Have you ever experienced having a bad day because of abdominal pain? You’d even experience excessive passing of gas and constipation. It’s tough to go through the day with all those ailments bothering you. How can someone also work correctly with that?
This condition is called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Most people won’t notice that they have this ailment. This syndrome is best characterized as the temporary relief of pain after having a bowel movement.
There are several causes of this syndrome. A common cause of IBS is a severe bacterial infection. Due to bacterial overgrowth, the immune response of the body is to flush out the bacteria by a continuous discharge of bowel to the intestine.
Another possible cause is the weak intestinal contractions. Because of weak contractions, food digestion takes a long time. Prolonged contractions can cause stomach gases and diarrhea.
Stress is said to be a trigger for irritable bowel syndrome. Though it’s not the direct cause, it is a trigger that aggravates the ailment. Food choices and hormonal activity also are triggers for this syndrome.
Though the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are tormenting, there are ways to reduce its impact on you or your loved ones suffering from this disorder. Here are seven ways to help you in managing IBS.
1. Manage Your Stress
Every day, you do things at work or at home that contribute to your rising stress level. It may be from the pile of paperwork that needs to be accomplished. Or perhaps, the unwashed dishes on the sink or the untidy living room is a stressor.
Even relationships with people can create stress in your life. Considering that stress is a trigger for irritable bowel syndrome, you’ll be left with no personal comfort since the disorder will make your free time a bad time.
Moreover, a 2015 study in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine concluded that yoga reduced the symptoms of IBS. Patients who suffer from IBS took yoga classes three times a week and saw the improved quality of life after 12 weeks.
Other studies proved that meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy reduced IBS-related anxiety and its symptoms.
2. Eat Right
Most gastrointestinal disorders are by-products of not eating the right amount of food. The FODMAP (stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) diet is a popular diet patter for IBS patients.
An IBS patient should aim to eat foods with low FODMAP. High FODMAP foods are contributors to IBS. Low FODMAP foods require less digestive power. People with irritable bowel syndrome will benefit from low FODMAP foods.
Before you shift to this diet, consult your doctor and ask him (her) how you can change from your usual diet to this dieting pattern.
Examples of high FODMAP foods are not limited to, the following:
- ripe bananas
- fruit bars
3. Shift to Probiotics
In your intestine, there is a group of organisms that help in your digestion. These guys are called probiotics. They help you digest your food, and of course, some of them consume the nutrients that your body doesn’t need.
An excellent way to reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is to get more probiotics. With more good bacteria in your intestine, the happier tummy you have.
Think of these bacteria as the “good guys.” They signal your intestine and say, “Hey, take these nutrients I picked.” With the right amount of probiotics, IBS’ symptoms can be reduced and managed.
The best source of probiotics is yogurt. You can buy yogurt at the grocery. It may be pricey, but it’s a yummy way to reduce the painful side effect of IBS.
You can also take a natural health supplement like Ultra Omega Burn to help with IBS issues.
4. Take Note of Trigger Foods
When experiencing IBS, try to remember the last food you ate over the previous 24 hours. Or better yet, take a regular accounting of all your food intakes and take note of those that resulted in a subsequent IBS.
This is a non-medicinal way of treating IBS, but knowing what triggers IBS can help you make wise food choices. It’ll be hard in the first weeks. If you know certain trigger foods, take note of them.
But, this process will be purely experimentation. Whenever you eat something new, try to input them on your phone or diary. If you had an IBS after a day, then the food you ate might’ve triggered the disorder.
5. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Water is your best friend. Try avoiding alcohol and coffee for a while. You also have no excuse for sodas. Just be contented with water. Carbonated drinks can worsen your stomach cramps during IBS.
It’s best to avoid drinks with caffeine because caffeine stimulates the intestine, which could worsen your IBS.
They say that proper exercise can increase the level of dopamine in the body. Dopamine is your happy hormone. With exercise, the IBS patient can reduce IBS-related anxiety and depression. In effect, the intestines will contract normally.
However, it is best practice to gradually shift your body from a prolonged resting state to an active state. If you’ve been inactive for a long time, don’t perform advanced exercise routines. Start slow and observe how your body adapts.
7. Try High-Fiber Foods
Though fiber is good for constipation, it is not good for stomach gas and diarrhea. But that’s not the end of the world. Fiber can help but slowly introduce it to your stomach. Don’t overeat fiber-rich food and expect good results the next day.
The body cannot digest fiber, so it remains pretty much the same until you excrete them during bowel. Fiber can help in reducing watery bowels. If you’ve been experiencing watery stools as a result of IBS, try introducing fiber.
Irritable bowel syndrome can be a disorder that can affect the physical and psychological state of a person. Its symptoms can cause physical pain and mental distress to the patient suffering from IBS. That’s why people with IBS should be given extra care and understanding.
Now that you know how to reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, you can now manage your IBS without constant help from the doctor or maybe help a loved one who is suffering from it.
Jack Seal is a fanatic reader and ‘experimenter’ of the latest diet fads and tips to see what works and what doesn’t. As someone who had weight issues since young, he has come a long way to get into his current fit form.