Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Woman Stomach AcheFor many people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), finding out which foods agree with them and which foods cause them discomfort is essential to living successfully with the disease.
IBS is a condition whereby certain foods will cause intestinal discomfort after being consumed. These symptoms can include:
• Bloating
• Gas
• Nausea
• Abdominal cramps
• Diarrhea or constipation
There is no general rule of what to eat and what to avoid in treating IBS. A physician will go through a patient’s daily diet and see if there are certain foods that are more likely to act as irritants. Foods that typically cause a problem for people with IBS  have a high concentration of insoluble fiber which are found primarily in whole grains and vegetables and that do not dissolve in water.  Insoluble fiber rich foods pass through the intestine almost intact and can act as a natural laxative.  The foods that physicians who treat this disease recommend avoiding include:
• Nuts
• Caffeine
• Chocolate
• Beans
• Cabbage
• Raisins
• Broccoli
The act of eating and chewing  stimulates the digestive tract.  It has been suggested that instead of eating one or two full meals every day, eating five or six smaller portion meals may prevent   the digestive tract from becoming over stimulated.
To make an appointment with a physician specializing in IBS at Jamaica Hospital please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Stress Affects Your Digestive System

Our brain and gut are mostomach pain -178554755re in sync than you may realize.  For instance, the very thought of food can cause the stomach to produce digestive juices or the thought of giving a big presentation may cause constipation or uncontrollable bowels.The brain and gut are in constant communication. This direct relationship causes our gastrointestinal system to be sensitive to emotions and reactions such as stress.

When we are stressed, our brain sends signals for chemicals such as adrenaline, serotonin (a hormone that affects mood and is found in the digestive system) as well as the stress hormone cortisol to be released.  These hormones can cause adverse reactions.

Stress negatively affects our digestive system in many ways. It can cause a decrease in blood and oxygen flow to the stomach, cramping, an imbalance in gut bacteria and inflammation.  These symptoms can further develop into gastro intestinal (GI) disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), irritable bowel disease (IBD), peptic ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

There are several things you can do to reduce stress and improve gut health. Practicing stress-management techniques such as exercising regularly, avoiding stressors, socializing, getting sufficient sleep or relaxing can greatly minimize your levels of stress.

In addition to practicing stress reduction techniques, you can support your digestive health by drinking less alcoholic beverages or consuming less sugar- as too much sugar can cause an imbalance in the ratio of good and bad bacteria in the stomach. Increasing your intake of foods that promote digestive health such as those rich in probiotics or foods that aid the body in producing digestive enzymes is also helpful.

The gut is often referred to as “the second brain” of the body. If you are experiencing consistent complications of the digestive system, your body is probably trying to tell you that there may be a bigger problem. Make an appointment with a gastroenterologist who specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal, liver, and pancreatic disorders to examine your symptoms.

Jamaica Hospital’s Division of Gastroenterology consists of board-certified gastroenterologists who provide high quality and expert care to patients who suffer from such conditions in both inpatient and outpatient settings. To schedule an appointment, please call 718 206 6742 or 718 206 7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Some Bacteria be Good for You?

Bacteria. The word alone makes us think of infection, disease and illness. We hate all bacteria, right?

ThinkstockPhotos-482096272Actually, there is such a thing as GOOD bacteria. They are called probiotics and they help you maintain a healthy digestive system. They do this by lowering “bad” bacteria that can cause infections and other problems. Sometimes we don’t have enough good bacteria in our systems (for instance, like when we are on antibiotics). A lack of good bacteria can cause a variety of digestive issues. By taking probiotics, we are replacing those good bacteria which are sometimes lost.

Probiotics are most commonly taken to help prevent or improve common digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Others have suggested that they are also beneficial in treating skin conditions, such as eczema, improving urinary and vaginal health, and preventing colds and allergies.

Your body naturally generates probiotics, but if you want to increase your good bacteria levels, you can take probiotics in supplement form or get them by eating certain foods, most notably yogurt and other fermented products.

Probiotics are natural so they are generally considered safe to take, even in supplement form. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor about the best way of incorporating probiotics into your diet.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.