We all have digestive issues from time to time, but there are those for whom this is a serious issue. These people may struggle with a sensitive digestion system such that it seems no matter what they do they have to deal with various IBS symptoms that can affect their lifestyles in different ways. If you regularly experience constipation, bloating and diarrhea, get checked for IBS. If you are diagnosed with the syndrome, here are a few things you can do and changes you can make to manage and cope with its symptoms better.
Make Dietary Changes
Although how and whether different foods make IBS symptoms worse, some people have severe symptoms after consuming certain foods and drinks. These are called dietary triggers and can cause an IBS flare up depending on the individual.
Cereals and bread containing refined grains are a common trigger for a lot of people; whole grains are less of an issue for many people. Grains that contain gluten can also cause symptoms. Gluten causes these reactions in those who have Coeliac disease, an immune reaction to the protein, or gluten intolerance. A gluten free diet plan that eliminates grains such as wheat, barley and rye can help.
Another common trigger is insoluble fibre. While soluble fibre is great for your overall digestive health, insoluble fibre can lead to issues such as constipation in some. Switching to foods high in soluble fibre like fruits can help.
Other foods and drinks to avoid include caffeinated drinks; foods known to cause gas, such as beans; foods that have a high fat content, such as fried foods; and dairy products such as milk. Since triggers can be different for everyone, try to experiment with different foods, eliminating those that cause an IBS flare up. You can also talk to a nutritionist who can advise you on which dietary changes to make.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can trigger digestive issues even in those who have not been diagnosed with IBS. However, the worry that causes stress and anxiety can make things worse for those with the syndrome, and there are numerous sources in our daily lives. We stress over our jobs, families, finances and not having a firm handle on various aspects of our lives. We can also be stressed about upcoming events or even our daily commutes.
There are many ways to deal with everyday stress, including meditating, getting a massage, talking to a loved one and many others. Once you start coping with your stress better you are likely to see reduced IBS symptoms.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Numerous studies show that exercising regularly can reduce instances of IBS flare ups and the severity of the symptoms if it happens. Exercise is also a great way of reducing stress, which is an IBS symptom trigger for some. Exercise can also help you sleep better, leading to further stress reduction.
Although it can be a serious condition, irritable bowel syndrome does not have to be devastating for you. There are various ways of dealing with and managing its symptoms, and you just have to find a combination that works for you.