Now that I am in my early 30's, I have to admit, I don't digest food the same way I did when I was younger. A decade ago, I could eat super-spicy foods, with the hottest possible sauces, with absolutely no problem. Nowadays? Well, I still like spicy, but spicy doesn't always like me back. That's right. Sometimes I end up with "tummy troubles". These issues include gas, bloating, and even diarrhea. Not fun, people. Not fun at all.
While it may be a bit embarrassing to talk about, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is quite common. In fact, 20% of American adults suffer from this condition.
What is IBS, exactly?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a serious GI issue that affects the large intestine (colon) and commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation; there is no known cure or cause.
Luckily, there are ways to help ease the suffering associated with IBS. (Yes, folks! There IS hope for a better, more "regular" life!)
First, I would highly recommend giving probiotics a try. I am a regular user myself, and I have found that including a high-quality probiotic like VSL #3 into my diet helps ease those pesky tummy troubles quite effectively.
VSL#3, a high potency probiotic medical food that is clinically proven in the dietary management of IBS, ulcerative colitis and ileal pouch, is a proprietary formulation of a mix of 8 strains of live lactic acid bacteria, one of the few probiotics with this many strains. VSL#3 differs from other probiotics in that it is a "medical food", not a supplement, and therefore must be used under medical supervision and kept refrigerated to maintain its potency. VSL#3 is up to 10 times more powerful than the typical probiotic supplements available!
VSL#3® is also available for children who suffer from IBS. This is wonderful, since many products aren't beneficial to or recommended for use in little ones.
VSL#3® products must be refrigerated to maintain potency and is available at your local pharmacy. Look for VSL#3® in the probiotic aisle of your local pharmacy, and bring the card to the pharmacist as it is kept behind the pharmacy counter in the refrigerator.
Another way to help ease the symptoms of IBS is to make smarter dietary choices. Some foods have the tendency to irritate the GI tract, making gas, pain, and trips to the toilet inevitable. Sadly, this includes some foods I absolutely adore, such as a super-spicy chili. Trigger foods may differ for everyone, though. I have a friend whose symptoms begin after she eats chocolate. Poor thing!
Dietician, Patsy Catsos, is an expert when it comes to IBS-friendly recipes that the whole family will love. We recently tried out this French Toast recipe. We used gluten-free bread, as this is what was called for. I was worried that it wouldn't taste the same, but boy, was I wrong. This French Toast was absolutely fantastic, and even the kids asked for seconds!
Thanks to my use of probiotics like VSL#3 and some IBS-savvy cooking, I am winning the war against the tummy troubles commonly associated witb IBS.
Speaking of winning, have you heard? The folks at VSL#3 are having an amazing sweepstakes right now!
You could win a $300 cookware set from Sur La Table, a leather recipe card book filling with custom recipe cards from VSL#3, a copy of Flavor without FODMAPs Cookbook: Love the Food That Loves You Back by registered dietician Pasty Catsos and a $50 pharmacy gift card to stock up on VSL#3.
Winners are announced weekly (one per week) on the VSL#3 Facebook page.
You can learn more about IBS and enter for YOUR chance to win on the VSL#3 Facebook page.
For more IBS-Friendly Recipes, go to http://vsl3.com/discover/ibs-recipes.asp
VSL#3® products must be refrigerated to maintain potency and is available at yourlocal pharmacy. Look for VSL#3® in the probiotic aisle of your local drug store and bring the card to the pharmacist as it is kept behind the pharmacy counter in the refrigerator.
This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. VSL#3 is a medical food and must be used under medical supervision.