Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Must Have, What to Avoid?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)  – Must Have, What to Avoid?

IBS is a functional disorder of the intestinal tract. The movement of food and waste material is impaired causing a build-up of mucous, toxins and inflammation. Sadly this is a common disorder affecting 1 in 5 adults today. IBS does not discriminate between seniors, young adults, or children.

For those of you suffering with IBS you know the symptoms all too well…abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea, nausea, inflammation of the intestinal tract and pain while eating certain foods.


Nutrition, Senior Home Care Mississauga

It is believed that stress, eating on the run, overuse of antibiotics; antacids and laxative use have created this disease.  Unfortunately this is a sign of the times and the world we live in.

IBS while painful is thankfully not a life threatening disorder and can be managed with a proper diet, exercise and supplements.

Here are some must haves if you can relate to the above symptoms:

  1. Essential Fatty Acid: such as Flaxseed or Evening Primrose Oil is needed to protect the intestinal lining
  2. L-Glutamine: beneficial for repairing intestinal cells and the villi which are the “finger-like” protrusions in the intestinal walls that absorb nutrients from the food we eat
  3. B complex: needed to support intestinal muscle tone
  4. Probiotics: essential to replenish good bacteria in the intestinal tract (bad bacteria is what contributes to gastric upset)
  5. Fiber: eat your fruits and veggies with the skins on for maximum benefit; lightly steamed is better for the gut than raw as it is harder to digest
  6. Multivitamins (always get a health store brand): to replenish nutrients that are not being absorbed from nutrients in your food
  7. Digestive Enzymes: these little gems are to be taken with meals and help our own natural enzymes do their job to process the food we eat – as we age our enzymes become depleted, especially if you drink fluids when eating meals
  8. Aloe Vera Juice: to soothe and heal the intestinal lining
  9. Peppermint (in tea or capsule form): very soothing to the stomach, helps relieve bloating and indigestion. If taken in capsule form be sure to get “enteric” coated which simply means it dissolves in the intestinal tract not the stomach, to avoid irritation
  10. Chew your food at least 30x each bite! Important to aid in proper digestion
  11. Drink a minimum of 2 litres of filtered water to keep the intestinal lining hydrated

Things to Avoid

  • Spicy foods, this includes black pepper (they are stomach irritants)
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Allergenic foods such as dairy, wheat, sugar, corn, potatoes, eggs, nuts, soy, coffee, chocolate and refined foods (sorry to be the bearer of bad news!)
  • Gas producing foods such as broccoli & cabbage
  • Avoid laying down too soon after meals as this is a recipe for indigestion

If you find yourself in a flare up this time tested Castor Oil remedy can be very soothing to relieve pain:

  • Pour a small quantity of Castor oil in a glass pan
  • Saturate a flannel or terry cloth with the oil, remove and wring out excess oil and fold flat
  • Place cloth on the area of the body that is painful. Cover with another thin cloth or plastic to avoid the oil staining the heating pad. Place heating pad or hot water bottle on top of the cloth. It would be wise to lay on a towel or plastic to avoid the oil staining linens.
  • Wrap the area in a towel or blanket and leave the pack on and rest for at least 1 hour. The cloth can be re-used and stored in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator, adding more oil with each use.
  • Relax and enjoy the soothing properties of the Castor Oil pack. Use the pack several days a week for maximum benefit.

Kim is the owner of Lakeside Natural Therapies, specializing in Nutrition & Reiki. If you have questions for Kim feel free to contact her at