Do YOU have the GUTS??

April is IBS Awareness Month (there’s a month for EVERYTHING?) that being said…

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic condition where one suffers from intestinal pain associated with diarrhea, gas, bloating, and constipation.

Ugh! Why is it called a syndrome? What is a syndrome? A syndrome is a set of medical signs or symptoms that relate to each other in a common ailment—And the common ailment? It’s your GUT!! IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease and other digestive ailments, are a multi-million dollar business for the pharmaceutical industry! The number of prescriptions now prescribed to stop diarrhea, to relieve constipation, to speed up digestion, to slow down digestion…makes our head spin!! Do you have the GUTS to combat these digestive monsters?? These diseases affect your colon or bowel (your gut) leading to inflammation, causing pain, extreme bouts of diarrhea, or long periods of constipation (or a combination of both!). Consequently, you get prescriptions to quiet the inflammation (steroids, immunosuppressants, pain medications) as well as medications to stop the poop…to start the poop…to stop the gas…to stop the bloat…a pill for every ill!!!

But remember we are asking WHY ?? Why am I suffering from these symptoms? Rather than label it, let’s consider root causes…at Two Hoots we believe that everything you eat or drink is either FEEDING disease OR FIGHTING it! The food we eat may contribute to inflammation, years and years of inflammation…and inflammation, which is merely an immune response in your body, can lead to painful symptoms!  Our diet can elicit that immune response. The way we handle stress can lead to inflammation. At the same time, the gut flora is undoubtedly disrupted which creates its own battle of good bacteria vs bad (yuck!). But, there’s good news: the gut (and gut lining) can repair and heal itself when the insult is removed. How can you determine what’s irritating your bowel? Is it my diet, stress, my medications or a combination of all? Can I “fix” my gut? Understand that you may be trying to undo YEARS of assault to your gut, so while “the fix” is not immediate, the symptoms can improve very quickly 🙂 Know this: repair your gut and you regain your health!

So you say, “I’m in! Let’s fix my gut!! But how?” The most effective way to start is through an elimination diet. Begin by eliminating food groups…in a way similar to the Whole 30 program or the Paleo diet. In these programs, you eliminate such foods as dairy, sugar, gluten, grains, legumes, alcohol and processed foods. After 30 days (hence the reference to 30) you add those items back one at a time, spacing them about three to five days apart and see how you feel. While we aren’t advocating Whole 30 (although it’s a great program), we are suggesting that you eliminate these food groups to see how you feel. Whaaat? Hey, it’s not forever, and it doesn’t have to be for 30 days. Do you have the guts to get better? Address the stress…slow down, breathe…And look at your prescriptions- sadly our society has come to rely on an easy fix…taking a pill. But we AREN’T fixing it! It’s a band-aid. What else can you do? Take a probiotic! We can’t say this enough (so we say it all the time?) Repopulate your gut with good bacteria! There are numerous reasons why you’re losing the good bugs… diarrhea, recurring prescriptions for antibiotics and steroids, long-term use of acid blockers and birth control pills and finally, processed foods. It’s an opportunity to create a more healthy environment. And when the good bacteria outnumber the bad there is harmony in your gut Making these adjustments will not solve your digestive problems overnight… But you may feel a difference in days when you eliminate the culprit because gut cells repair quickly. (Yay) Keep in mind it’s about a lifestyle change, not a lifestyle fad!

But we know you can “stomach” these changes because after all… we give Two Hoots about your Health!  

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