Sleep and IBS make for strange bedfellows. If you suffer from IBS, you no doubt know that a good night's sleep can make a world of difference in how well your digestive system functions the following day. A poor night's sleep, however, can have the complete opposite effect. And, of course, an overactive, underactive, or painful gut can disrupt sleep and make matters even worse.
The human digestive tract contains both friendly (aka "good") and not-so-friendly (aka "bad") bacteria. Good bacteria improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and help increase the absorption of nutrients. Bad bacteria are commonly defined as pathogens, which means they may cause infection, make us sick, or even be deadly.
When people talk about a vegan low-FODMAP diet, or really any low-FODMAP diet, the dialogue tends to revolve around which foods are off-limits. This can lead to the erroneous and flawed belief that avoiding high-FODMAP foods means permanently excluding many nutrient-dense and delicious ones and enduring a lifetime of misery, deprivation, and nutritional deficiencies. But how closely does that assumption align with reality?
For some people, avoiding high-FODMAP foods doesn't provide complete relief of IBS symptoms. That's understandable, since IBS isn't yet curable and tends to be cyclic, with periods of greater stability and calm interspersed with flare-ups and times of symptom exacerbation. There often isn't any explanation for why the condition gets better or worse if a person's diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits haven't changed. It appears to just be the nature of the beast.
The beginning of a new year is when many people commit to making positive changes for the next twelve months. Sadly, those lofty promises often fizzle out in just a few weeks. Despite our noble intentions, our objectives may simply be unrealistic or out of our reach. Instead, if we focus on taking small steps toward our ultimate goal -- steps we can truly achieve -- it's possible we'll actually get to the finish line, or at least be a whole lot closer to it.
Prune juice is an age-old remedy for constipation, but is there any merit in using it for constipation-predominant IBS? Prunes, now officially called dried plums, are an excellent source of fiber that can help maintain bowel regularity. But are prune products right for you?
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Potlucks, picnics, dinner parties, and other social gatherings are lots of fun and opportunities to taste new recipes. Unfortunately, if you're vegan and have IBS, they're typically a challenge to negotiate in terms of finding anything to eat that won't trigger or exacerbate symptoms. Even more important, they can be a perfect breeding ground for foodborne pathogens.
Well, not totally. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is also in your gut, of course. But recent research has revealed structural changes in the brains of people diagnosed with IBS that demonstrate an organic component to the disorder. This is huge, as it's the first time scientists have confirmed an association between the gut microbiota and the brain regions involved in processing the body's sensory information.
Do vegans ever tire of this age-old question? Why, yes, in fact, we do. That's because protein abounds on plant-based diets, despite persistent myths that perpetuate the opposite.
A common suggestion for improving IBS symptoms is to simply eat more fiber. But fiber can be a complicated matter, and simply eating more of it won't necessarily improve IBS symptoms and could, for some people, make symptoms worse.
A randomized controlled study published in BMJ Open Gastroenterology found that vitamin D supplementation was associated with improved quality of life in participants with IBS.