Many people experience that the bowel can be extremely sensitive to stress. This condition is called Irritable bowel syndrome, stress disturbs the digestive tracts patterns of contractions, which is why this syndrome has also been called spastic colon.
Because of the irregular contractions, food and wastes do not move through the digestive system normally, and the intestines become partially blocked. Stress and tension can cause a buildup of waste material, which irritates the intestinal linings of the mucous membranes. Chronic symptoms are gas, bloating, and cramping; diarrhea and constipation will take turns.
With a doctor’s visit a physical exam usually shows no reason for the discomfort, it is generally recognized that it is emotional stress and tension that must be the primary reason for the symptoms. An unbalanced diet, food allergies, and eating too fast can also be the cause.
Managing stress and dealing with the emotional issues are the first steps in bringing bowel function back to normal. It is important to examine your diet and change eating patterns along with correcting any vitamin deficiencies are extremely important.
It is important that a doctor first rules out any type of illness such as diverticulitis or Crohn’s disease. If there are no known causes then it is important to journal what you eat and how it affects you. Notice which foods you are sensitive to such as; milk products, gassy foods, and any rich foods. Eat small amounts at regular times and eat slowly.
There are alternative methods and herbal remedies that can be taken to help deal with irritable bowel syndrome. Try to calm your mind by using relaxation techniques such as breathing, meditation, and yoga are good methods to help calm the mind and reduce stress.
Anti-anxiety herbal remedies can help try- valerian, St John’s wort, oats, oat straw, Kava Kava, and skullcap to help settle your mind and your intestines. Herbal tea can bring relief and is very soothing to the mind and body. Try- papaya leaves, catnip, fennel seed, sage leaves, and rosemary.
For relief from pain try applying heat to the stomach and back, it will help relieve sharp or dull aching pain by relaxing the cramped intestinal muscles. Heating pads and hot water bottles will also do an effective job on soothing the muscles.
Drinking peppermint tea will soothe the spasms and it is very good for irritable bowels. Drink the tea every day to relax the cramping, ease bloating and soothe the intestinal lining. Also try for bloating: caraway, fennel, and aniseed teas.
For constipation try drinking teas made from- buckhorn bark, rhubarb, and aloe or senna leaf. For tensing muscles try drinking calming teas such as-hops, lemon balm, valerian, and passionflower. These can be found in teas or tinctures.
Its encouraged to put fiber into your diet, you can use powered fiber supplements to help increase your intake. Fiber is essential for food moving through the intestines. Avoid irritants to the intestines such as- coffee, sodas, very spicy foods, or acidic foods.
As always consult your doctor prior to taking any supplements.