Looking for Cures For IBS?
How I Eliminated IBS For a Month!
I’ve spent my fair share of time hunting down potential cures for IBS with varying degrees of success, but the following article describes by-far, my closest encounter with an all-out cure.
At the start of 2010, I carried out a one-month-long experiment in an attempt to see if it was possible to cure my IBS, based on a common-sense hypothesis I had come up with.
Not only were the results startling, but they also reinforced my belief that IBS really is, for the most-part, a first-world, man-made issue.
ures for IBS
The First World
I’ve always believed that IBS is a modern, western-world issue. People living in the Serengeti do not get IBS. People who live off the land in the Amazon rainforest do not get IBS. The older people of the little Japanese island of Okinawa do not get IBS.
All the statistics and common-sense evidence points towards the fact that wherever people are living a simple, natural existence; IBS is rarely, if ever heard of. People who suffer from IBS tend to be living in the western world, on a western lifestyle diet.
In Okinawa, for every 100,000 people, 34.7 are aged over 100. Compared to the USA, the figure is just 10. Why? Because everything about the lifestyles of these lively and active centenarians is based on simple, natural and healthy living.
Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the younger generation of Okinawans. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant change in the way the younger Okinawans are living, and that change has been devastating.
The younger generation now prefer to frequent the fast-food outlets that surround U.S. military bases on the island, and in Okinawa today, those aged under 50 now have the highest rates of obesity, heart disease and premature death throughout Japan.
Cures for IBS
For me, that evidence alone was compelling enough to try out this “IBS cure” experiment, which I’ll explain in detail in a moment.
In addition, we get lots and lots of e-mails from people saying they are taking so many different medicines just to try to stay on top of their IBS symptoms, and it started me thinking. The more I hear and read about this, the more I find myself asking if the medicines themselves, combined with the poor and unhealthy ingredients found in our western food, are contributing towards, or actually hindering the possibilities of our finding cures for IBS? Could they even be causing the issues?
Let’s face it; the big pharmaceuticals are there for one reason, and one reason only, to make money, to make A LOT of money! And they do.
Americans alone now spend a staggering $200 billion a year on prescription drugs, and that figure is growing at a rate of about 12 percent a year. But how many of us have cottoned-on to the fact that these medicines all seem to be designed only to treat the symptoms, never eliminate the cause?
I personally no longer believe the medicine companies are interested in finding cures for anything, and that includes cures for IBS.
Cures for IBS
Self-Healing Denied To Us?
I’ve always been a strong believer that the body is capable of curing itself most of the time, if it is simply given the right opportunity and environment in which to do that. Alternative treatments and therapies have been proving this fact time and time again. But the very nature of our western lifestyle and existence is simply not giving our bodies a chance to do what they are ultimately capable of doing.
We feed our bodies all the junk that is in our food – the additives, the monosodium glutamates, the E numbers, the flavourings, the colourings, the high fructose corn syrup that comes from genetically modified chemically-laced corn, produced in a laboratory that was originally designed to make bovines grow fatter faster.
We consume chemicals in our re-hydrated fruit juices designed to make the products look and smell like the original natural products. We eat meat and dairy products from mass-produced sources that haven’t been grass fed, but rather fed on genetically modified cattle feed, and that have been injected with growth promoting hormones, and large quantities of antibiotics.
We eat genetically modified fruits and vegetables that have been chemically grown for the supermarkets. We drink tap water that contains added fluorides, chlorine, and traces of numerous pharmaceuticals drugs.
Cures for IBS
Then we get in our cars and drive to the office, enduring the stress of the traffic jams and rush hour, and then spend the whole day cooped up in an air conditioned building bathed in fluorescent lighting and high electromagnetic fields from computers and other electrical equipment, where the air quality is usually very poor and your exposure to natural light may be restricted.
We come home at night and eat supermarket-brought food, usually processed because we are too tired to cook a fresh meal from scratch. That processed meal is loaded with salt, chemicals, preservatives and even meat from the cow who’s been fed Genetically modified grain, as well as ground-up dead cows, horses, pigs, and chickens, the whole feeding cycle being loaded with toxicity.
We may eat that meal with our genetically modified potatoes, or we’ll have a salad made from supermarket brought chemically-grown vegetables, maybe throw on a bit of salad dressing that is loaded with high fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutamate amongst a myriad of other chemicals many of which are known to cause health issues including cancers. And don’t get me started on artificial sweetners!
We’ll take a shower, perhaps unaware that our skin is absorbing more chlorine into our bodies than if we drank it as tap water. We’ll cover ourselves in all sorts of concoctions shower gels, shampoos, body lotions and all sorts of cleaning chemicals. We are continuously exposed to plastics and to the biologically-based cleaning chemicals that are in our clothes. I could go on, and on, and on, but I’m sure you’re starting to see where I’m coming from here.
The bottom line; this is normal everyday un-natural living for most of us here in the western world, and we wonder why so many of us have IBS and all sorts of other health issues too?
Cures for IBS
As I said earlier, I’ve always believed the body is capable of curing itself most of the time, IF it is given the right opportunity and environment in which to do so, and that includes cures for IBS. But how on Earth can the body have a chance of looking after itself and curing itself from disease and things like IBS, when we are constantly bombarding it with all this “stuff”?
Our poor bodies have to process and deal with a continuous bombardment of all these chemicals and toxins and undesirable un-natural things, and that, I believe, is one of the reasons why nobody has any energy anymore, it’s why millions of Americans are on some form of anti-depressant, it’s why we are seeing depression in children as young as three, and I’m convinced that it’s why IBS affects so many people, and is on the rise.
Well at least that was and still is my hypothesis, and it’s the approach on which I based this entire experiment – an experiment that quite literally cured me of IBS cure for an entire month!
Cures for IBS
So, what did I do?
Well the experiment was pretty straight forward. I just went back in time 50 years!
Well OK not literally, I don’t have a time machine, but I altered my lifestyle to try to avoid as much of this modern day western-living as I could.
I completely changed my diet. I decided to only eat nature’s foods, in my case that meant only vegetables, and here’s the most important thing, everything that I ate was organically grown.
There were no chemically grown supermarket fruits & vegetables – only produce that I brought from my local organic farm. Most of it was grown locally; a few items like peppers were shipped in from abroad but were certified organic.
A little note here: Find a local farm shop where the food is grown organically with care and love, forget the supermarkets! – they have a very different idea about what’s “organic” than you or I do!
My main staple was organic rice which I heated in a saucepan. At no point during the month-long experiment, did I use a microwave, so everything was heated the old fashioned way on the gas hob.
A week prior to starting this regime, I cut out tea and coffee and had to endure a horrendous week-long caffeine withdrawal headache! I swear I am never touching tea or coffee again! It’s fruit teas and natural infusions from here on.
The only beverage I had was organic fruit and herbal teas (mainly spearmint or red bush tea)
I only drank filtered water.
For bread – yes I did say bread – I used to think that bread was one of my IBS trigger foods, but as it turns out, this particular bread did not trigger any IBS reaction at all, although I should say, this was no ordinary bread – I actually made my own bread from wheat – not flour.
I actually ground the wheat into flour first and then turned it into bread using all natural ingredients. I have to say the bread was at least 500% more tasty than the stuff you get from the supermarkets. I may do an article on this at a later date.
I had organic butter on my bread, which was quite possibly the nicest butter I have ever tasted.
I cut out all other dairy foods but I did eat organic eggs for protein, no milk, no cheese, no meats except for 2 pieces of organic chicken breast that I brought from the farm, and I made last over the course of the month.
Another singnificant change was I only ate when I was hungry, instead of eating at set meal times. I would only get food when hunger compelled me to do so – this seemed to work out well and I also lost some weight too.
When I showered, I used a shower filter that took out the chlorine and heavy metals from the water. The filter just screws onto your shower hose (You can buy them on eBay for about £15). I also used a natural-based shower gel and shampoo.
When I settled down in the evenings, instead of watching TV and bathing myself in a strong electromagnetic field, I unplugged the TV and read a book. I still sat in front of a computer for a lot of the day though.
Within just a couple of days, the results were simply startling.
The IBS just went away, completely! No IBS-C, no IBS-D. One trip to the bathroom first thing in the morning and I was fine for the rest of the day. No grumbles, no feeling bloated, none of the usual ‘bowel not feeling completely empty’ malarkey that usually plagues my entire existence.
Well, I thought that was pretty good, but then came the bonuses! I started sleeping like a baby. My head would hit the pillow at about 11pm, next thing I know it’s 8am.
My energy levels went up and stayed up. I still had energy in the evenings, something I rarely enjoyed before.
I noticed clearer, sharper thinking – everything had a slight ‘clarity’ to it that wasn’t there before. Hard to explain that one in words, but hopefully you will experience this too if you choose to give this a go.
And here’s the most unexpected thing; all the time I was doing this experiment, I actually felt less hungry. I had fewer cravings, and I ate less.
Cures for IBS
So Rick, why are you taking about this whole experiment in past tense? I hear you say. Why are you not going on and on about how this IBS cure has changed your life, and that you now live, work and play IBS-free?
Well, despite everything I have said about the experiment, there are a number of downsides.
Firstly, there was the cost. It is considerably more expensive to maintain this lifestyle. Things may be different where you are, but my monthly groceries bill at least doubled. I am not a rich man, and maintaining this level of expense was a major issue.
Secondly, and this was the real Achilles heel – This routine, for me at least, was very, very difficult to maintain because of the amount of time it took away from my day.
Preparation times were long and often difficult to arrange around my work. I regularly found myself being faced with the choice of starting to cook a meal from scratch at 8pm, or going hungry. If I wanted to go out, I had to plan ahead and prepare a snack that I could take with me instead of just buying something. I’m also not much of a cook – I often found myself being faced with a stack of vegetables and not really knowing what to do with them.
But it wasn’t just the food preps, it was the whole package. There were lots of little inconvenient things that I needed to do that cut into my day and stole more and more time from me, and those time gaps accumulated. I started falling behind on what I needed to get done. It’s hard for me to explain in detail, but if you try this, you’ll probably get to experience what I’m talking about and understand what I mean.
I’m not afraid to say, this experiment was hard to stick-at for a month. I ran with it for the full 4-weeks because that’s what I had decided I would do, but even by week two, I realised there was no way I was going to be able to keep this up on a permanent basis.
It made for a great experiment, and it allowed me to prove to myself my theories about IBS being a result of our first world lifestyle, and that cures for IBS are not unachievable, but as for the change of lifestyle required to make it happen permanently, right now, I feel it was simply too hard to maintain. Perhaps it’s time I started looking at living a simpler lifestyle?
However, that’s just me and my lifestyle as it is right now. Hopefully over time, it will change and I can adapt. In the meanwhile, if you are in a better position to give this a go then I thoroughly recommend it.
With the right approach, it’s a ‘doable’ cure for IBS, and you have so much to gain. My recommendation would be to try to stick at it for a month, and then gradually re-introduce additional foods and factors one at a time. Keep a diary to monitor your progress so that you’ll know if anything triggers off your IBS again what it was likely to be.would love to hear from anyone who has a suggestion of how this method could be adapted to make it easier to maintain.
If you have some simple methods that will make preparing organic vegetables less of a chore, then I’d love to hear from you too!
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