IBS, Crohns, Colitis and Your Immune System–Is Your Lifestyle Ruining Your Bowel?

Did you know that your lifestyle choices can be hazardous to your bowel health? Ordinary products you use every day could be ruining your digestive system. If you want to reduce and relieve your bowel symptoms, you need to know what they are.

You also need to know that your digestive system and your immune system are closely linked. Various sources, including Dr J Mercola, report anywhere from 60% to 80% of the immune system is in the digestive system.

So why does it matter?

Because anything that stresses your immune system also stresses your digestive system and is going to cause problems for your bowel.

What are those stresses?

The list is below but, before you read it, keep in mind that for every product or situation that harms your health or your digestion, there is a healthier, safer version, or a way to reduce your exposure.

Here’s what stresses the immune and digestive systems:

  • Foods that cause a sensitive or allergic reaction
  • Sugar
  • Eating plastic by microwaving food under plastic wrap
  • Chemically-based, scented household products and air fresheners
  • Chemically-based, scented personal care products
  • Chemically-scented laundry products and fabric softeners
  • Perfumes and scents not from organic sources
  • Oil paints, glues, thinners, solvents
  • Dry cleaning fluid, mothballs, fire-proofing on fabrics
  • Unfiltered water
  • Water in plastic bottles that have warmed up so the water tastes like plastic
  • Pesticides and weed-killers
  • Internal bacteria or yeasts that are out of balance
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Unresolved trauma
  • Lack of exercise
  • Never spending time outdoors

Take action now to relieve your digestive symptoms and protect your immune system by going through this list and seeing which items apply to you. Then pick one item to work with.

For example, if you love sweets, instead of eating sugar, switch to honey, stevia, or OmniBalance® with stevia. Find fruit-juice sweetened products instead of products that are sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Eat fruit or dates instead of cookies and pastries. Make sure you’re eating enough protein and magnesium. Lack of these nutrients sometimes causes sweet-craving.

Then pick something else on the list to work with. In a few weeks, you’ll have made changes that will significantly impact your health and digestion for the better.

Personally, I would start with improving the quality of my drinking water and changing my personal care products to natural and unscented, since these two things can have a huge impact on digestion.

Not sure what to do about something on this list? Send us your questions with the Comment Form, or email us with the form on the Contact page.

6 thoughts on “IBS, Crohns, Colitis and Your Immune System–Is Your Lifestyle Ruining Your Bowel?”

  1. Does ahving IBS slow a persons healing time or process. I just had surgery and was woundering if the IBS would hinder the healing time and process.

  2. Hi April,
    This answer is in two parts because of space allowances, so please see the next response as well.

    Your question is an interesting one. Since I’m not a doctor, I’m not sure I can give you a definitive answer, but I can make some guesses.

    It’s no secret that the stresses of life and emotions interfere with many physical processes so, if you are feeling very stressed by IBS, that might slow down your healing process.

  3. April – part two:
    Having said that, I don’t see why IBS should have to slow down your recovery – after all, it’s a syndrome, not a disease (so it shouldn’t overload your immune system.)

    Often the biggest factor in recovery is your attitude and belief system. Think of yourself as a fast healer and totally healthy. To your brain, a vividly imagined experience is just as powerful as a real one, so imagine yourself having an excellent recovery from the surgery. Give your body some powerful positive messages to work with, and use EFT tapping to get rid of fears and negativity. (See tapping videos in the post about Self Treatment for Anxiety.)

    Hope that helps!

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