The 10 Worst Foods for IBS

For many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms may be triggered by specific foods. What triggers your symptoms may be different from what triggers the symptoms of fellow sufferers, but these 10 foods are likely culprits for anyone with IBS.

1. Gluten

Although gluten is often unfairly demonized, it’s fair to say that gluten can be a major trigger for IBS. Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. Many people who have IBS are also gluten intolerant and may experience symptoms like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

2. Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in fat and can be particularly hard on the digestive systems of people who have IBS. Frying food makes it more difficult to digest, so other cooking methods are recommended for people with IBS and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Caffeine

Coffee and other drinks containing caffeine stimulate the intestines and can cause diarrhea. Instead of consuming drinks with caffeine when you need a little boost, go for a brisk walk.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are found in sugarless gum, candy, and diet drinks. Commonly used artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose, and since these and other sugar substitutes are difficult for the body to absorb, they can easily trigger IBS symptoms.

5. Alcohol

Many people with IBS have trouble drinking alcohol because of how their body digests it. The dehydrating effects of alcohol are also problematic for people with IBS. If you enjoy drinking alcohol, stick with gluten-free beer, or enjoy a cocktail mixed with soda water.

6. Broccoli and Cauliflower

While broccoli and cauliflower are healthy vegetables, they’re not always ideal for people with IBS. These vegetables are among the hardest for people to digest, and when they’re broken down in the intestines, they produce gas and may cause constipation.

7. Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is that which can’t be digested. Although it adds healthy bulk to your diet, insoluble fiber can make diarrhea worse for people with IBS. Soluble fiber, which is found in grains, root vegetables, legumes, and berries, is a better choice if you have digestive woes.

8. Dairy

Dairy products contain fat, which can worsen diarrhea. They also contain lactose, and since many people with IBS are also lactose intolerant, dairy products may need to be restricted. Suitable dairy substitutes include rice, soy, or nut milks and cheeses.

9. Beans and Legumes

For some people, beans and legumes can help reduce constipation by increasing the bulk in the stool. But they’re also notorious for causing gas, cramping, and bloating, especially in people with IBS. Different varieties can produce different results, so trial and error may help you find which types you can safely eat.

10. Processed Foods

Highly processed foods like bread, crackers, sweets, and chips contain high levels of fat, sugar, preservatives, and other additives that can cause problems with digestion. Choosing mostly fresh, whole foods is the healthiest way to eat whether or not you have IBS.

Everyone’s IBS triggers are different, and once you know what yours are, staying away from those foods will help you remain as symptom-free as possible. Regardless of what you eat, a daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics can help you maintain optimal gut flora balance for better digestion and fewer IBS symptoms.



Sources:
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/eating-diet-nutrition
https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-a-to-z

How to Stop Urinary Tract Infections Before They Start

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common in women, especially as we age. Unfortunately, UTIs are commonly over-diagnosed and over-treated with antibiotics, which can lead to antibiotic-resistant organisms.

Urinary tract infections have a number of causes. A UTI may result when urine pools in the bladder due to an obstructed urinary flow, and the pooled urine grows bacteria. It can also occur when harmful bacteria cling to the urethra and make their way to the bladder. Other causes include sexual activity and a lack of estrogen in the lining of the vagina, which helps protect against UTIs.

Symptoms of a UTI include frequent urination, an urgency to urinate, and a burning sensation that accompanies urination. In elderly women, confusion is a common symptom of a UTI, and it’s often the only symptom. Left untreated, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection, which can be very dangerous, even life-threatening.

How to Prevent UTIs

Prevention is best when it comes to urinary tract infections, especially for older women and those who tend to get them often. Here are the best ways to prevent a UTI.

Stay well-hydrated.
Adequate hydration helps you produce plenty of urine to dilute and flush bad bacteria from the bladder and urethra. Avoid sugary drinks and stick to water for most of your fluid intake.

Take vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps make your urine more acidic, which may prevent the growth of bad bacteria. Get vitamin C from citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens, or take a 500-to-1,000 milligram supplement each day.

Eat (or drink) cranberries.
Perhaps one of the most well-known anti-UTI measures is consuming cranberries, which prevent bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract. Eat dried cranberries, add them to salads or rice, or drink a little unsweetened cranberry juice each day.

Wipe from front to back.
Bacteria hang out around the anus and wiping from back to front can introduce them to your vagina, where they can migrate to the urinary tract.

Urinate after sex.
During sex, bacteria are introduced into the vagina. Urinating afterwards helps to flush it out.

Avoid feminine deodorant products.
The best way to stay fresh is to shower often with mild soap and water. Products like douches, deodorant sprays, and powders can cause a UTI and other problems.

Apply estrogen vaginal cream.
If you’ve gone through menopause, you have less estrogen in your body, which can cause vaginal dryness and promote infection in the urinary tract. Estrogen creams help balance your pH so that good bacteria will flourish.

Take a probiotic. Probiotics are live “good” bacteria in your body that are involved in numerous functions to keep you healthy. According to Harvard University Medical School, taking a daily probiotic may help prevent UTIs by preventing bad bacteria from growing in the vagina. Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics contains all nine of the most important bacteria strains recommended for women.

If you get a UTI despite preventive measures, treating it early on is the best way to prevent severe symptoms and complications. If you have symptoms of a UTI, pay a visit to your doctor and consider starting a daily probiotic routine.


 

Sources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/stay-a-step-ahead-of-urinary-tract-infections

 

 

Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It

Candida board

Candidiasis is a fungal infection that can affect the mouth, intestinal tract, skin, genitals, and other mucous membranes. Caused by an overgrowth of Candida, a fungus, candidiasis (more commonly known as a yeast infection) isn’t generally serious. However, if you have weakened immunity, it can lead to invasive candidiasis, a serious condition that may affect the blood, heart, or brain. Continue reading “Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It”

5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function

liver graphic

Your liver works hard to remove toxins from your body and plays a key role in your metabolism, circulation, hormonal balance, and healthy digestion. It detects the presence of toxic substances like heavy metals and by-products from the breakdown of medications and either converts them into harmless substances or releases them into the bowels so they can be expelled from the body. Continue reading “5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function”

Taking Antibiotics? Here’s What You Should Eat

Woman taking antibiotic

Antibiotics save lives, but they can do a number on your gut microbiota (flora), a complex ecosystem of microbes that helps keep us healthy. In recent years, healthy gut flora has been associated with optimal functioning of numerous body systems, including the nervous and digestive systems, and it promotes a healthy brain and optimal hormonal function.

Continue reading “Taking Antibiotics? Here’s What You Should Eat”

A Simple Way to Improve Your Immune System: The Science Behind Stonehenge Health

In the 19th Century, Louis Pasteur’s germ theory of disease made an audacious and unthinkable claim. He asserted that most diseases are caused by invading microscopic organisms—little bad bugs that make us sick. This theory revolutionized medicine and saved millions from plagues like smallpox which had devastated populations for centuries.

However, as the adverse effects of antibiotic overuse on the immune system become increasingly clear, there has been a return to the seemingly simple words of the Ancient Greek father of medicine Hippocrates, the who famously proclaimed: “All Disease Begins in the Gut.”

 

Your Immune System is Under Attack

The simplest and most effective way of improving your immune system is to maintain a healthy, balanced gut microflora. Today, this can be harder to do, than perhaps ever before.  Even if you think you maintain a healthy diet and you aren’t prone to intestinal discomfort, your gut is in worse shape than you may realize. And it’s not your fault.

The truth is that our modern industrialized food systems have created a monster in the form of processed foods. Mix that with chemical food additives, plus an overuse of antibiotics, and household chemical cleaners, and you can start to wreak havoc on your entire digestive tract. A perfect gut-wrenching storm is brewing in your belly, a storm that leaves behind a wake of carnage in the form of digestive and immune system disruption.

 

The Human Gut: Our “Second Brain”

Our digestive system is an incredibly complex piece of human machinery. From a macroscopic view, we know the gut breaks food and liquids down into their chemical components (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, etc.), which the body uses for energy and cellular regeneration. But the gut also plays a critical role in hormone and immune system regulation, and it houses the body’s largest concentration of mood-altering neurotransmitters, including serotonin. That’s why many scientists refer to the gut as the body’s “second brain.”

On the microscopic level, this second brain is home to “good” guys and “bad” guys — good bacteria who fight off disease, and bad pathogens who seek to do you harm. The more “good” bacteria you have fighting for you, the more balanced your gut microbiome will become, which will lead to you having a healthier and stronger immune system.

 

Probiotics: The Key to a Strong Immune System

Think about your gut as your body’s gas tank. Probiotics are the premium fuel that your body needs to thrive. Probiotics are those little aforementioned “good” guys, healthy bacteria that help fortify your gut from an onslaught of invading “bad” bacteria which can cause gas, bloating, discomfort, and disease. The gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that, when properly balanced, keep our bodies running like well-oiled machines, helping fight off disease.

 

Where to Get Probiotics?

There are several excellent sources of probiotics that you may be eating already. Yogurt, (especially homemade) is one of the best sources along with pickled foods, sauerkraut, kefir, dark chocolate, microalgae, miso soup, and tempeh. But just changing your diet isn’t enough. Often foods that contain probiotics only contain a small number, and the variety of probiotic strains can be insufficient.

To ensure a proactive stance against the barrage of digestive destroyers that seek to weaken your immune system, you should add a probiotic supplement to your system. Probiotics are the most natural and effective way to improve your immune system, this is why it is critical to take a daily probiotic supplement with high levels of CFUs and strain variety.