What is a gut flare-up?
Generally, a gut flare-up can happen to anyone who has pre-existing inflammation (IBD or IBS), specifically within the digestive tract and will have unfortunately experienced a ‘flare-up’ at least once. A flare-up can consist of multiple of the following:
- Diarrhea with or without blood
- Abdominal cramping
- The urgency to have a bowel movement
Why does it happen?
For many reasons, but mostly a flare-up is triggered by food or stress.
So how can we combat this?
Making sure you get enough water – During a flare-up your body absorbs less water and salt, so it’s important to double up on hydration so symptoms don’t get worse
Practice mindful eating – Slow down at mealtime, eat in a relaxed state, chew lots and focus on the digestion to help ease the process of digesting your food
Gut journaling – During a flare, it’s important to be mindful of what you have been doing and eating 12-24 hours before you’ve noticed symptoms. The more journaling you do, the more self-aware you become and can avoid future flares.
Reduce stress – Make time for daily meditation practice, to deep focus on breathing, long walks outside or therapeutic hobbies so that you can give your body the time to heal its digestive tract.
ADD-IN or INCREASE TO DIET:
Glutamine powder – This little powerhouse is an essential anti-inflammatory amino acid that offers healing by rebuilding and repairing the gut lining.
Bone Broth – We love ‘Best of the Bones’ bone broth to soothe an inflamed gut. It’s such a good meal replacement (for those who opt for fasting when during a flare), also full of amino acids and intestinal healing goodness.
Digestive Enzymes – These supplements help you digest your food, while you’re trying to restore your gut. The ensure that you properly break down and absorb nutrients from your food.
Sip Herbal Teas – Ginger, peppermint, slippery elm, marshmallow root, and licorice root are all very soothing to an angry gut.
CBD/Cannabis – CBD smokes provide immediate relief to stomach troubles, otherwise, try the tincture for long-term benefits.
Limit high FODMAP foods – High fodmap can irritate the stomach. The most irritable (for me) are garlic, onion, dairy, grains, gluten, chickpeas, soy-based foods, and acidic fruits! Everyone is different however when it comes to specifics, so it’s trial and error.
Limit fiber and sugar – Although fiber is encouraged when things are going great, fiber during a flare-up can cause gas and bloat. This is the same with sugar, as it can feed the bad bacteria making symptoms worse.
Remove raw foods – This goes for salad and sashimi. Raw vegetables are extremely hard for a bad gut to digest, creating more problems. It takes more energy to breakdown a raw diet, making your intestines work twice as hard. Sashimi can carry unwarranted bacteria’s.
Remove seeds and nuts – Again, super challenging for your gut to digest when it’s not happy. Grind them up, or opt for nut butter instead.