Gluten Sensitive


Posted by: Marilyn Jul 05, 2012

I have been taking a product, somewhat similar to LBS, on a daily basis for some time. I discovered last fall that I am gluten-sensitive; I stopped eating gluten and the bellyaches and diarrhea soon went away. Recently I seem to get flareups when I take the herbal product, which contains capsicum. I am wondering if the capsicum is contraindicated when an irritable or inflammatory condition exists in the colon? So I am looking for an alternative to help keep things flowing normally, instead of alternating constipation and diarrhea. If LBS is not appropriate due to the capsicum content, what else might I use?

Naturopath’s Answer

Hi Marilyn, 

Thankyou for your enquiry. 

Without knowing the exact ingredients of the product you have been taking, it is difficult to pinpoint one particular herb as being a possible cause for the symptoms you mentioned. Capsicum is a warming herb, and whilst most people find this herb beneficial to help with digestion, some people respond differently to herbs and it is possible that it may be too strong for sensitive digestive systems. 

If the product you have been taking is a similar formula to our Lower Bowel Stimulant, then it is designed to be taken short-term to help relieve constipation and any associated griping pains. If you are getting diarrhoea from the product you are taking, it may be that you are taking too high a dose for what you need or taking it too regularly.

As mentioned, our Lower Bowel Stimulant is designed for short-term use. For longer term management of bowel regularity, I would suggest our Psyllium Hulls capsules. Psyllium is a fibre which absorbs liquid in the bowel and swells up, which means it bulks things up and moves wastes through the colon more effectively and can thus make elimination more regular. In cases of diarrhoea it can slow things down, in constipation, it moves things through more quickly. It is essential to drink 8 glasses of water per day when taking psyllium hulls as it needs the water to absorb and do its job. Psyllium is suitable to be taken daily if required. 

If you need some relief of constipation in the short-term, our Lower Bowel Stimulant capsules can be taken at a dose of 1-4 capsules. Start on 1 capsule before bed and only increase if you need to, increasing just one capsule at a time to find the right dose for you. An alternative to our Lower Bowel Stimulant if you are wary of Capsicum, is our Cascara capsules – these can be taken at a dose of 1-2 capsules a day and as for the LBS, start on 1 and increase to 2 if needed.

You may also find our slippery elm powder is useful to help soothe and calm irritation in your digestive system – you can take 1 teaspoon of powder in water up to three times daily, or 2 of our slippery elm capsules three times a day. Make sure you are having sufficient fibre in your diet in the way of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrains to assist with bowel health.

Hope this helps and please let us know how you go with these products.