“My fears and anxiety trigger the riots in my gut ” A patient having IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) was making fun of his errant gut.
But he expressed so correctly.The IBS patients often have to witness the riot like situation in their gut with much pain discomfort.Many readers ask queries about treatment and diet in this particular condition. This blog is a try towards understanding IBS and Ayurveda solutions for the same. This isn’t a quick fix medicine -disease. Ayurveda has given a holistic thought to this condition.
What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel syndrome is a group of symptoms like pain in abdomen,changed frequency,urgency and patterns of defecation(stool passing) such as loose motions or constipation etc. The symptoms are seen over a long period ,most of the times over a period of years together. In Ayurveda The disease is named as Grahani. Grahani is small intestine and the impaired gut is the sight of this disease so the name justifies it.
Ayurveda view : Ayurveda has mentioned the disease Grahani which is similar to IBS.
The science today though unable to blame a single cause for IBS, Ayurveda explained the Grahani as the disease of impaired Agni(digestive fire) and metabolism.The initial simple indigestion and other minor deformities in digestive fire and digestion due to bad food habits if occur often lead to the chronic deformity of appetite affecting the metabolism which include various systems and organs other than gut.
The condition is chronic and affect the overall lifestyle of the patient.It may affect the psychological health of the patient and the reverse is also true. Stress, fear anger and other emotional ups and down can worsen the situation in IBS patients.
The gut and brain axis is the reason for that.
- Too much fasting or overeating
- Frequent indigestion due to the wrong food habits
- Consuming incompatible food frequently
- Allergy to certain food items
- Habit of holding the natural urges often mainly urination and defecation
- Diet too heavy to digest and consumed often without even not hungry
- Wrong eating habits continued in general debility and reduced appetite due to some other diseases
- The wrong food and diet in post gastrointestinal infections
- Excess thirst
- Laziness, general weakness
- Delayed digestion
- Excess salivation
- Reduced hunger and appetite
- Bowel sounds
- Tinnitus(sounds in ears)
- Abdominal pain or discomfort ,
- Frequent diarrhea or constipation and a change in bowel habits.
- Urgency for bowel movements,
- A feeling of incomplete evacuation (tenesmus),
- Bloating or abdominal distension
- In some cases, the symptoms are temporarily relieved by bowel movements.
- Pain around umbilicus
- Foul smell ill formed stool
- Frequent motions
- Weakness, vertigo
- Frequent mouth ulcers
- Sometimes swollen feet
- People with IBS, over the period are prone headache, backache, and psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
- Malabsoption causes anemia ,splenomegaly (enlarged spleen)
- Piles due to constipation and forceful evacuation.
- Diarrhea due to indigestion and increased peristalsis
Ayurvedic diet guidelines for IBS:
Pathya -Apathya (Dos and Don’ts )
- The food should be light, freshly cooked and compatible with digestive fire or appetite.
- Freshly prepared buttermilk is the choice of diet in the patients for IBS. Buttermilk with rock salt,dried ginger powder/cumin powder is advised in daily meal.
- Jowar (sorghum),Bajara (pearl millet) bhakari (Indian bread) is advised in stead of wheat roti.
- Red rice and green or yellow mung daal should be practiced in diet. The green mung soup,
- The curd made from cow milk without using cream is especially mentioned in the Ayurveda diet of Grahani (IBS)
- The cow butter prepared traditionally from the curd is also good in some patients.
- Sheep milk is advised in some conditions.
- Red rice flakes is very beneficial to replenish the body and overcome the weakness in IBS.
- Pure honey, Bael fruit, Wood apple (Kavath in marathi) are also very useful to treat many symptoms in IBS.
- Too heavy, too greasy ,deep fried,too sticky and leftover food should be avoided
- Processed foods such as crisps, oven chips, supermarket pizza, biscuits and cakes, breakfast cereals.
- Foods that have been cooked and left out to cool – for example, cold potato/pasta salads.
- Cut down on fatty meat products such as sausages, pies and pastries
- Ready to eat meals.
- Savory snacks.
The treatment is aimed towards correction of impaired digestive fire,digestion -micro digestion and metabolism.
Your Ayurveda family physician will start some tablets, syrups or decotions (kadhas) for this. The loose motions /constipation and abdominal pain can be well managed with Ayurveda medicines. The immunity and psychological factors too given importance while prescribing the medicines.The diet and lifestyle plays important role in management.
Home remedies : Before you try any home remedy do remember to have a word with your Ayurveda Physician
- For frequent loose motions one can include the Bael fruit jam (murabba) ,Wood apple chuteny can be added as therapeutic diet.
- Water boiled with pinch of dried ginger for regular drinking
- Buttermilk with Trikatu powder
- Nutmeg rubbed on stone in small quantity ,dried ginger with honey, etc
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