20 Jun Q&A; Inspired for Leena
I have IBS and often experience morning diarrhoea and bloating after meals. I have previously been tested for gluten intolerance but the test came back negative.
I’m a pescatarian, so I eat a lot of fish and vegetables. I haven’t necessarily made any dietary changes as a result of the diagnosis, mainly because I don’t know if it’s any particular food that triggers it.
I would however like to start taking probiotics to see if it helps and would like recommendation on which one I should take and if you have any tips to manage bloating?
IBS and bloating can very often be symptoms of nervousness, anxiety and/or stress. I know these feel like very broad categories, states that many of us experience, often, myself included.
However, it is important to incorporate this awareness, rather than just finger pointing at food being ‘the problem’. Sometimes certain foods, like gluten, can be ‘triggering’ these symptoms, but it can also be a reaction entirely driven by our emotional state.
This is because we digest food in the same energetic centre as we digest emotions – the sacral chakra and solar nexus. Hence the butterflies in your stomach if you feel nervous, or excited. If you are a sensitive person, who feels emotions strongly, this can overwhelm the energy in that centre, and therefore physical digestion of food becomes compromised, causing bloating, for example.
Depending on your constitution, this will go one of two ways; too fast, irritated and anxious or too slow, heavy and depressive.
In your case, I feel the former is what we need to work on, and this is how I feel will best soothe your stomach (and Soul);
Stimulants like caffeine and sugar. These are notorious for triggering bloating, IBS symptoms and generally causing imbalance – physical and emotional. I don’t know how much caffeine and sugar you currently have, but I would either eliminate or reduce significantly. Black tea included, and by sugar I mean refined sugars and adding sugar to drinks etc. If you could gift your body with some relief from caffeine and sugar for an experimental time period of 3 weeks, 21 days, I would love to hear how your body responded.
Eat in Peace
Do you eat fast? Slow down, chew your food really well, breathe calmly at mealtimes and eat in peace – away from stressors, TV’s, iPhones etc. The environment in which we consume food, and how we consume it, is so influential, yet often overlooked as we eat on the run, whilst multi tasking and as quickly as possible. Stop. This will be putting huge pressure on your digestive system, the more you can slow down and eat in a mindful way the better prepared your digestion will be and the less bloating and irritation you will experience. Make eating a ritual, reconnect with the profound act of nourishing your body. Don’t rush, this could be incorporated as a beautiful self-care practice, three times daily. Also, don’t skip meals…
This is a beautiful tea for digestion, cleansing and calming. Drink this daily –
Cumin, Coriander, Fennel Tea
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
3 cups water
Combine water and seeds, bring to the boil and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and serve. Can be drank straight away or throughout the day at room temperature.
Good bacteria are essential to restore gut flora and helping the microbiome flourish. You could do this naturally by incorporating kefir, a cultured dairy drink that is incredibly rich in beneficial bacteria that have been proven to assist in both healing digestive challenges and improving mental and emotional wellbeing. The perfect antidote for IBS.
Try these, 250-350ml daily would be amazing, and so much more powerful than a probiotic tablet –
Water Kefir (good if you have issues with dairy and are a nice soft drink alternative)
Coconut Kefir (lovely if you enjoy coconut, and always nice to have variety)
Or my favorite, especially for IBS related issues –
Goat Kefir (excellent as goat milk is full of B12 and other important nutrients for overall health and wellbeing)
I hope this helps you Leena, any questions, I’m here 🙂