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Posts Tagged ‘IBS and vitamin B12 deficiency’

Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts- Part II: Do This!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

 

 

Part I of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts covered bad eating habits and lifestyle choices that cause IBS; now, learn how testing for vitamin B12 deficiency or other illnesses, along with eating healthy digestion-friendly foods, can help to promote intestinal health where IBS occurs.

TOP 20 IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) DO’S AND DON’TS

Recap: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive disorder that causes stomachache, heartburn, and nausea.  Sometimes, IBS correlates with vitamin B12 deficiency; other times, IBS happens because of other comorbid conditions or bad eating habits.

#1 Do this!  Check your vitamin B12 levels

Often, people who suffer from digestive problems also have dangerously low vitamin B12 levels, as many GI disorders like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, gastritis, and general IBS may cause vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Getting a blood test for vitamin B12 deficiency is crucial if you suffer from IBS- untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe nerve damage, reduced cognitive functioning, emotional disorders, movement disorders, and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

If you are diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, then your doctor will need to prescribe vitamin B12 (cobalamin) supplements, usually in the form of vitamin B12 shots.

#2 Do this!  See a gastroenterologist.

If you’ve been suffering from stomach problems for a long time, then make an appointment with a gastroenterologist.  In order to diagnose IBS, your doctor will have to rule out other possibilities, such as GERD, ulcer, lactose intolerance, food allergies, celiac disease, or esophagitis.

#3 Do this!  Eat healthy foods

To promote digestive health, eat a diet of whole, low-fat foods.  A healthy diet always includes fiber from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, in addition to lean proteins.  To replenish electrolytes, eat small amounts of oatmeal topped with banana slices.

TOP 20 IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) DO’S AND DON’TS

#4 Do this! Take digestive enzymes

Your body produces 22 digestive enzymes naturally to help you break down food and access essential vitamins and minerals.  One of them is intrinsic factor, an enzyme produced in your stomach that aids in digesting vitamin B12.  Lack of intrinsic factor may be caused by an autoimmune disorder or damage to your esophagus, leading to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Some plant-based digestive enzymes are available in pill form, including amylase, lipase, cellulase, and protease.

#5 Do this!  Eat healthy bacteria

For optimum digestion, snack on foods containing healthy “good” bacteria.  Yogurt or kefirs are healthy if you’re lactose-tolerant; look out for brands that are labeled with “live and active cultures.”  Kimchi, a pickled cabbage condiment, is doubly healthy for your digestive system; one, because it replenishes the GI tract with health flora, and two, because cabbage is a non-digestible fiber that helps your body remove toxins and waste.

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

#6 Do this!  Enjoy ginger

In small doses (2 to 4 grams), fresh or dried ginger helps to maintain digestive health and increase appetite. For ginger juice, grate ginger and then run through a garlic press, catching the droplets in a cup.  Add to tea, stews, or salads.  Be careful- ginger is very potent, and too much can cause heartburn.

#7 Do this!  Listen to your body cues

Overeating and indigestion often occur because we eat too quickly and don’t pay attention to our body cues.  Just as you get hunger pangs when it’s time to eat, you also get subtle cues when you’ve had enough, and some not-so-subtle cues- stomachache and heartburn- that you’ve overindulged.  One of the most important lessons in eating healthy is learning to tell the difference between hunger and cravings, and to know when you’re satisfied.

#8 Do this!  Take the right medicine

Certain medications your doctor may prescribe for treating indigestion may include antidiarrheal medicines, antispasmodics, or laxatives.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) – B12 Deficiency and 5 other Health Risks

TOP 20 IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) DO’S AND DON’TS

#9 Do this!  Put a curfew on eating

At the end of the day, you tend to slow down; so does your metabolism.  Eating a big dinner that includes desserts is a sure way to cause debilitating indigestion.  Instead, eat an early dinner, or make lunchtime the biggest meal of the day, and resist the temptation to snack in the evening after 6:00 or 7:00 pm.

#10 Do this!  Exercise

Regular exercise promotes healthy digestion by reducing stress, boosting your metabolism, helping your maintain a healthy weight, and increasing circulation.  To benefit from exercise, you don’t need to succumb to intense, 40-minute workouts.  Just walking, riding a stationary bike, or swimming for 20-30 minutes each day is enough to prevent heart disease, obesity, and digestive disorders.

Please tell us…

Have you been experiencing unusual stomach problems, such as feeling uncomfortably full after eating light meals, waking up in the middle of the night with acid reflux, or chronic diarrhea?  Have you had your vitamin B12 levels tested?  IBS sometimes causes pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency.

As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions.

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends and family on Facebook or Google+!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and IBS

Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts- Part I: Don’t do that!

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey

Sources:

Pernicious anemia: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Indigestion: MedlinePlus

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Indigestion – Self help

Images:

Grant Cochrane, Wikimedia

Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts- Part I: Don’t do that!

Monday, March 19th, 2012

 

 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive disorder that causes stomachache, heartburn, and nausea.  Sometimes, IBS causes vitamin B12 deficiency; other times, IBS happens because of other comorbid conditions or bad eating habits.  In part one of Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts, learn how to treat IBS symptoms by changing your eating habits and making smarter lifestyle choices.

TOP 20 IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) DO’S AND DON’TS

Symptoms of IBS

About 20% of Americans suffer symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, which may vary in severity from uncomfortable to debilitating.  IBS does not cause any harm to your digestive system, nor does it lead to any life-threatening diseases.  Depending on what’s causing IBS, be it vitamin B12 deficiency or Crohn’s disease, you may have most or just a few of the following symptoms:

  • Heartburn that is not relieved by antacids
  • Acid reflux
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Belching
  • Bloated feeling
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts- Part I: Don’t do that!

#1 Don’t do that!  Overeat

Indulging in large meals is the most common eating-related cause of IBS.  Your body needs only a small amount of food to be satisfied.  By eating more than your stomach can handle in one sitting, you cause stomach discomfort, acid indigestion, painful heartburn, and obesity.  Instead of eating a day’s worth of calories at once, break them down into several small meals throughout the day.

However, if you eat normal-sized meals, yet feel your throat closing up while eating, or if you have trouble swallowing food, then it might indicate pernicious anemia, which may be diagnosed with a vitamin B12 blood test.

#2 Don’t do that!  Rush through meals

Do you give yourself a long time to enjoy a meal? If not, you may be causing severe indigestion.  While you eat, your stomach sends messages to your brain, signaling you when it’s time to stop eating.  Once your stomach is comfortably full, you feel satiated.  However, it may take as long as 20 minutes the message to come full circle.  So by eating in a hurry, you don’t give yourself a chance to stop eating in time to avoid overeating and indigestion.  Instead, eat slowly, put your fork down between bites, and pay attention to your stomach signals.

#3 Don’t do that!  Eat processed foods

Processed foods are the source of many gastrointestinal ills.  What are processed foods?  Anything food that’s been stripped of its nutritional value through processing, resulting in a nutritionally-devoid, hard-to-digest product may, over time, cause stomach upset, bacterial infections, vitamin deficiency, and obesity.  Anything containing white flour, white rice, white sugar, or many food additives may cause IBS symptoms.


TOP 20 IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) DO’S AND DON’TS

#4 Don’t do that!  Eat trigger foods

Certain trigger foods may exacerbate IBS or illnesses like Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia.  Likely food triggers are fried or fatty foods, spicy dishes, caffeinated beverages, carbonated drinks, alcohol, fruits with small seeds, chocolate, corn, and dairy products.  All of these may cause acid reflux, heartburn, diarrhea, and stomach cramping.

#5 Don’t do that!  Drink during meals

Having a sip of mineral water between bites may seem like a good idea for weight control, but it also causes indigestion.  Every time you wash down your food with liquids, you dilute essential stomach acids, thereby reducing their potency and triggering heartburn, acid indigestion, and tummy aches.  Instead, drink down a large glass of water before eating- you’ll digest your food better and feel full sooner!

#6 Don’t do that!  Mindless eating

Another mistake people often make is eating in front of the television, while reading, standing at the buffet table, or worse yet- while driving your car.  Eating on “autopilot” causes you to eat too much, too fast, and makes it almost impossible for you to recognize feelings of satiety.  As a rule, always eat white seated at a table, minus the TV or computer screen.

Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss- Why it Works

#7 Don’t do that!  Lie down after eating

Your metabolism doesn’t function well in sedentary mode; for that reason, it’s important to avoid slumping on the couch after a meal.  For better digestion, plan light workouts like walking for an after-meal activity.

#8 Don’t do that!  Medications

Lay off medicines that can worsen heartburn and acid reflux, such as sleeping pills.  Also, overusing acid reflux meds for heartburn can increase your risk for bacterial infections, in addition to interfering with vitamin B12 absorption.

#9 Don’t do that!  Stress out

Stress is a common cause of stomach problems.  For people with IBS, anxiety, fatigue, and anger can cause muscle spasms in the colon.  Incorporate exercise, relaxation techniques, and vitamin therapy into your daily regimen for optimum psychological health.  If necessary, antidepressants prescribed by your doctor may be helpful.

Sometimes, extreme stress, depression, and anxiety correlate with severe vitamin B12 deficiency.  Other mental disorders correlated with B12 deficiency include paranoia, hallucinations, and unusual aggressiveness.

When Vitamin B12 Deficiency has you under its Spell…of Depression

Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts- Part I: Don’t do that!

#10 Don’t do that!  Smoke

Not only does smoking cigarettes damage your lungs, it also affects your digestive system, causing acid reflux and esophageal damage, as well.  Improve your chances of living a long, healthy life- ask your doctor for advice on quitting smoking, for good.

Please tell us…

Have you been experiencing unusual stomach problems, such as feeling uncomfortably full after eating light meals, waking up in the middle of the night with acid reflux, or chronic diarrhea?

Have you had your vitamin B12 levels tested?  Gastrointestinal disorders sometimes lead to vitamin B12 deficiency, so people with GI issues are recommended to get their vitamin B12 levels checked routinely.

As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions.

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends and family on Facebook or Google+!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and IBS

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

Sources:

Pernicious anemia: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Indigestion: MedlinePlus

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Indigestion – Self help

Images:

Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot, euthmanSean Rogers1, stevendepolo

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