I'll never capitalize cancer

I have alot going on in my life, more than just cancer and chemo. Sure it's a big part of my life right now, but it's not the most important part of my life. You will never see me spell it with a capital "c".

I'm a Wife and Mom. I love my Family. I have good Friends. We do fun stuff and dumb stuff and sometimes we argue and then we laugh again. We go to work and to the grocery store and we go swimming and have birthday parties and get ready for the first day of school.

I keep saying that I don't want ovarian cancer to define me, but sometimes I just can't help it.

A good friend put it this way for me "cancer may be defining your life for the moment, but it is not your entire life. You seem to just make time for it." That made me feel better.

If you want to see it from the beginning, my cancer story begins in March.

The rest of my story is happening now.

Friday, April 18, 2008

April is IBS Awareness Month

When I got involved in this whole diet and nutrition thing as a business, I figured it would be fairly simple. First thing you ask, “Are you taking a multi vitamin?” Pretty basic, we all know that we need to take our vitamins, right?

Then my next question, “Are you pooping everyday?” Gasp! “You know, are you regular?” You’d be amazed at the answers that I get. “Sure, once a week, like clockwork”. Or, “I never know when it will happen, I’m afraid to leave the house”

Maybe that response doesn't surprise you at all. Because you are one of the 20% of adult Americans who suffer with symptoms of IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And symptoms occur more often in women than in men.

April is IBS Awareness Month.

This is how I became aware - I met "Beth". She was looking to lose a few pounds and was there anything that I could recommend to help with the dark circles under her eyes.

“Are you taking a multi vitamin, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep?” The standard questions, no surprises. Then, “Are you pooping everyday?”

She was trying so hard not to cry. I learned that she was taking a prescription for an anxiety disorder. The anxiety was contributing to her IBS. So she also was taking medication for IBS - the cramping and frequent diarrhea - which caused her more anxiety and contributed to her insomnia. The lack of sleep added to her stress so she was prescribed a sleeping pill. A pretty vicious cycle, with a lot of medication.

"Beth" really wanted to get off her meds. She also wanted to be able to plan an evening out to dinner with her friends and family and not have to worry about getting a table near the ladies room. Then go home and get a good night’s sleep.

I started doing some research. Oh my, I had no idea how many people I know who suffer with symptoms of IBS. Everyone is a little different. But there are a lot of similarities. You have your list of triggers – different foods and stress, even hormonal changes. Women seem to have more occurrences during menstruation. IBS symptoms can mimic other disorders. You’ll want to rule those out. Be aware that bleeding, fever, weight loss, and persistent severe pain are not symptoms of IBS and may indicate other problems such as inflammation, or rarely, cancer.

So no self diagnosis please – See your Doctor.

While there is no cure for IBS, you can control the symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes.

Avoid your trigger foods. At the top of the list for most people - caffeine, excessive fats, red meat and often gluten which is in just about everything.

Nutritional supplements are beneficial. Just consider what is going on with your body. Advocare supplements have superior quality ingredients that are backed by a diverse Sci/Med Board and hundreds of non paid Product Endorsers.

You'll need a good multi vitamin like CorePlex that is easily absorbable. If everything is running out of you that quickly, you can bet things are not getting dissolved and you are losing alot of nutrition.

People with chronic diarrhea have a hard time losing weight because of the loss of nutrients. It takes certain nutrients to mobilize fat out of storage.

Whether you have excessive diarrhea or constipation, ReHydrate is an excellent sugar free electrolyte replacement beverage that will rehydrate and help to flush out toxins.

Get a tasty fiber drink and drink it every day. I like Advocare Peaches & Cream Fiber Drink. Sometimes I mix it with Vanilla Muscle Gain - it makes a great afternoon snack!

The OmegaPlex has the omegas from fish oil that will help to heal the linings of your intestines and are just great for overall wellness.

Probiotics are necessary. They are the good bacteria that we all should have in our intestines to help chomp the food as it passes through. Most people get probiotics from yogurt, but for IBS patients, dairy is a trigger food and should be avoided. Probiotic Restore capsules containin live cultures.

Calcium and Magnesium are important in regulating muscle function - contraction and relaxation. Additionally, Calcium has a constipating effect, whereas Magnesium acts as a laxative. Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes have 50% of your RDA of Calcium and 40% RDA of Magnesium. They are easy on your tummy and taste like licking the bowl after you make cake batter

DigestEase contains digestive enzymes such as those from ginger root and papaya and can be helpful when taken right before a meal.

This next one is going to be tough, because you probably are pretty stressed out. Calm down! Relieve stress naturally with A Supreme and Zzz's. Clear Mood will help to boost your Seratonin levels.

Exercise is always a good thing and yoga can be helpful.

You know your body. If something doesn’t feel right, make an appointment to see your Doctor.

Take your vitamins, eat your vegetables, drink plenty of water, exercise everyday and smile.

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