Have you ever noticed how your bowel reacts in certain situations? You might be in the middle of a weekend movie marathon with friends when a sudden attack of diarrhea causes you to suddenly disappear and miss the weekend fun. Maybe you are enjoying a cool date with your loved one when out of nowhere, a bout of abdominal cramping distracts the intimate moment. Well, irritable bowel syndrome can truly be a culprit, causing you so much embarrassment in no time.
Irritable bowel syndrome is classified as a functional bowel disorder that mainly affects many Westerners, especially in the United States. In the age of packaged and fast food, we have become so ignorant that we do not even think of the benefits and effects of the food to our body. Young adults with poor diet and lifestyle are most commonly affected with IBS-- a disorder of the intestinal tract, particularly the colon. Although the cause is unknown, irritable bowel syndrome is thought to result from abnormal gastrointestinal tract movements and an increased awareness of normal bodily functions. While it is not a contagious disorder, it is estimated that 20% of adults in the U.S. have symptoms of IBS. Common symptoms include abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation, presence of mucus in the stool, diarrhea, gassiness and altered bowel habits. These symptoms may worsen during stress or menses in women. IBS can be quite painful to those who are afflicted with severe symptoms.
For those who have mild cases of IBS, making healthy dietary choices can be an effective remedy for the disorder. However, it can be disheartening that there is actually no cure for IBS. Although there is no particular treatment for the disorder, there are several treatments that attempt to alleviate its symptoms. Papaya aids digestion because it contains papain which is often used as a meat tenderizer. Containing 212 amino acids, papain acts as an anti-inflammatory and has a mild soothing effect on the stomach. This is why papaya is very beneficial for relieving symptoms of irritable bowel symptoms or IBS. Due to papain’s enzyme properties, food digest faster hence there is less chance of acid reflux. Papaya is a rich source of the proteolytic enzymes that enable the digestion of protein. These enzymes have also demonstrated effectiveness in treating ulcers. Also, they help protect the body against heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and macular degeneration. Papain is also effective in curbing swelling and fever that develops post-surgery. Aside from the enzymes that aid digestion, papaya also contains additional nutritional benefits. Papayas are rich in dietary fiber, foliate, potassium and vitamins A, C, E and K. In addition, these papaya properties also support the immune system and promote lung health. Since the medical community has not yet established the in-depth causes of IBS, it is highly probable that there are no existing cures yet for the disorder. At this stage, resorting to papaya can just be the perfect remedy for IBS.