Our expert says:
Two of the most important factors in spastic colon or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are a lack of dietary fibre and stress. To help your friend increase her dietary fibre intake and obtain tips about this condition, click on ‘Diet & Nutrition’ at the top of this page, ‘You are what you eat’ and “Healthy GI tract’. Read the articles on ‘Probiotics’ too because the use of ‘good microorganisms’ can help a lot in IBS. The friend can try Bifidoflora which can be bought at health shops. If she suffers from flatulence and bloating, she will have to experiment with the foods she eats that may cause problems with a spastic colon (raw onions, garlic, cucumber, green peppers, very spicy foods and condiments, gas-cold drinks, fruits that contain pips such as guavas, figs, etc). This is often an individual reaction and she will have to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If she finds that this is a problem for her, please advise her to consult a registered dietitian who will work out a specific diet for her condition. (She can visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). Her doctor will also be able to prescribe medicines which can relieve the flatulence such as Bevispas, so she should chat to her doctor about such medications.
To relieve stress I would recommend that she should learn relaxing techniques, how to do deep breathing exercises and some form of physical exercise which is also relaxing, such as yoga. Going for brisk walks in the fresh air also helps to relieve tension. I hope your friend will start feeling better soon.
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