Imagine for a moment water flowing through your garden hose pipe. Can you recall what happens when you bend the pipe in half or squeeze it tightly? That’s right, the water either stops flowing or flows through slower depending on how tightly you squeeze the pipe. As you have probably guessed by now, your colon works the same way.
A spastic or contracted bowel may hold back the contents of your intestines, preventing it from reaching the lower portion of your colon and from normal bowel action. In addition to this, faeces that is delayed in the colon will be dryer and harder as a result of excess water being reabsorbed by your colon. These type of faeces are harder to remove from the colon.
Symptoms of a colon that is in spasm include abdominal pain, gas, cramps, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, anxiety, depression and occasionally nausea. A spastic bowel is commonly diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS.
As with constipation, spastic bowel conditions are commonly cured with using natural methods. All the advice in this email series will help heal a spastic bowel. Below is a summary of some of the topics that we have already covered that will help heal IBS:
- Drink 1.5 – 2 litres of water daily
- Eat 28-35g of fibre daily
- Avoid refined or processed foods
- Diagnose and cut out foods to which you are allergic or intolerant
- Improve digestion by using digestive enzymes
- Remove old wastes by doing a colon cleanse
- Use a good probiotic
- Control stress and negative emotions, this is one of the major contributing factors to a spastic bowel
In addition to the advice given above, the following has been shown to help IBS and spastic bowel conditions:
- Peppermint in the form of tea or supplements helps to soothe the gut, minimising spasms and IBS symptoms. If you opt for the tea choose a strong, high quality tea to produce results.
- The herb Slippery Elm helps to soothe and heal an irritated gut lining. It also helps to lubricate your faeces making them easier to pass through your bowel. You can purchase this in the form of a supplement, powder or tea.
- Eat simple meals rich in fruit and vegetables
- Charcoal tablets may help minimise occasional bloating and gas but should not be taken on a regular basis as it can also absorb nutrients.
- The following foods may irritate the gut and cause it to go into spasm, try cutting them out and see how you feel: spicy foods; foods high in sulphur such as eggs, onions, cabbage and most dried fruits, alcohol, tea (except herbal and rooibos tea); coffee, cigarettes and wheat
- Lastly, parasites and the yeast Candida can also contribute to bowel spasms. Parasites can easily be removed by doing a parasite cleanse that you can purchase at your local health shop. Candida needs to be attacked more aggressively by both a strict diet and supplements. If you suspect you have Candida arrange for your local doctor or nutritional therapist for a diagnostic test. They will also be able help you with the appropriate anti-candida program.