The top 5 factors contributing to IBS
A trend I’ve noticed after talking with my clients and people I interact with on a daily basis, it is that most people don’t know what proper digestion is!
So much of what society deems as common, is not normal for a healthy body!
If you struggle consistently with:
Constipation < 1 bowel movement / day
Diarrhea / loose stools > 3 bowel movements / day
Food sensitivities / food allergies
There’s a big chance that your digestion is “off” and there are underlying problems.
One of the most documented cases of impaired digestion is IBS
IBS impacts the lives of between 10-20% of the world’s population. I’d venture to say that it is even more common than that!
The top factors I see influencing the prevalence of IBS (and other digestive disorders) are:
Chronic stress suppresses parasympathetic tone (the rest and digest nervous system) which results in decreased stomach acid production and can cause dysmotility constipation or diarrhea.
Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, caffeine, alcohol
These types of diets or SAD (Standard American Diet) decrease acidity of the stomach. A proper amount of acid is needed for proper food digestion and triggering the pancreas and gallbladder to release their digestive juices.
Inadequate consumption of vegetables and fruit
Without enough veggies and fruit in your life, this can result in an inadequate amount of phytonutrients to support the body to function optimally including the digestive organs and the immune system. In addition you miss out on the prebiotics to feed the healthy gut bacteria, and fiber to keep digestion moving.
Medications can decrease the acidity of the stomach which can impair the digestion of food.
Other medications such as neuroleptics used for pain management can slow the connectivity of the brain with the digestive system and cause slowed motility called gastroparesis.
In addition, other medications such as oral contraceptives change the hormonal balance within the digestive tract that can cause changes in the motility. They can also impair the mucosal membrane of the digestive tract, which can lead to a leaky gut or microbiome imbalance.
Exposures to chemicals and toxins
Chemicals and toxins can be found in our food supply such as pesticides, herbicides, food dyes, stabilizers, preservatives and plastics.
These are all foreign materials our body cannot utilize. This leads to the need to identify these particles as foreign substances and pull in the immune systems troops to prevent them from wreaking havoc on the body.
Have a look at the package for your favorite snack food item. Does it contain:
Potassium bromate. It is found frequently in wraps, rolls, breadcrumbs and bagel chips. This is linked to kidney failure and cell deterioration.
Monosodium glutamate. It’s found in well known corn chips, fast food fried chicken, and famous chicken noodle soup. It’s linked to symptoms such as headache, heart palpitations and numbness/tingling of the face chest and neck, & linked to childhood obesity.
Butylated hydroxyanisole or hydroxytoluene, BHA/BHT. This can be found in chewing gum, beer, butter and cereal. This can impair blood clotting and is linked to cancer.
Polysorbate 80. This is commonly found in ice cream and is linked to infertility.
Yellow dye #5, aka tartrazine. This can be found in energy drinks, cake mixes, salty snacks and cereals. It’s linked to cancer and provokes asthma attacks