Home Health DR MICHAEL MOSLEY: The Simple, Drug-Free Solutions to Cure Bloating and Stomach Problems

DR MICHAEL MOSLEY: The Simple, Drug-Free Solutions to Cure Bloating and Stomach Problems

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Patients who followed dietary plans fared much better than those who took medications: 76 percent of the low-FODMAP group and 71 percent of those who followed a low-carbohydrate diet reported significantly improved symptoms.

Sometimes people stop me on the street to talk about a health problem. And since gut health is my favorite topic, what they often want to talk about is their gut and, in particular, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

This is not surprising, as one in three of us suffer from it, according to the charity Gut UK.

IBS symptoms, such as cramps, bloating, pain, and diarrhea or constipation, usually persist for a while, but often worsen when patients reach their 30s, although we don’t know why.

In fact, we also don’t really know what causes the condition itself and there is no known cure.

But more and more research suggests that simple lifestyle changes could help prevent (and perhaps also minimize) symptoms.

In a study just published in the journal Gut, not smoking, vigorous exercise, and sleeping at least seven hours a night seemed to have the greatest effect, possibly because smoking increases inflammation, while exercise and sleep help regulate function. intestinal and support immunity.

Patients who followed dietary plans fared much better than those who took medications: 76 percent of the low-FODMAP group and 71 percent of those who followed a low-carbohydrate diet reported significantly improved symptoms.

Now, an even more recent study, published last week, has confirmed the benefit of eliminating certain carbohydrates, showing that this may be more effective than medications.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg randomly assigned patients with moderate to severe IBS symptoms to a low-carbohydrate diet; a low FODMAP diet (which eliminates certain carbohydrates, known as FODMAPs, which our small intestine often has difficulty absorbing); or medications to treat your particular symptoms, such as constipation or diarrhea.

Patients who followed either diet plan fared much better than those who took the drug: 76 percent of the low-FODMAP group and 71 percent of those on the low-carbohydrate diet reported significantly improved symptoms, compared to 58 percent of those on the low-carb diet. percent in the medication group.

After six months, although some had returned to their previous eating habits, 68 percent of the low-FODMAP group still reported benefits, compared with 60 percent of the low-carb group.

At that time, most of those who had started taking medication were also following one of these diets and were delighted with the results.

So what is going on? One of the most plausible theories about IBS is that it is the result of an overly sensitive large intestine (or colon), or possibly a problem with the immune system, either of which could be the result of having had a previous intestinal infection.

Once your gut has been sensitized by an infection, there are certain carbohydrates that can trigger an IBS attack.

These are FODMAPs, or fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Trigger foods vary by individual, but typically include:

• Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.

• Wheat-based foods, such as bread, cereals, cookies and pasta.

• Beans and lentils

• Vegetables, such as artichokes, asparagus, onions and garlic.

• Fruits, such as apples, cherries, pears, and peaches.

The FODMAPs in these foods can be poorly absorbed, so they reach the large intestine largely undigested, where they are fermented by intestinal bacteria that produce gas and cause symptoms such as bloating.

The truth behind the kombucha craze

Kombucha, a fermented soda made from yeast, sugar and black tea, is the health tonic of the moment.

I’ve seen claims that it helps digestion, removes toxins from the body, and increases energy levels, although few of them have any serious scientific basis.

But a recent study showed that drinking kombucha can reduce fat levels, at least if you’re a worm. The journal PLOS Genetics reports that when researchers fed kombucha to worms, changes occurred, including a reduction in body fat.

The low-FODMAP diet was developed at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, about 15 years ago, and has been shown to improve IBS symptoms and help patients identify their triggers (because it is highly restrictive, not should be used long term and should be supervised by a medical professional).

The difference this can make became clear to me last year when I made a TV series, Secrets Of Your Big Shop, for Channel 4.

One of the people we filmed was Natalie Sharpe, 34, who was suffering from terrible bloating and pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome. With the help of a nutritionist, we devised a new eating plan for her, eliminating garlic and onion, along with most foods containing wheat or dairy, and switching to a diet with rainbow vegetables (e.g. peppers, carrots, zucchini and broccoli), which are fine with a low FODMAP diet, in addition to fish and chicken.

Before Natalie started her new diet, we analyzed her poop to see what was happening to her gut microbiome: There were hardly any good bacteria, particularly those that play a role in calming inflammation in the gut.

After a couple of months of her new diet, Natalie had lost 6kg (just under her first) and 3 inches around her waist. Her gut microbiome flourished and all of her symptoms improved.

As she told me at the time: “To be honest, I feel really amazing.”

I spoke to Natalie this week and she told me that she is now eating some wheat and dairy, but not as much as before. She has lost more weight and still feels fantastic.

If you have severe IBS, talk to your doctor before starting a new diet and you may want to pay to see a dietitian.

There’s a lot of information about low-FODMAP or low-carb diets on the Internet (although it’s meant to be a temporary measure while you figure out which foods trigger your symptoms). My book, Clever Guts Diet, is also about this. Whatever you decide to do, good luck!

Why doesn’t music bring me joy?

Many of my friends love music and can hum the melodies and quote the lyrics to hundreds of songs.

Unfortunately, although I quite like music, it has never touched my soul. And when it comes to the musical round at pub quizzes, I’m useless.

My musical anhedonia (the term for not enjoying music) could be because, as a family, we never listened to music at home. But there could also be a genetic component, as suggested by a new study conducted on more than 9,000 twins by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands.

The study found that genes play an important role in whether you enjoy music, and that this enjoyment does not depend on whether you can play an instrument or sing.

Thank goodness I haven’t been invited to Desert Island Discs yet.

The best exercise for workaholics

We know that one of the best ways to reduce our risk of having a heart attack or stroke is to do plenty of aerobic exercise (walking, swimming, cycling) and strengthening exercises, such as squats. These can help lower blood pressure, for example, but they also have a big impact on stress, which is important.

In college I remember taking a personality test that showed that I am type A, meaning I am an impatient, motivated, high-achieving workaholic. I was also told that stressed Type As are at higher risk of dying from heart disease, so it would be a good idea to slow down and smell the flowers. Now, new research suggests that it’s stressed-out Type A people who might benefit the most from being more active.

In a study published this month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers analyzed data from more than 50,000 people over a ten-year period. This showed that people who did at least 150 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise a week had a 23 percent lower risk of developing heart disease than those who did not.

But the researchers also found that people whose brain tests showed they were highly stressed got twice as much benefit from exercising as their more relaxed counterparts.

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