Sunday, February 10, 2013


I've mentioned before that I was diagnosed with IBS about a year or so back. I know some people think that's not a big deal, and for some people it isn't- but for me it's been a rocky ride. The first time I went to my gastronologist, I was experiencing severe reactions and nausea every time I ate, every food I ate- even water. I was placed on a lactose free diet, and went it for a double scope. my surgeon took several biopsies of things that concerned him. I was not siliac, I was not lactose intolerant, I was not allergic to anything...In fact everything came back completely normal. I was placed on medication (but due to reactions I had, stopped taking it) and went on my way.

 nine months later I started getting excruciating pain in my right side, about where my appendix is. The pain was so bad that I couldn't eat or sleep. I wasn't able to wear pants, so I purchased a whole slew of sweats with loose waistbands to fit my bloated, painful tummy. It got to the point where I couldn't even walk, and had to be pushed around in a wheel chair. I experienced all the symptoms of appendicitis, so I went in to my doctor. She was very concerned about this, and said I could have ovarian cysts, appendicitis, or something else. I went in for an ultra sound, but they found nothing to explain the pain, and sent me to a specialist, who sent me in for a CT scan. my results came back as completely normal. I was given medicine, but it only worked for a few days and then actually started to make things worse.

 a while, the pain went away on its own. It's not the first time I've had severe abdominal pain either (As a young teen, I had a lot of pain. my doctor told me that I was stressed and the stress was causing my body to over produce stomach acid, and that due to my stress, the stomach acid being produced was stronger than it should have been, and was therefore eating my stomach lining out). Every now and then, my symptoms will come back. I talked with my gastronologist, and he said that's actually very common with IBS, and the only thing I can really do, is keep an eye on my symptoms, try preventative measures and treat symptoms when they crop up.

I'm sure there are others out there that suffer from IBS (or even just bloating and stomach pain), so I thought I'd share some stuff I found and helpful tips.

1. I am naturally a thin person, but I tend to have a bit of a bulge that I can't seem to conquer. I've recently been on a health kick, and while I was searching for excercises to help me beat this pudge- I found an article that explains different tummy types, and the bad habits that contribute to that tummy. This one is mine (click here to view the whole site)


Stress tummy: These types are typically over-achievers with perfectionist personalities
Stress tummy: These types are typically over-achievers with perfectionist personalities.


Stressed-tummy types are typically over-achievers with perfectionist personalities. They are usually also susceptible to digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which can cause bloating and make their tummies look far worse.

‘Stress tummies are easy to spot, as the weight is specific to the front of the midriff and the umbilical area,’ explains James. ‘When stressed, we produce cortisol, a hormone which encourages the body to cling on to fat around the stomach.’

Stressed tummies will also be fairly hard to the touch, rather than wobbly.


It’s likely you skip meals, abuse your adrenal system with too much caffeine and grab junk food for convenience.


  • Get an early night. ‘Stressed women nearly always sleep badly, which disrupts the production of leptin, the hormone which helps regulate appetite and metabolism,’ James explains. ‘This is why we eat more when we are tired and crave fat-depositing sugary snacks for an instant energy boost.’
  • Combat exhaustion with a relaxation strategy of deep-breathing, meditation and long baths before bed to encourage a good night’s sleep and limit coffee consumption to no more than two cups a day.
  • Don’t go for the burn when exercising. ‘Excessive cardio which increases cortisol levels isn’t the answer,’ says James. ‘Instead, yoga, long walks and resistance work with weights is perfect for sculpting and building up strength while calming the system.’
  • Magnesium is a calming mineral to help soothe a stressed belly. James advises eating lots of magnesium-rich foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Stress-busting stretches and yoga poses at night time can help to lower cortisol levels, while chamomile teas or James’ own Bodyism Body Serenity supplement ( can also help the body unwind

2. I've done extensive research on what causes bloating, and how to deal with it. Five consistant causes I've found are 
  • Eating too quickly
  • chewing gum
  • Sucking on hard candies
  • Drinking through a straw
  • Smoking (luckily I don't smoke)
There are also some places that say certain foods, including brocoli and sprouts cause bloating too

3. I also spent time looking for excercises to help relieve my bloating. Here are some helpful ones I've found

Seated Twist

Any type of seated position where you are twisting your torso to one side may be helpful in relieving bloating. Try sitting on a chair with both knees bent. Gently twist your upper body to the right and bring your right hand to the back of the chair. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Now twist your body to the other side and hold for another 30 seconds. Twisting exercises help push excess air out of your intestines.

Downward Facing Dog Pose

A pose practiced in yoga, downward facing dog, may be helpful in relieving bloating. While standing on your hands and knees, lift your knees off the floor and form your body into an upside down v-shape. Keep your spine in a neutral position and evenly disperse the weight on your hands. Stay in the pose for up to one minute. Rest and repeat twice. This pose takes the pressure of gravity off your digestive organs so their functioning can be improved.

Legs Up the Wall

To relieve the symptoms related to bloating, try laying down with your legs up a wall. Start by sitting on the floor with your right hip touching a wall. Swivel your body to the right until your back is on the floor and your legs are up the wall. Try to keep your butt as close to the wall as possible. Stay in this position for up to eight minutes. You may place a pillow under your head for added comfort.

Reclining Hip Stretch

A common hip and groin stretch known in some traditions as butterfly stretch and known as Baddhakonasana in yoga, can be done in a reclining position to help treat bloating. While seated on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together and allow the knees to fall out. Recline your upper body back onto some pillows or folded blankets and stay in the position for up to 10 minutes. This exercise opens up your intestines and allows them to function properly.

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