Cleanse for IBS sufferers

Choosing the Right Cleanse for IBS Sufferers

cleanse for ibs sufferers woman crouching down in pain


What is IBS?

Around 10-15% of the global population struggles with the chronic digestive disorder known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Bloating, stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhoea are some of its symptoms, and it can be a substantial source of pain and suffering for individuals who have it. Although there is no proven treatment for IBS, there are a number of dietary and lifestyle modifications that can help reduce symptoms and enhance the quality of life, including a cleanse specifically designed for IBS sufferers. 

What is the cleanse for IBS sufferers?

Fasting, which is often referred to as a cleanse for IBS sufferers, is one of the most successful dietary therapies for the condition. It is the practice of abstaining from food and drink for a certain period. Studies have shown that fasting can be an effective way to ease IBS symptoms. One reason for this is that fasting gives the digestive system a break, allowing it to rest and heal. When we eat, our bodies produce digestive juices to break down the food. These juices can irritate the lining of the digestive tract in people with IBS, leading to symptoms such as bloating, pain, and diarrhoea.

 

There are multiple distinct types of fasting, each with its own special advantages and disadvantages, as well as several cleansing choices for those with IBS. 

Some of the most popular forms of fasting include:

  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Water Fasting
  • Juice Fasting

These might be thought of as a detox or a cleanse for IBS sufferers.

Intermittent Fasting

a plate of flowers

Intermittent fasting, which involves abstaining from food for 24 hours or more, includes limiting your food intake to a certain time each day and can also serve as a form of cleanse for IBS sufferers. This can entail eating normally for a few days and then fasting one or two days a week, or it can entail skipping breakfast and only eating within a set “feeding window” later in the day. Intermittent fasting is an effective way to cleanse for IBS patients because it improves gut health, reduces inflammation, and improves insulin sensitivity.

 

Water Fasting

A glass of water

Water fasting is a more severe form of fasting that involves only drinking water; it can also be thought of as a type of detox or cleanse for IBS sufferers. For people who have severe digestive problems, water fasting can be very helpful because it gives the gut a chance to recover. However, it can also be harmful if done incorrectly, thus it should only be undertaken with a healthcare professional’s supervision.

 

Juice Fasting

Green vegetable juice for juice fasting

For a length of time, juice fasting, a sort of fasting that can also serve as a cleanse for IBS sufferers, entails ingesting only freshly squeezed juices from fruits and vegetables. This can enhance digestion, lessen intestinal inflammation, and supply the body with a variety of vital nutrients. Juice fasting can, however, be heavy in sugar as well, which some IBS sufferers may find worsens their symptoms.

 

Preparing Your Body

A lady in meditation suggesting preparation for a cleanse for ibs sufferers

Whatever fasting style you select, there are a few basic guidelines that must be followed to guarantee the safety and efficacy of a cleanse for IBS sufferers. The first step in preparing your body for fasting is to progressively cut back on meal intake while increasing your intake of water and other fluids. It’s crucial to pay attention to your body during fasting and to break the fast or alter it if you suffer any uncomfortable side effects like nausea, exhaustion, or dizziness.

 

In addition to an IBS cleanse,

there are a number of additional dietary and lifestyle modifications that might help IBS patients feel better and function better after a cleanse. These include controlling stress, consuming a diet high in fibre and low in FODMAPs, and taking probiotics.

 

IBS patients may find relief from their symptoms through fasting and other dietary and lifestyle adjustments. These therapies can greatly enhance the quality of life for patients with IBS by lowering inflammation, enhancing digestion, and reducing symptoms including bloating and stomach pain.

 



 

Benefits of a cleanse for IBS sufferers, include:

1. Reduced inflammation

Inflammation is a normal physiological response of the body to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to various diseases, including IBS. The inflammation in IBS is believed to be caused by an overactive immune system response to certain foods or other triggers. Fasting can help reduce inflammation in the body by decreasing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.

A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism found that intermittent fasting for 12 weeks reduced the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood of participants with metabolic syndrome, a condition that often co-occurs with IBS. Another study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences found that a short-term fast for 2-3 days reduced the levels of inflammatory markers in the colon of patients with IBD, another gastrointestinal disorder.

2. Improved gut motility:

Fasting can improve gut motility in people with IBS by reducing pressure on the digestive system, increasing the activity of the migrating motor complex (MMC), and improving the gut-brain axis. When you fast, your digestive system is not required to break down and process food, which leads to a reduction in pressure on the digestive system. This reduction in pressure can help to improve gut motility, and alleviate symptoms such as constipation and bloating. Furthermore, fasting can also stimulate the production of digestive juices, which helps to maintain the health of the digestive system.

Fasting can also enhance the activity of the MMC, a series of contractions that help to move food and waste through the digestive system. An increase in the activity of the MMC can help to prevent the accumulation of waste and harmful bacteria in the gut, which can cause discomfort and exacerbate IBS symptoms. By improving gut motility, fasting can help to relieve symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, and bloating that are commonly experienced by IBS patients.

3. Rest and repair for the digestive system

Fasting can provide a period of rest for the digestive system, which can allow the gut to repair any damage caused by IBS symptoms. When you fast, your body is not consuming any food, which means that the digestive system is not required to work as hard to process and break down food. This break can provide the digestive system with an opportunity to rest and recover from the damage caused by IBS symptoms such as inflammation and irritation. Furthermore, during a fast, the body will prioritise the use of energy for healing and repair, rather than digestion.

4. Reduced bloating and gas

Fasting can help to reduce bloating and gas in people with IBS in several ways. 

First, fasting can reduce the amount of gas-producing foods that are consumed, such as carbohydrates and fibre. This can help to reduce the production of gas in the gut and alleviate symptoms of bloating and gas. Additionally, fasting can improve gut motility, which can help to move gas through the digestive system more quickly and reduce the buildup of gas in the gut.

Second, fasting can help to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which can help to reduce the production of gas in the gut. Beneficial gut bacteria can break down and digest food more efficiently, which can reduce the amount of undigested food that reaches the colon and is fermented by gut bacteria, producing gas. By promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, fasting can help to reduce symptoms of bloating and gas in people with IBS.

5. Improved insulin sensitivity

Fasting can improve insulin sensitivity in people with IBS, which can help to reduce symptoms of IBS and improve overall health. Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels in the body. People with IBS may experience insulin resistance, which means that the body is less responsive to insulin and requires more insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. This can contribute to symptoms of IBS, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhoea. Fasting has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by reducing the amount of glucose that is circulating in the blood and reducing insulin resistance. This can help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce symptoms of IBS.

Based on an article published by Harvard Health Publishing, researchers at The University of Alabama carried out a study involving a small group of obese men with prediabetes. The study compared two different methods of intermittent fasting – “early time-restricted feeding,” which involved consuming all meals within an eight-hour period (7 am to 3 pm), and a 12-hour eating period (between 7 am and 7 pm). Both groups maintained their weight throughout the study, but after five weeks, the group with an eight-hour eating period experienced significantly lower insulin levels, significantly improved insulin sensitivity, and significantly lower blood pressure.

6. Reduced stress

Fasting can help to reduce stress in people with IBS in several ways. 

First, fasting can help to reduce the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are produced in response to stress and can exacerbate symptoms of IBS, such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and constipation. By reducing the production of stress hormones, fasting can help to alleviate symptoms of IBS and improve overall well-being.

Second, fasting can promote relaxation and reduce anxiety, which can help to reduce stress levels in people with IBS. When you fast, you are giving your digestive system a break, which can reduce the amount of energy that is required to digest food and allow the body to focus on rest and repair. This can help to promote relaxation and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Additionally, fasting has been shown to increase the production of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood boosters. By increasing endorphin production, fasting can help to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being in people with IBS.

 

A lady touching her abdomen suggesting abdominal pain felt before a cleanse for IBS sufferers

 

In conclusion, while there is limited research on the effects of intermittent fasting specifically for individuals with IBS, there is some evidence to suggest that it may provide relief from certain symptoms. Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and regulate gut hormones, which are all factors that may contribute to IBS symptoms. However, more research is needed to determine the optimal fasting protocol and how it should be implemented in individuals with IBS. As with any dietary change, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting an intermittent fasting regimen. Overall, intermittent fasting shows promise as a potential therapeutic option for individuals with IBS, but more research is needed to fully understand its benefits and limitations for this population.

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