This is Part Three of a three-part series on anxiety. Part Two gives you four anti-anxiety tips to calm the "alarm center" in your brain.

Did you know that physical stresses can make you anxious even though you may not realize they're affecting you? When you have irritable bowel symptoms, here are seven possible causes of anxiety: dehydration from diarrhea, toxic build-up from constipation, food allergies and intolerances, chemical sensitivity, lack of sleep, lack of exercise and shallow breathing.

Making a few lifestyle changes to deal with these stressors will give you good natural anxiety relief. In addition, they will help to relieve skin rashes and itching, headaches, and fatigue (not to mention digestive problems.) You'll typically have layers of anxiety, so the more possible causes you deal with, the better your chances of staying calm and recovering quickly from anxiety.

1. Drinking enough water is an excellent anxiety treatment whether you suffer from diarrhea or constipation.

With diarrhea, you want to make sure you replace the fluids you lose.

Dehydration is alarming to your brain and body and keeps you from feeling comfortable and relaxed. Adding a few drops of liquid minerals, such as Concentrace or Ion-Mag, to your water will help to replace any electrolytes you’ve lost because of diarrhea. As an anti-anxiety bonus, the magnesium in them tends to be calming. Soluble fiber will help to bulk up the stool and slow down transit time.

With constipation, water and soluble fiber will help to keep things moving through the bowel, preventing a build-up of toxins. Again, the liquid minerals are helpful.

Since we’re on the subject of liquids: How much coffee are you drinking? Or black tea, pop, and other caffeinated drinks? If it’s more than one cup a day, you’re not doing yourself any favours, anxiety-wise. In fact, some people find that cutting out caffeine is their most effective anxiety treatment. But you knew that, right?

2. Food sensitivities can make you anxious. That’s because some foods act as neurotoxins, meaning they affect the signals between your brain and body. Elaine Gottschall mentions a woman who reacted to gluten grains by barking like a dog in her sleep!!! Imagine how stressed this woman’s brain and nervous system must have been to trigger such an odd response. Once the gluten was removed from her diet, the barking stopped.

Okay, you don’t bark in your sleep. But if you are anxious, you need a calming diet without food allergens. The food that works best for your body is also important for natural anxiety treatment.

You can have food sensitivities without having classic allergies. Here are a couple of options for dealing with them. One is to be tested to find out exactly what foods you react to and take them out of your diet.

Or, if testing is not an option for you then start eliminating the top food allergens from your diet: dairy, sugar, wheat and other gluten-containing grains, peanuts, shellfish, soy, sulfites in conventional dried fruit and other processed foods, pork, citrus, caffeine, corn, yeast, and eggs, but especially the first three on this list. Remove foods one at a time, leaving at least a week between foods, so you can observe the effect of each one.

Chocolate causes problems for lots of people. If you get headaches or tend to crave chocolate compulsively, you could be reacting to chocolate. Try a magnesium supplement to help with the craving. The theobromine in chocolate will make you anxious and jittery (I know it did me) because it speeds up your heart rate. If you have diarrhea, chocolate is not your best friend.

Dairy is known to be a problem for people with IBS. When you continue to eat foods you react to, you will become more anxious because it’s very stressful for your body. With gluten, even if you’re not celiac, you have a one-in-three chance of reacting to grains with physical and emotional symptoms, according to Dr. James Braly. A recent German study found micro-inflammation in the mucosa of the bowel in IBS patients. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that this is from reactions to foods or chemicals.

3. And speaking of chemicals, while most of us realize that chemical toxins and pollutants are linked to cancer, asthma, heart trouble and degenerative diseases, you may not know that they also trigger emotional problems including anxiety and depression.

The best thing to do is make sure your home environment is chemical-free, especially your bedroom. Sleep is the time your body renews itself, but that can’t happen if your bedroom is full of perfumes and scented products, room deodorizers, plastic bags, dry-cleaned clothes, mothballs, candles (unless they’re beeswax), paint, glue, solvents, particle board, new books and magazines, fresh newspapers or any other product with outgassing chemicals.

And, NO, the chemical toxins don’t stay in the bottle just because you have the lid on. Have you ever walked down the laundry products aisle in the supermarket? Notice that smell? Enough said.

By the way, the digestive system is quite sensitive to chemical toxins. So when you clear out your chemical products and buy natural versions, you will not only lower your anxiety levels, you will also help out your digestion. Definitely a win-win.

Feeling anxious? This is Part Two of a three-part series on anxiety. This post gives you 4 anti-anxiety tips for the way your brain makes you anxious. I find Tips #1 and #4 great for quickly reducing anxiety when I feel overwhelmed. Part Three provides 6 tips for dealing with physical sources of anxiety that often go unsuspected.

In Part One of this post, I talked about the causes of anxiety and how the part of your brain called the amygdala is the "alarm center" for fear and anxiety. So the first thing to do when you feel anxious, is calm the amygdala.

Four Anti-Anxiety Tips for calming the amygdala, your brain's "alarm center":

1. As you may have noticed, we’re big on tapping on this site, so the first thing to do is tap. Don’t know how? Watch the video below.

You'll find another “tapping script” (words you can say while tapping) below that you can use for more anxiety relief, once you’ve watched the video and seen where and how to tap.

Why does tapping work? You are stimulating acupressure points, identified four or five thousand years ago in Traditional Chinese Medicine as places on the body that bring your energy flow into balance. When you are in balance, it's MUCH easier to be calm and relaxed than when you are out of balance. Makes sense, right? Research studies by Bruce Pomeranz, MD, PhD, and other scientists demonstrate that stimulating acupressure points really does enhance healing and stress relief and is not simply a placebo.

Start by tapping on the side of your hand (the Karate Chop or KC point), like Kathy does in the video:

KC: Even though I feel stressed and anxious, I choose to feel calm and relaxed
Even though I’m worried my irritable bowel symptoms will act up and embarrass me, I choose to have a calm, quiet, comfortable body
KC: Even though I feel nervous and anxious about what might happen, I prefer to feel calm and relaxed.

Now tap through the points on the face and torso that Kathy taps on, using these reminder phrases. (One reminder phrase for each point you tap.)

Round One:
Eye Brow: I feel anxious
Side of Eye:
I’m worried my IBS will flare up and embarrass me
Under Eye:
I’m stressed about going out
Under Nose:
What if something happens that I can’t control?
I don’t trust my body
I’m nervous and anxious
Under Arm:
I’m scared of being embarrassed and humiliated
Head: I feel stressed and anxious

Round Two: Repeat Round One

In the video, only two rounds are tapped. But now you know where the points are, you can tap the following Round Three to install some confidence...

What are the causes of anxiety when you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and what can you do about them? This is Part One of a three-part series on anxiety. In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the most common causes of IBS anxiety. In Part Two, I’ll explain how you can give yourself natural anxiety relief by calming the "alarm center" of your brain. And in Part Three, I'll give you six tips for dealing with unsuspected stresses on your body that make you anxious and contribute to physical symptoms.

I’ll warn you right now – anxiety has a lot of different aspects, but once you start to understand what’s going on, you CAN get control of it. It worked for me.

With or without IBS, more than 40 million people over 18 in North America have some kind of anxiety disorder. That’s almost one in five people, which means we are a pretty anxious bunch!

Anxiety can bring on stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, rashes and skin problems, muscle tension, tremors or twitches, insomnia, fatigue and feelings of losing control. Sounds a lot like Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms, doesn’t it?

Believe it or not, these reactions have a lot to do with your brain trying to help you survive. I know that sounds odd but here’s how it works:

In The Instinct to Heal, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber explains that your brain is really two (some say three) brains in one. You have an emotional brain that reacts quickly and instinctively to danger and other types of stimulation - like that cute person walking by. And you have a rational brain that allows you to think analytically, use language, plan for the future, and concentrate on studying for a test, among other functions.

The emotional brain sends out directives to your body, like “RUN!” if a car is speeding right at you. Your heart rate speeds up, your muscles activate, and you instantly take action. At the same time, processes like digestion and rational thinking stop because they’re not immediately needed. There’s no question that leaping for the sidewalk helps to keep you alive.

But your survival brain can make mistakes.

Trauma specialist, Dr. Robert Scaer, says that the survival brain or “limbic system” remembers traumatic experiences that have not been fully processed. It uses these memories to keep you from getting into another similar situation. This happens on the unconscious level and you're not in control of it. The problem is that the information in the memories may be incomplete and inaccurate or no longer apply to your life.

This is where the anxiety comes in. Your fear reaction gets triggered in the part of the brain called the amygdala, even when there is nothing to be afraid of.

Let’s say you were once in a car accident at night. When the accident happened, a certain song was playing on the radio. As the years go by, you don’t learn to drive and never get into a car at night. In fact, whenever you see headlights approaching, you feel nervous.

More than that, you find you are very sensitive to any kind of bright light and sudden loud noises, especially at night. If you hear the same song that was playing – or even a song that sounds like it – you feel anxious and tense and your body goes into escape mode, speeding up your heart rate, shutting down your digestion, activating your muscles, flooding your system with adrenaline, and so forth.

So you could be at a party and suddenly feel anxious and scared because you hear some music that reminds your emotional brain of the car accident. Since you usually don’t realize this is happening, because it’s an unconscious reaction inside your brain, you wonder why you feel so tense. Someone turns off the room lights and puts a spotlight on a disco ball that sends flashes of bright light flying all over the room. Immediately, you panic and you don’t know why. All you know is that you have to get out of there NOW!...

Candida is a yeast-like fungus that lives in the intestines, bowel, genitals, throat, esophagus and mouth. Male or female, if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, candida yeast could be making your symptoms much worse.

While we all have this yeast in our bodies, under certain circumstances it becomes a condition known as Candidiasis when it grows out of control. Many candida yeast overgrowth symptoms are similar to those of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

In Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Dr. James Balch says these symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, colitis, abdominal pain, headaches, mood swings, PMS, fatigue, and depression. You may also experience heartburn, memory loss, canker sores, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and cough, night sweats, vaginitis, kidney and bladder infections, athlete’s foot, jock itch, fungal infections, arthritis and adrenal problems.

Dr. James LaValle adds gas, bloating, and food reactions to this list. In fact, from his perspective, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the many chronic candida yeast overgrowth symptoms!

If you suffer from Candidiasis, you might also notice that you crave sweets, bread or alcohol, react to chemical smells or perfumes, or feel depressed or lethargic after a walk in the autumn leaves.

What causes candida yeast to grow out of control?

One of the most common causes of overgrowth is the use of antibiotics and other drugs that kill off the bacteria that controls candida yeast in the intestines. These drugs include steroids, NSAIDS, chemotherapy, birth control pills, and some antacids.

Other factors that can trigger a candida yeast overgrowth include stress, having reduced immune function, a high sugar diet, nutritional deficiencies, mercury and heavy metal exposure, and pregnancy. (This is possibly why some women find themselves treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms after childbirth.)

If you would like to read about this in detail, I highly recommend the section on Candidiasis in Dr. Lavalle’s Cracking the Metabolic Code, pages 173-184 in the paperback version. In fact, all of the information about intestinal health in chapter 9 of his book is worth reading.

Treating candida yeast overgrowth symptoms...

Has this ever happened to you?

There you are at work, waiting for clients to show up or a meeting to begin. You're a bit anxious because you want things to go well. All of a sudden, you feel a few little spasms in your abdomen that tell you the dreaded STOMACH CRAMPS from stress are on their way. You know those stomach cramps. They start out as a little twinge and end up making you wish you’d never been born.

You have a horrible vision of greeting your clients, then having a big attack of stomach spasms, trying not to double over in pain. Or maybe you'll have to rush off to the bathroom while they check their watches, wondering what the heck is taking so long. Definitely NOT the way to impress them.

Now you feel even more anxiety! On top of work stress, you have gastro-stress to deal with, not to mention possible gas, pain and embarrassment.

Wouldn't it be great to be calm? But when you're stressed, your heart is pounding and your gut starts to churn, it's pretty hard to relax.

Here's what you can do to stop stress-based stomach cramps and gas from taking over. It takes only a couple of minutes and it works.

This is a breathing technique that slows down your heart rate so you feel calm and peaceful. Then your stomach cramps from stress melt away. Professional speakers with stage fright use this technique just before they go onstage.

Here's how you do it...

1) Take a deep breath in through your nose
2) Hold it for a 3 or 4 seconds
3) Let it out s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y through your mouth, then...

To prevent IBS pain that may be caused by food, here are some tips to keep in mind.

1) Check for food allergies and sensitivities since they will impact your digestive system. Food sensitivities may exist even if they don’t show up on allergy tests. One way to track what’s affecting you is to…

2) Keep a food diary. When you track how you feel after you eat different foods, you will see patterns and learn which foods trigger your IBS symptoms. So, it’s important to…

3) Know the top food allergens as well as the foods that cause the most digestive problems and are worst for IBS. When you know what they are, you can watch out for them. The foods that most commonly cause gastro problems are:
- wheat and other grains – corn, rye, barley, etc.
- dairy – milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt
- deep-fried foods and high fat foods
- junk foods
- artificial sweeteners
- artificially sweetened and colored foods and drinks (pop, sports drinks, candy, gum, etc.)
- legumes (beans) and other gas-causing foods, like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage and other "cruciferous" vegetables
- caffeine – coffee, black tea, chocolate
- sugar, alcohol
- yeast
- citrus foods, especially oranges and orange juice
- eggs, pork, beef, shellfish, fish
- peanuts and other nuts
- spicy foods

You may not react to all these foods. The foods at the top of the list are some of the worst offenders. When foods don’t work for you, don’t feel sorry about giving them up. Instead think of the huge favour you’re doing yourself, since the foods you react badly to will not only cause IBS pain and digestive symptoms but can make you feel exhausted, depressed, sometimes even suicidal. When you eat for IBS, it also helps to…

Are you worried about colon cancer or any other cancer? Well, worry no more. According to a fascinating movie called “Healing Cancer From The Inside Out”, you can prevent cancer and heal it without toxic drugs, horrible side effects, or spending a fortune.

Just to be clear, according to medical experts, IBS does not cause colon cancer or bowel cancer. With Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, there is some risk of colon cancer. However, the advice in the movie tells you how to prevent ANY kind of cancer, so it’s well worth following.

“Healing Cancer From the Inside Out” is in two parts: the problem and the solution.

First, medical researcher and film maker, Mike Anderson, looks at the cancer industry and why it has a spectacular record of failing to “win the cancer war.” He observes that fear tactics are used to coerce patients into painful treatments that are often less effective than placebo drugs.

Most cancers take years to develop and several more years to kill their host after being diagnosed. Yet hospitals often urge patients to make quick decisions about accepting surgery, chemotherapy and radiation as if their lives were in immediate danger. Quotes from the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, and the American Cancer Society acknowledge that conventional cancer treatment is ineffective except in a small minority of cases that involve the rarest forms of cancer. According to this evidence, bowel cancer will not be helped by chemo and radiation, and colon cancer surgery is nothing to rush into.

Interestingly, radiation and chemotherapy are so toxic that patients who don’t have this treatment live longer than those who do. In survey after survey, doctors say they would never have chemotherapy if they had cancer and would not recommend it for any member of their families.

Apparently, doctors in the U.S. are prohibited by law from recommending natural treatments for cancer. If they do, they can lose their licenses and go to jail, which seems a little severe, considering that one of the common side effects of conventional treatment is death, whereas this is very rarely true of natural treatments.

In the second part of the film, Anderson shows us some of the considerable evidence he has unearthed about how to prevent and heal cancer. Let's look at that...

Mistake #5 Use of Plastics

It’s hard to imagine a world without plastics but the plain truth is, plastic is a petrochemical and that can spell trouble for a child’s sensitive digestive system.

To minimize problems for children who suffer from Crohn’s Disease or Colitis, here’s a list of what to watch out for and avoid:

Childhood Crohn's and Colitis  Mistake #4:

Toxic particle board in kids’ bedroom furniture

Particle board, also known as pressboard, is a very common component of cribs, beds, shelving and dressers. There is often a sheet of particle board under the mattress as the support. Shelving is often made of particle board with a thin veneer covering it. The glue that holds the wood chips together is a potent source of formaldehyde which out-gasses into the air and fills the room and your house with toxic chemicals.

Just like the chemicals in fabric softener and synthetic clothing, these substances can cause reactions in your child’s digestive tract. The stress they put on the immune system has a crippling effect on it, which interferes with the ability of the bowel to heal. Clearly, this will not be helpful to kids who suffer from childhood Crohn’s or Colitis.

In fact, in 2008, the Attorney General of California sued five baby furniture manufacturers because they were not telling their customers about the dangerously high levels of formaldehyde in their cribs and other baby items....

(Watch a video that helps you get instant anxiety relief.)

Anxiety and digestive problems seem to go hand in hand. Or maybe I should say anxiety and life in today’s world seem to go hand in hand!

So what can you do about it?

The time-honoured way to relieve anxiety and stay calm is by meditating. But you might not want to spend 20 years getting really good at meditation when you need anxiety relief right away. (Still worth doing, but definitely not a quick fix!)

Another highly effective method for natural anxiety relief is to use EFT tapping. But you need to learn it and remember to use it. And sometimes you’re not in a place where it’s appropriate to tap.

So, for a really quick fix, I take a dropperful of Emergency Trauma Solution Plus (ETS+) by Perelandra Ltd. ETS+ is an essence solution that rebalances your nervous system and your electrical circuitry. Yes, humans have electrical circuitry (but no wires).

Interestingly, back in 2007, researchers at the Miami School of Nursing did a study of stress and anxiety, treating it with a stress-relieving essence solution called Rescue Remedy, a Bach flower remedy. They found that the Rescue Remedy “had a comparable effect” to pharmaceutical drugs but with none of the side effects, including addiction!...

How to STOP the
Top 5 "Hidden" Triggers of IBS

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