Bread and butter "therapy" for IBS?
Though I've been almost 100% raw since late October, lately I've been resorting almost nightly to having two slices of bread and butter...specifically oatmeal bread and organic sweet butter. Though it makes me feel like a bit of a raw failure (!) I do this because I frequently suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (morning attacks that settle by mid-day usually) and I often feel that my stomach/digestion is gurgly and upset in the evening after being raw all day.
When this happens, I start to worry about an impending attack of IBS and when I eat the bread and butter it seems to all settle down. (These attacks can ruin an entire morning.) Yet I really do want to stay all-raw. I've tried bananas for my stomach but the fruit seems to signal "active mode" whereas the b & b seems to say "relax and go to sleep" to my rumbly digestive system.
My main goal for eating raw is to get rid of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. My chronic fatigue lifted pretty quickly (well, most of it, though I'm in a low dip right now) whereas on my best day now my fibro pain is about 40% better than before. I'd love it to be GONE! How do I get there? Especially when I'm trying to balance all the roughage of raw foods with the IBS issues...Tricky! I felt great when fasting on Master Cleanse lemonade but I can't live on that...Have to keep eating and want to enjoy it w/out fear of IBS spasms.
I'm looking for opinions and advice: Should I keep doing the bread and butter? Is there anything raw that I could eat that would be soothing and settling to prevent IBS flare-ups? I'd love something binding too since I have the other problem chronically. Bananas don't do it for me.
Kind of nervous about all of this because I start a new job next week and can't have IBS attacks slowing me down.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts, gang.
Sorry Melissa, I dont know anything about that but I wanted to wish you well in finding answers, and say CONGRATS to you on your new job!!
I would order Alissa's digestive enzymes, perhaps even the more therapeutic enzymes. I think although raw has lots of enzymes, additional enzymes, taking with food AND on an empty stomach might really help. You know IBS is common with fibro, so fixing the dang fibro is important.
Paul Nissan had Chrone's Disease I believe. Maybe you can check out his site and see what he did. I think Chrone's and IBS are very similar.
Raw Step by Step
"We can do anything we want to do if we stick with it long enough." Helen Keller
Crohn's and IBS are actually very different, Crohn's being IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) versus IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome.) IBS is very common in the USa.
Although IBS is often a precursor, or "little sister" to IBD (of which Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohns are types of,) IBS is a 'Functional" rather than structural issue. Ie: you will be diagnosed with IBS if you go to your doc, and they do all sorts of testing including colonoscopy, and no VISIBLE changes appear int he structure of your bowel wall. (such as cellular changes, ulcerations, etc. IBD has a characteric look to the lumen...)
IBS can have many affects, some have diarrhea, some constipation. They can be "treated similarly" although most practitioners such as those of non western & alternative therapy, will try to get at the root of the issue. Diet and lifestyle factors are of huge importance.
There are also psychological issues involved, such as stress, but these they are now discovering are not just "in our heads". There are hormonal & neurotransmitters in the bowel that are not unlike those from our brain. (Hence medical use of xanax and the like to help some with IBS.)
Personally I have IBS C, and my sister has IBD. As we fall into a high risk group due to our heritage, I have no doubt that diet and lifestyle are a factor.
Some of the easiest ways people have historical affected IBS with diet, is to remove sugar, flour & dairy. They will try to reduce intestine irritability, reduce the diarrhea & constipation, normalize gut ecology & address EFA deficiency.
Melissa, please feel free to PM me if you would like to hear more. If you are not adverse to cooking something, in place of your bread & butter, try this option:
1 part basmati rice, 1 part mung bean
cook with 6 times water and ginger, and eat the soupy broth. This is a traditional way of treating diarrha, it is high in gamma oryzanol, from the rice bran.
Hope that helps.
I don't have an answer for you either but I also wanted to say congrats on the new job and I hope that you fugure something out for your tummy That's no fun... I hope that you get well and enjoy your new job!
~Melissa, in CA~
I agree with Cassy. I was diagnosed with IBS (after many, many tests) about 10 years ago. I had bouts of diarrhea and constipation. It's very painful. Certain foods did it for me which included: alcohol and caffeine (including chocolate). I stay away from those. But, the real culprit is STRESS. Stress really makes IBS act up. So I'm fine with chocolate if I'm not stressed. One stressful moment and my IBS occurs.
It sounds like you have changes in your life right now. Can you try to work on relaxing? That would help.
Also, I agree something like rice, mung beans, and maybe some sprouted Ezekiel bread will help you a bit. It's not raw...but it's a great option and I wouldn't hesitate or feel bad about it.
Hope this helps.
You guys are so terrific...Thank you so much! It helps a great deal just to be able to post my concerns and get a flood of ideas and well-wishes. And thanks for the congrats on my new job...I'm a little nervous, mostly just excited and eager to start on Tuesday.
Cassy, I was hoping you would post! Thanks for the great info. I never heard of that recipe for diarrhea...I'm going to give it a try. It sounds a bit healthier than scarfing down the processed sliced bread with butter. (Why do you think the butter helps? Or is this just psychological?)
Wendy, thanks for reminding me about taking enzymes. They definitely help when I remember to take them faithfully. Do you think your body ever starts making enough on its own? (Cassy, opinion?) I'd love not to have to take enzymes the rest of my life just to digest (raw high enzyme) food.
Do you like Alissa Cohen's brand in particular? I've been taking (though not consistantly) two products from Standard Process Inc. : Lact-Enz and Zymex. Do any of you take an enzyme brand you think is outstanding? How about any of Alissa's other products? I was wondering if a protein powder would help my stomach? Hemp sounds hard to digest though!
Debbie, I notice the same thing about stress. It immediately has my stomach churning. If I go to bed stressed I can expect to spend the entire next morning in the loo! What do you do to relieve stress? I even notice I'll wake up some mornings with my jaw kind of clenched...And I'm not even a highstrung type of person. But I guess I'm holding on to some stress...the jaw doesn't lie! Maybe I'll try meditating again. I'm plagued by a feeling that I'm "not good at it" though! Too much "monkey mind" I guess. I think exercise is the main thing that will help so I've got to get to the Y.
Thanks again everyone. I'm going to try all your ideas!
I've never tried Alissa's enzymes, but thought about taking the therapeutic ones. I don't know what brand I take, but I take a wide spectrum one.
Melissa, cool thing to know: Our next edition of Essential Cleansing (going out the begining of March) has a great article about IBS.
The main thing I have found in helping myself is to as I said deal with the causative factors involved. (Ie stress and certain foods which trigger it.) Enzymes were helpful, because of a longstanding diet of processed refined grains and sugars. (Pancreas has to work overtime when breaking down dead foods. My PCOS means I already have an overtaxed pancreas.) Raw foods are high in enzymes, but cellulose, which is the fibers of raw veggies, needs CELLULASE to break it down. We humans don't produce cellulase, so taking it supplementally is helpful. SO IS CHEWING. I often bolt my salad, which will trigger my IBS. THis is what has been going on for the last week for me. Ah~ I love cabbage, but have to ferment it, or chew it for like 30 times before swallowing.
Regarding supplemental enzymes, there are many different products on the market. In a general sense, there are several differnt types of enzymes: Vegetarian & fungal type, and then animal sourced types like pancreatin. I am a fan of the vegetarian type, although I will often take my company's product Parazyme which contains HCL for my stomach. It also contains pepsin which is not vegan. To be honest, I think Parazyme is one of the best, but there are MANY vegan ones, which we also sell. A favorite that my vegetarian parents take is DIGESTMORE ULTRA, also by Renew Life. Main thing, just grab a bottle and read the ingredients and activity measurements. It is hard, since there is no consistant measuring tool across the board. Each type has its own unit. However, a broad spectrum is important, as well as one that has several types of each type as well. (Ie: several proteases, several lipases. This is such that it will work in different PH levels.)
Bear in mind, many people think they are eating something totally vegan, but narly ALL probiotic products for instance, contain bacteria originally sourced from a cadaver. His name was Ken. We learned that in school here. That opened my eyes to the supplement industry. Makes you want to only eat cultured food instead, doesn't it? It was probably 50 years ago that the first group was gotten that way, and then just cultured. So, the bottles do say vegan...Wild, huh?
Vegetarian enzymes however, are not the same as probiotics in that way. Probiotics are friendly flora, where enzymes are that, enzymes. They are typically cultured on a fungus called aspergillus niger, and then centrafuged (bad spelling sorry) off, such that the end product is only enzymes. This is the case industry wide, as well as with Alissa's products. They go by the name of fungally grown, vegetarian, or plant enzymes.
Here is a quote from a recent PM I sent someone:
With regard to the enymes, look for one that says vegetarian enzymes on it. That will tell you that the ingredients are not from animals. Then, if you look to see if it says vege caps (vegetarian capsules) then you will know it is vegan. Industry wide, they have to say this on the label. However, some companies will do one and not the other. (gelatin is cheaper, and is only to be used when packing things like oils which can break down.)
Good companies to look for: Renew Life (shamless advert) or enzymedica. There are others, just look for the vegetarian or "fungally derived" ones. also, they don't heat them when packing them, at least at my company. That would kill them. A major supplement testing company recently did testing on our capsules, and found them to be good even 4 years post date...cost is a factor here.
With regard to the papaya eating, some cultures do this. In the Caribbean and south america, you often see papaya based salsas served with meats...The papaya and pinapple help with protein digestion. It takes a lot though...which is why the supplements help....
I had responded to another question on the boards and wrote this:
You are very right when you say enzymes are PH specific. Some such as pepsin & gastric lipase work in the harsh acid of our stomach. Others such as lactase are produced in the small intestine, and are activated by the highly alkaline environment that exists there. It is such a complicated process, and it is very easily thrown off kilter when we are consuming processed foods. Cooked and processed foods have denatured enzymes, and require our body to rely on the pancreatic enzymes. Because of that, our body can't use them to the degree needed for metabolic activity and repair.
Just thought I would mention, digestive enzyme supplements as sold on todays market typically work in a wide PH range. This is now industry standard. Such that, when you buy something that contains "protease" it likely has several forms that will work in many different PH ranges, and not be "killed" as they pass thru what one would assume to be an inhospitable environment. That is how the manufacters can sell it as being "functional" thoughout the bowel. I found that quite interesting.
There is research out there that has shown that one can not become dependant on supplemental enzymes, as our body, as miraculous as it is, is able to shift to make the needed type, at least as long as our body is working right, and our systems are firing appropriately. [My insert~THIS IS CALLED THE LAW OF ADAPTIVE ENZYME SECRETION. PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS WEBSITE TO READ MORE http://www.enerex.ca/articles/digestive_enzymes.htm OR GOOGLE THE TOPIC]
I have found that eating lots of quality raw foods is able to do this. It provides a varied diet, high in fiber, nutrients and antioxidants to make sure our organs of detoxification are able to do their jobs...
However, I do take enzymes on occasion. Especially if I eat a lot of insoluble fiber in a sitting, or am under a lot of stress. INterestingly, stress depletes enzymes, as your body uses the same pancreatic enzymes for both digestion, and metabolic activity and repair. So, you may very well benefit from taking some. I will let you be the judge. :)
ps. As soon as the new mag is available I will let everyone know.
How do I deal with the STRESS!?!? I do yoga, I breath a lot. I'll go to sleep counting my breaths. I knit. I talk to my husband and friends about what's bothering me. And, finally, try to fix what it is that's bothering you. I'm a big believer in downsizing and simplifying your life.
Can I help in any other way? Just PM me.
Thank you, thank you! What a wealth of great information! I'm going to commit to taking my enzymes again and I'll look into Parazyme. Your reminder about chewing was right on target too. I also bolt my salads...In general I grew up eating like it was some sort of race to the finish line...or like someone was trying to snatch my food from me! So I'm always working on slowing down.
Debbie, getting to the root cause of the stress is definitely best. My trouble is sometimes it's free-floating, cumulative OR not immediately resolvable.
I still need coping, destressing strategies that aren't wine or food related though...I'm working on it. I have this whole "get up super early and go to the gym before work" plan...so let's hope that sticks and helps dissolve stress in the sweat!
Take care guys and thanks again!
Well, what does "bolt" your salad mean ladies? Have never heard that before--unless you mean you let them bolt in the heat while growing them?!?!
It is a slang like term I assume. I always heard it in the context of quickly eating, like without chewing. Perhaps it relates to how plants bolt?
Melissa - I see that you and I have similar health problems and since raw has not cured totally, my embarassing IBS problem I am wondering what solutions you have found to work since initiating this quest for information so long ago? Part of my massive weight gain was due to trying to quell the IBS just as you have been doing. I may have to email you.