Thanks to our rushed modern lifestyles and the abundance of heavily processed foods, many of us face stomach troubles at some point in our lives. In some cases, this could be simply a short-term issue, but for between 25 and 45 million people in the USA, the issue is IBS.
IBS, also known as irritable bowel syndrome, can affect individuals of every age and gender, and it can have a significant effect on your life if you don’t manage it.
Many of the main symptoms of IBS include stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, all of which can be both painful and deeply embarrassing if they occur in public.
Luckily, with some small lifestyle changes, you can easily manage the symptoms of IBS and improve your overall quality of life.
If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, or you’re concerned that you have it, then keep reading. We’ll discuss the condition and how you can deal with it to ensure that you get the best possible quality of life.
Research The Condition
Whether you’re given a diagnosis of IBS or you believe you have the condition, it’s vital that you understand what it is and how it can affect your life. IBS is more than just the occasional stomach pain: it is a condition that can present digestive as well as nervous symptoms. If you don’t fully understand it, then you won’t be able to treat it correctly and adapt your lifestyle accordingly. Explore this guide on IBS medication and symptoms from the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine, a leading practice that aims to help those living with this and other conditions. This guide gives you an overview of IBS and how to treat it, so you can start making informed decisions about your health.
Keep A Symptom Diary
Some of the symptoms of IBS could be caused by small habits, such as eating a particular food or doing a specific type of exercise. As such, you need to identify what is triggering your IBS and then try to avoid it when possible. The best way to do this is to keep a diary of your symptoms and combine it with a food and exercise diary. Note down the foods you eat each day, and the exercises you undertake, as well as the IBS symptoms you have to deal with. You can then identify the causes of your symptoms and try to adapt your life to reduce the chances of dealing with IBS when you’re out in public and trying to enjoy yourself.
Adjust Your Diet
The food you put in your body has a significant effect on your IBS and general digestive health. So, if you have IBS or believe that you have it, then you need to look at your diet and try to improve it. Heavily processed snacks, fried foods and ready meals can be bad for your digestion and lead to the symptoms of IBS, as can some other natural ingredients such as dairy products. As such, you should try to reduce your intake of these foods and add more ingredients that can help reduce the symptoms of IBS into your diet. Adding more foods to improve your digestive health could also help you to reduce your weight and sugar intake, as you won’t be eating as many processed foods. Your diet is an important part of your general health and a key part of tackling your IBS, so you need to make sure that you take the time to review it and improve it where possible. You can still treat yourself to your favourite dish every now and then, but by reducing your intake of unhealthy and processed foods, you can improve your health and potentially reduce the worst of your IBS symptoms.
Reduce Your Intake Of Stimulants That Affect Your Digestion
When you’re reviewing your diet, you need to think about more than just the foods you eat. You should also review your intake of stimulants such as caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. Smoking, drinking heavily and consuming a lot of caffeine can all have an effect on your digestive wellbeing and make the symptoms of IBS worse. As such, you should try to cut down on your consumption of these stimulants where possible. All three of these stimulants can be addictive, but cutting the habit can improve your general life and leave you with more money to spend on the things you love. Try to change your habits by switching to a healthier alternative, such as vaping or drinking low-caffeine drinks. It might take some time and hard work, but eventually, you’ll be able to improve your general health and get rid of these stimulants that can cause some of the most embarrassing of the symptoms of IBS.
Change Your Eating Habits
It’s not just what you eat that affects your IBS and general health; how you eat your meals can also lead to problems. For example, if you eat your food too quickly, or skip meals, then you could cause yourself gastric distress that exacerbates your IBS. So, it would help if you tried to engage in healthy eating habits and try to get into a routine of eating slowly and chewing your food enough to improve your digestion. Trying to get into the habit of eating mindfully, sitting down to eat your meals and avoiding skipping meals or rushing your food can also improve other aspects of your life, such as your weight and relationship with food. Modern dining habits, such as eating while walking and replacing full meals with a set of snacks, can cause excess weight and make your IBS worse, so try to improve your diet to reduce the symptoms of IBS and your overall relationship with food.
Try Yoga Moves To Help With Your IBS
Yoga might seem like a great way to exercise and improve your flexibility, but it can also help you to manage your IBS. There are some yoga poses that can help with IBS, so try to practice those and see if they work. Yoga is easy to practice without much training or specialist equipment so that you can try it in the comfort of your own home. If you’re unsure about how to do the poses or want to practice yoga with others, then you could also attend a yoga class. Many classes are designed for specific people, such as older practitioners or those with unique needs, so you can find a yoga class that suits you. There are also online video yoga classes, so if you want to practice at home but also feel like you’re a part of something, then you can try those. With so many options out there, yoga is an accessible way to try and reduce the symptoms of your IBS and general wellness.
Dealing with IBS can be a challenge, but with these handy tips, you can improve your life and reduce the potentially embarrassing symptoms of the condition. If you’re still struggling with IBS after you’ve tried all of these lifestyle changes, or you want to get personalized advice from an expert, then visit your doctor. They can check that your symptoms aren’t something more serious and provide practical advice that’s tailored to your lifestyle and general health so that you can manage your IBS and live your best life.