One of the latest trends to hit the wellness world is activated charcoal.
Activated Charcoal is a product manufactured specifically to be extremely absorbent, allowing it to bind to molecules, ions or atoms from a dissolved substance. Due to its powerful toxin-clearing properties, activated charcoal is interestingly also used in emergency rooms to treat poisonings through overdoses.
In recent years, activated charcoal – which comes in either a capsule or powdered form. It has been commonly advertised to have numerous health benefits… such as a fix for bloating and stomach discomfort, which is a win for those who suffer with IBS…Right?
Is activated charcoal effective for those with IBS?
Unfortunately, this is not the case. At this point in time, there is not valid scientific evidence that supports this theory.
In reality, by the time the charcoal reaches the large intestines (where the gas is produced). it has actually reached its absorption capacity. Meaning it cannot absorb any other molecules.
Even worse, due to its absorbent properties, the activated charcoal may have actually absorbed beneficial micro-nutrients, like calcium.
What may actually help for those with bloating and other IBS symptoms?
As frustrating as it may be for someone with IBS. There is no real quick solution.
The best way to take control of your gut health, improve your symptoms of IBS and improve your quality of life is by completing the FODMAP challenge.
Additional strategies that can be used to help manage flare ups in your IBS symptoms include:
Helps to relax muscles found in the stomach and digestive tract, resulting in relief from symptoms including flatulence, altered bowel habits, nausea and bloating.
Research has shown that the most effective way of relieving symptoms with peppermint oil is by consuming enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules (containing 33%-50% methanol) with meals. However, it is not recommended to consistently follow this practice for more than 8 weeks. As the long term safety of this practice is still unknown.
Other forms of peppermint which can help relieve symptoms include teas, minced leaves in cooking, aromatherapy, inhaled oils and flavoring agents.
Reduce intake of gut irritants
Caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods and fatty foods are known to be non-FODMAP triggers of digestive problems.
Removing these types of trigger foods from your diet has been shown to help effectively manage IBS for many people long term.
Manage your stress and anxiety
IBS sufferers tend to have extremely sensitive guts which don’t respond well to stress.
Try out some strategies that will allow you to unwind, and feel a bit more relaxed. Whether it be yoga, meditation or even going for light walks or bike rides. Ensure you also priorities sleep – aiming for about 7-8 hours a night, as a lack of sleep can actually worsen IBS symptoms.
Probiotics are beneficial live microorganisms that we consume specifically for health benefits. And has been shown to be a promising additional treatment option for those with IBS.
Studies suggest that gut microbiota may influence symptoms for those with IBS. Therefore by improving the gut microbiota – with the help of probiotics, you can in turn reduce IBS symptoms such as abdominal discomfort and flatulence!
Probiotics can be found naturally in certain foods such as yoghurt and through supplementation. Read more about the probiotics as well as prebiotics here.
By Renee Borg, find me on instagram
imaged sourced pinterest
Start feeling better now! By signing up to The FODMAP Challenge you will receive meal plans, recipe ideas, and regular support with other resources, such as a private Facebook group, to make this as easy for you as possible.