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Irregular Bowel Syndrome (IBS) & Hijama/Wet Cupping Therapy

IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. A nutritious diet, Hijama and a healthy lifestyle can manage IBS.

Irregular bowel syndrome can also be called gastrointestinal tract. It can be characterized by abdominal discomfort e.i. Constipation, bloating, and cramping with altered bowel movements like diarrhea. The severity and duration of IBS varies from person to person. Every one of us must have had digestive trouble once in a while. These symptoms can be managed by diet, healthy lifestyle, simple home remedies, Hijama cupping therapy and exercises. A few people may have severe symptoms that can also be controlled with more effort.

Types of Irregular Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS can be categorized into three different types. Several researchers have found that IBS is a combination of several medical issues that can only be managed if an individual is familiar with the type of IBS. Discuss the symptoms with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

1- IBS-C (Irregular Bowel Syndrome with Constipation)

IBS-C is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that can be highly uncomfortable and may interfere with an individual’s day-to-day activities. Effective treatment may reduce painful flares and help you regain control over your life. Symptoms of IBS-C include:

  • Bloating

  • Excessive gas

  • Abdominal pain

  • Hard or lumpy stool

  • A feeling that the bowel doesn’t pass stool at all

2- IBS-D (Irregular Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea)

IBS-D has opposite symptoms than IBS-C. The primary symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea

  • Loose stool

  • Sudden urge to have a bowel movement

Some of the symptoms are the same as bloating, abdominal pain and excessive gas.

3- IBS-M (Irregular Bowel Syndrome Mixed Type)

IBS-M is a mixed type of bowel movement in which an individual finds himself dealing with alternate episodes of diarrhea and constipation. The alternate nature of bowel symptoms makes it difficult to find a strategy for relief. Associated symptoms are:

  • Gas and bloating

  • Frequent changes in bowel movement

  • Mucus in the stool

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Headaches along with body aches

Causes of IBS

The causes of IBS are still not clear. Some of the factors that may play an important role are:

  • Imbalanced gut bacteria in the GI tract can cause irregular bowel movements. Several types of research have proved that patients with IBS have different amounts of bacteria in their gut than those who do not have IBS.

  • Sensitivities and allergies to certain foods may also cause IBS.

  • Constant stress and anxiety may also cause IBS.

  • Large intestine muscles contract as the food moves through the digestive tract when contraction lasts longer than usual, it causes diarrhea, bloating and gas.

  • Severe stomach infections may also cause IBS.

  • Poor coordination between the intestine and the brain may also disrupt the digestive process, which results in cramping and pain.

Risk Factors for IBS

  • IBS is more common in women than men.

  • Imbalance hormones and menopause can be a risk factor for IBS.

  • It can be a risk for those who have a family history of IBS.

  • A history of physical or psychological abuse can also be a risk factor.

Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in IBS patients. Anxiety attacks tend to precede IBS onset, particularly if diarrhea predominates. The link between psychological factors and gastrointestinal mobility is through the brain and gut function. This implies a connection between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain through neuroimmune and neuroendocrine pathways. Psychological factors like depression, anxiety and stressful events may influence digestive functions.

Common Triggers With IBS

Triggers are those things or choices that flare up IBS symptoms. IBS symptoms are different for everyone. These triggers may help to learn about them and prevent them.

Diet Triggers: Certain foods can be a common trigger for people with IBS. Some foods make IBS-C worse, i.e. Processed food, junk food, bakery items, dairy products like cheese, coffee, carbonated drinks, beans and a few legumes. Certain foods that may make IBS-D worse, i.e. Fried and fatty foods, dairy products, especially in those people who are lactose intolerant, wheat with gluten, fructose and excess eating habits.

Stressful event Triggers: Anxiety and depression can be considered one of the most common triggers for IBS. When the body is under constant mode of stress, IBS symptoms become worse.

Medication Triggers: Several studies indicated that certain medications trigger IBS symptoms like antidepressants, birth control pills and antibiotics.

No Physical Activity Triggers: Lack of physical activity may also trigger IBS symptoms for some people.

Absurd Eating Habits Triggers Poor eating habits such as eating while driving, eating and talking, watching TV, or eating too fast can trigger IBS symptoms.

Menstrual Cycle Triggers: Women with IBS experience worse symptoms during their menstrual cycle.

How To Manage IBS Naturally

No specific treatment works for everyone, but several treatment plans work for IBS patients. Adapting a healthy lifestyle and healthy food choices works well to manage IBS. Medications also have a role. Behavioural health therapy may also be beneficial. The effectiveness of many of these treatments is gradual. They can alleviate symptoms of IBS, but they might not go away forever.

Healthy Meal Plans

A few healthy changes in a diet plan may improve IBS over time.

  • Fibre-rich food includes fruits, vegetables, whole wheat grains and nuts, which may help to ease the struggle of constipation. Dietary fibre keeps the gut healthy.

  • Some people have gluten intolerance. A gluten-free diet can improve IBS symptoms. Gluten-free grains like millet and quinoa can be an alternate choice.

  • Some people are lactose intolerant, and dairy may cause severe digestive problems. Choose non-dairy products or lactose-free milk like plant-based milk or soya beam cheese.

  • If someone is lactose intolerant, they should choose food rich in Calcium, like broccoli, kale, spinach, salmon, nuts, chia seeds and black beans.

  • Eating fried and fatty foods regularly can lead to an uncomfortable digestive system. Switch to grilling, baking or air frying the food.

  • Green peas, beans, legumes and lentils are a great source of proteins and fibre, but too much consumption can increase the symptoms of IBS. Try soaking beans and lentils overnight and rinsing them before cooking.

  • Avoid energy drinks, caffeinated drinks and sodas to ease the symptoms of IBS.

  • Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Physical Activities

In a 2011 study, scientists found that physical activities decrease the severity of IBS symptoms. Being active has many health benefits. Frequent exercise can help control IBS symptoms. Selecting low to moderate-intensity exercises, such as yoga, walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming, is crucial. Breathing techniques that encourage relaxation may also be beneficial.

Natural Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that have health benefits when consumed. These bacteria improve digestive health, reduce depression and boost immunity. Probiotic supplements can also be consumed, but some fermented foods provide natural probiotics, i.e. yogurt, Kefir, and kimchi.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can aggravate the digestive tract and cause the body to go into stress mode, which can exacerbate the symptoms of IBS. Additionally, it alters the bacteria in the gut, which is thought to be a contributing role in IBS.

Intermitting Fasting

Intermitting fasting may help to improve the gut microbiome and digestion. Fasting associated with the Holy month of Ramadan and intermittent fasting have similar benefits. It helps to remodel the gut microbiome and regulate the healthy bacteria. The MMS (Migrating Motor Complex) is a motility pattern that occurs in the stomach during fasting, which helps move the food through the digestive system into the colon to regulate the gut motility cycle.

Hijama Cupping Therapy

Hijama cupping therapy is a traditional alternative medical treatment practiced in different cultures. The ancient Egyptians, Chinese culture, Arabic medicine, Greek medicine, and Prophetic medicine all practiced cupping therapy. The crux of cupping is to alleviate pain by increasing blood circulation and eliminating toxins from the body. Cupping also helps to reduce pain and inflammation and increases blood flow, which provides relaxation and well-being to the body.

Hijama cupping therapy cleanses and detoxifies blood and eliminates heavy metals. IBS is a chronic health condition caused by the hypersensitivity of the digestive system, such as food digesting very slowly or rapidly from the intestines.

Let’s understand the system of digestion first. Starting with the saliva in the mouth, food is gradually transformed by enzymes and acids as it moves from your mouth to the digestive tract. Nutrients are provided in the form of minerals, vitamins, proteins, fats, and carbs. Proteins are changed by the body into amino acids, and carbs are changed into simple sugars. While the fluid content your body requires is provided by the water, the fats transform into fatty acids and glycerol. The food moves through the intestines while it is digested. As it moves, the blood absorbs the nutrients, and waste exits the body naturally. Any breakdown in the process of digestion leads to digestive issues. This disruption could end up in the following symptoms: abdominal pain, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, bloated stomach, gas, urgent need to pass the stool, nausea and lack of energy.

There are some specific Hijama points in the abdomen area, and at the back of the abdomen that aid in improving and strengthening the digestive system and reducing inflammation.

When the cups glide to the abdomen area, it stimulates digestive organs. It promotes contractions that drive food through your digestive tract, aids in the removal of colon obstructions, enhances blood circulation and body fluids through organs and relieves indigestion and constipation. Cupping stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which increases blood flow to the digestive tract.

Home Remedies for IBS

1- Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory properties that support the gastrointestinal tract. Rub peppermint oil on the abdomen area to reduce cramping and pain.

2- Aloe vera juice can be consumed to reduce gastrointestinal inflammation.

3- Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that alleviate IBS symptoms. Ginger tea also aids in moving food down the gut and promotes digestion.

4- Clinical studies have shown that fennel seeds help regulate contractions of the small intestine and aid gas expulsion. Fennel relaxes the gut to relieve spasms of the GI tract. Fennel is exceptional for IBS bloating, gas and abdominal pain. Use the fennel seeds in a tea or chew them after a meal.

5- Turmeric tea is considered one of the best drinks for IBS. Turmeric reduces inflammation and blood sugar levels.

6- Fermented products are gaining popularity for digestive issues, and apple cider vinegar is one of them. Mix a few drops of apple cider vinegar in a water glass and drink regularly to reduce IBS symptoms.

7- Psyllium husk powder (Chilka) relieves the symptoms of IBS, such as diarrhea and constipation.

8- Slippery elm bark can help treat the symptoms associated with IBS. A small amount mixed in water to make a slurry is ingested for digestive problems. Slippery elm may help people with constipation, heartburn and stomach discomfort.

IBS can be very stressful to manage. It may affect an individual’s quality of life, but it can be well-managed with a healthy diet, other lifestyle improvements, a few home remedies and Hijama cupping therapy.

Ibs Treatments

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