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?
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.
Certain times of the year are more challenging than others when you're vegan and have a chronic digestive disorder. Holidays in particular can be difficult because not only do we typically have high hopes and expectations (often followed by disappointment), but we also may be surrounded by an abundance of food that doesn't meet our dietary needs. Most people want to please their hosts, friends, family, and coworkers and avoid disagreements, especially at holiday gatherings and celebrations, but vegans with IBS face more hurdles than others in accomplishing this.
I'm not sure why we as a culture like jokes about, well, I might as well just blurt it out . . .
One of the most common myths about irritable bowel syndrome is that it's caused by stress. Let's set the record straight once and for all: stress doesn't cause irritable bowel syndrome or any other chronic functional digestive disorder. However, stress can affect almost anyone's mental and physical well-being, and it can certainly exacerbate ongoing IBS symptoms or trigger a flare-up. But in today's modern world, stress is a constant companion. Is there anything we can do to control or minimize it?
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It's a fact: everybody poops. Although the subject isn't usually considered an appropriate topic of conversation, if you're having a poop problem, it's important to be able to talk about it.
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.
I've been having a rough time of it lately -- more bad days then good this past year -- in terms of my IBS. In fact, I clearly remember the last long stretch of relief I had because it's been such a rarity. It lasted for two blissful weeks. During that time, I felt certain that everything I was trying had finally started to come together. I was positive I had hit upon that elusive cure for IBS. And I felt spectacularly brilliant!
"May your troubles be as brief as your New Year's resolutions." I love this slogan because of its unabashed honesty. The majority of resolutions people tend to make are short-lived and never get beyond their wish list.
In addition to fun and fellowship, most holidays, regardless of which ones are celebrated, involve feasting on rich food that can wreak havoc on delicate digestive systems. Holidays can be hard enough when you're vegan and have nonvegan family, friends, and coworkers, but throw IBS into the mix and navigating these events can seem impossible.
While irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which encompasses Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, differ in very significant ways, there's nevertheless a bit of overlap in terms of certain symptoms, pain, and general quality of life, especially when comparing severe cases of IBS with milder cases of IBD.
While an ethic of compassion is the underpinning of a vegan lifestyle, many people adopt a plant-based diet for a wide variety of other reasons. First and foremost among those is health.