I'll do my best to answer your questions:
1) Dannon Activia regulates digestion within 2 weeks. It contains many probiotics which stabalizes our gut flora, which helps digestion. In addition, it has calcium which helps control D and GI inflammation. I've been eating 1 a day for months and it has helped me stay regular.
2) The teas all do different things, but really I just pick the flavor that sounds best to me. Except, let me add, the Ginger tastes horrible. I only drink the ginger if I am super nauseous. Here is a breakdown for you:
Chamomile (soothes the nerves)
Fennel (calms muscles, improves digestion, helps flatulance)
Mint (eases GI trouble, relaxant)
Lemon Grass (antispasmodic, anti-irritant)
Ginger (nausea & cramping)
Green (promotes digestion, overall health)
The brand of tea doesn't really matter. I find they all taste the same and do the same thing. I do, however, boil my own mint tea as I hate the "mint medley" tea you buy. I grow mint in my backyard and have found that boiling a handful of leaves is way better than using a teabag. You could do the same with fennel, lemon grass, and ginger. I recommend doing it for the ginger because the store bought kind has pepper. It's really horrid and spicy.
3) Fiber can be tricky. I find that Metamucil works great for me. Citrucel gave me horrible gas and D. I haven't tried any others. You will have to experiment and see which is best for you (gives you less gas).
4) I have an electric heating pad. It's a generic Target brand. You can buy them pretty much anywhere: Target, Wal-Mart, etc. They are usually found in the same aisle (or near) the feminine hygene products. I keep 1 heating pad at work and 1 heating pad at home. If you're prone to cramps, you might consider those sticky heating pads. They have those in the feminine hygene aisle for period cramps.
5) Some people actually carry an emergency IBS backup pack with them, either in their car or in their purse. The pack usually consists of extra underwear, baby wipes, Imodium, aspirin/tylenol, and any rx medication (antispasmodics, etc.). I always carry probiotics and anti-gas medication too (Gas-X). It's good to be prepared; it definitely helps ease your mind.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
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