A Right Amount Of Sugar Can Actually Benefit Your Gut

Not sure if your sugar is making your IBS worse? This article will help you to find out and learn how you can actually use sweetness to support your gut.

If you’re finding it really hard to resist those sugary sweets, this article will help you understand why you get those cravings and how it’s related to your IBS. I know all about IBS confusions. I teach my clients how to use food to actually heal their guts.

It’s the holidays and sugar is all around you people are bringing that holiday baking, gifting you with cookies and cake, baked with love and care. And not to mention even those candy canes that are everywhere you go. I don’t normally eat sweets, but even our house has more baking in it than usual. You already know that sugary sweets aren’t healthy.

Even cookie monster changed his tune to, a cookie is a sometimes food. But issugar even worse for people struggling with IBS? Does sugary foods flare up your IBS gut? For a lot of people, sweets are a comfort food. Many of you probably grew up finishing your meals with a sweet dessert. So it’s part of your everyday diet.

On top of that, you might crave a chocolate pick me up after a bad day, or grab something sweet and starchy to help boost your energy in the afternoon. But have you ever stopped to consider what’s causing your sweet cravings and how it’s affecting your IBS? From a traditional Chinese medicine or TCM perspective, different flavors soothe, heal and affect different internal organ systems.

For example, salty flavors correspond to the TCM kidney organ, and sour flavors to the TCM liver. Your digestive system is made up of two main organs, the TCM spleen and the TCM stomach, and these two organs are affected by sweet flavors. So, what does this mean? With IBS and any other digestive condition, the TCM spleen and stomach are weak and when they are weak, they have a tendency to crave sweet flavors to help soothe and rebuild their energy.

But wait! Before you start adding cakes and cookies back into your regular diet, there are a few important things you need to know.

Tip 1

The first is, that a little goes a long way – there’s a fine balance between supporting your gut by eating sweet foods and doing damage by eating too much of it. Although sweet flavors do nourish a weak gut, having too much of It actually weakens it a bit more, which brings me to number two:

Tip 2

Sugar versus sweetness – our organ’s definition of sweet is very different from that of our taste buds. It’s much more subtle and the craving isn’t actually for sweet processed foods, but for sweetness naturally found in whole foods. What do I mean by that? Well, if you’ve ever done a sugar detox, are you’ve cut down the amount of processed sugar in your diet, you might have discovered that every day non-sweet foods actually have a degree of sweetness to them.

I’m not just talking about sweet potatoes, but things like carrots, other vegetables, rice, different fruits, even meats like chicken. Non-dessert foods have a sweet flavor that’s enough to support and rebuild your gut, which brings me finally to number three:

Tip 3

Avoid processed sugars – sorry guys, but in TCM, those sweets, candies, cookies, all those foods cause sluggishness in your gut, producing what we call “dampness and phlegm,” which actually slows down your gut and prevents it from doing its job instead of helping to heal it. So unfortunately, if you want to really be able to manage your IBS symptoms, you need to resist those tempting baked goods and delicious hot cocoa.

Yes, even the gluten-free low sugar kind, at least for this year. But next year could be a totally different story if your IBS is fully under control. Those sweets in my house, I’m definitely enjoying them without a second thought about IBS attacks because my IBS has been under control for years. And I know that the holidays are my sometimes for sugary sweetness. After that, I’ll go back to eating fruit, which is my favorite all-time dessert.

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A Short Description Of Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine is the term given to a wide variety of therapies that have originated from several parts of East Asia. Although TCM is classified as an alternative therapy in Western countries, it’s been a widely accepted and long-standing medical practice in several East Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, and China. But what exactly is TCM?

Basic Definition

TCM is basically all about balance. It is a holistic health system that considers and treats the spirit, body, and mind as one. Any single part of an entire human being or animal that becomes unbalanced – in both the meta-physical and physical sense – will lead to illness.

TCM owes its origins to the theory of yin and yang (which has been integrated into Taoist philosophy). Again, all about balance, Yin & Yang lies on the theory that all developments in the universe can be divided into two complementary yet opposite parts. Some common examples of these include dark/light, moon/sun, cold/hot, female/male, etc. Strictly speaking, there is neither good nor bad in Yin & Yang, rather both are components of the whole. TCM strives to maintain health and balance in the process.

Meridians and Chi

Chi or Qi pertains to the body’s vital energy. It’s usually mistaken to be the “soul” or “spirit” when it fact, it’s more akin to energetic blood that circulates within your body. Chi moves inside your body through energy channels called meridians and through other channels in your body.

Learning the specifics of chi alone can take an entire lifetime to finish. The only thing you need to know is that chi is the energy in your body that’s very important to Chinese medicine and circulates like blood throughout your body.

Treatments Offered in Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic healing system that includes therapies such as:

Acupuncture in Bellingham: Acupuncture is an ancient healing that involves the insertion of very thin needles into specific points along the body. Chinese acupuncture mainly uses the aforementioned meridians, although these days, practitioners have added their own spin to their techniques. Acupuncture is mainly for the treatment of nervous-system disorders, psychological disorders, and chronic pain. Its hard core adherents will recommend it for just about any condition.

Herbal Therapy: This involves the use of medicinal mushrooms, roots, herbs, and other natural products. Some minerals and exotic animal parts may also be used but these tend to be shunned and outlawed in almost all countries except in communist China. There are herbal medicines that are known to treat practically every condition and illness known to Western medicine, and even some that aren’t.

Gua sha: Gua sha is one unusual treatment that involves rubbing of the skin using smooth bits of tusk, bone, stone, or jade. It’s a rather harsh treatment in which the patient usually ends up with painful red marks or bruising on the skin. Be that is at may, the therapeutic benefits of this therapy is quite broad and can be used for everything from cholera to hot weather. If you have a low threshold for pain, this not a treatment for you!

Cupping: An unusual type of detoxification/massage cupping is a therapy involving the use of special glass cups that have the air inside heated by smoke or flame. The cups are placed on the back while they’re still warm inside where they then draw the skin into them. In some modern clinics cups with pumps installed are used. Cupping is designed to purify the body of toxins and should not be used on people planning to go to the beach because it tends huge red circular marks on the back.

Breathing and Physical Exercises – Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners encourages their patients to occupy themselves in healthy exercise. In order to promote the balance and flow of Chi, only the right exercises will suffice. Martial arts, meditation, yoga, qi gong, and tai chi, all are deemed to be great exercises, as is various breathing exercises and meditation.

Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Safe?

Of course Traditional Chinese Medicine is safe. That is, if you use it correctly. But like any other therapy, if used incorrectly, TCM can be potentially risky and dangerous. Before embarking on a new treatment, talk to a health care specialist first.

Another disadvantage of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that is also less regulated. Con and scam artists abound, therefore, it’s important to check the credentials of any potential TCM practitioner. This absence of regulation also means that a lot of Chinese medical practices have not been vetted by the scientific community which then implies that the treatments can range from useless or harmful or outright dangerous to beneficial. When it comes to TCM, let common sense be your guide.

Will Traditional Chinese Medicine Work for You?

The simple answer to that is maybe. Between skyrocketing medical costs, doctor errors, and drug recalls more and more people are turning to alternative modes of treatment. A lot of these therapies benefit patients in very many ways. However, some people believe that TCM is not the best choice for their problem. For people suffering from acute disorders such as appendicitis or from really bad conditions like cancer, Western medicine still has a better track record. But this doesn’t mean these modalities can’t be complemented by Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments for even greater effect. In the end, the choice is up to your healthcare plan and to you.