An IBS investigation

To narrow down potential foods as suspects, start with the foods that are craved most often. The culprit may hide out in the open sometimes. While investigating, try incorporating fresh ginger or aloe juice into your diet for their soothing effects.

To narrow down potential foods as suspects, start with the foods that are craved most often. The culprit may hide out in the open sometimes. While investigating, try incorporating fresh ginger or aloe juice into your diet for their soothing effects.

by Diana Wiggins and Julie Oppenheimer — 

What is it about those detective shows like CSI, 48 Hours or even House that have us tuning in every week for a new episode? For most people, it is the armchair detective work that we can do from our living rooms — participating in thinking through the evidence and facts to come to a thoughtful conclusion.

Let us be detectives for a moment on the topic of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Our investigation begins with what contributed to it, fed it or created the condition. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, spasms, bloating, nausea, headache, fatigue, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation, and anxiety or depression. Some or all of these symptoms may or may not be expressed in each person. Here is where we can begin to look for clues in specific areas.

Further investigation reveals that some causes of IBS may include allergies or sensitivities to gluten, dairy, caffeine, stress and even lack of dietary fiber. Each individual case can be challenging, because contributors also vary from person to person. For example, some people who are not milk drinkers may have IBS symptoms.

We might say, “The solution is easy — quit the caffeine.” But is it? We may want to look past that morning cup of joe as the problem and look at what benefit it was having and why the person needed that kick-start to get going. Clues to consider may include how well one sleeps or how rested one feels upon waking. It might not just be about cutting that morning coffee — it might be a contributing factor to a domino effect. Once we detectives think we have asked all the questions, we need to ask one or two more to get even closer to the cause.

For people with milk or food sensitivities, an elimination diet is one method used to identify the likely culprit. To narrow down potential foods as suspects, start with the foods that are craved most often. The culprit may hide out in the open sometimes. While investigating, try incorporating fresh ginger or aloe juice into your diet for their soothing effects.

We all love a good mystery, but we also want to solve the case before it gets cold. Consider asking your health care provider about various methods of allergy testing. Working with a trusted health care professional can help.

The health coach detectives hope the information provided here will help those individuals who are suffering with IBS find their healing path.

 

Diana Wiggins is a certified health coach, emotional intelligence and behavior analyst and director of Discovering Your Best. She specializes in the food/mood connection. diana@discoveringyourbest.com, 602-492-3472 or www.discoveringyourbest.com. 

Julie Oppenheimer is a certified health coach and founder and director of Body Be Healthy, Scottsdale, Ariz.  julie@bodybehealthy.com, 602-753-8777 or www.BodyBeHealthy.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 4, August/September 2013.

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