free diet. Most people believe this type of diet is a curse for those who simply cannot tolerate the protein known as gluten, as they will never be able to eat any food that contains wheat, rye, barley, malts, or triticale.