IBS symptoms are not only embarrassing but can be excruciatingly painful. Bloating, constipation and cramps can ruin the best of days. Don’t despair, there are many things that you can try at home that can actually help improve the symptoms associated with this chronic condition.
Get Your Running Shoes On!
There is no secret to the huge benefits of exercising and this is especially true when it comes to IBS. Exercise is known to help alleviate depression and relieve stress but it can also stimulate peristalsis, which is the motion prior to bowel movements. IBS symptoms are often reduced once a bowel movement has occurred. Exercise will help keep you regular, and therefore reduce the chance of gas buildup and pain in the stomach. Aim for 20 mins of exercise per day where possible, if this is too ambitious then try reducing the time. The point is, do something, no matter for how long.
Stock Up On The Fiber
Fiber is an essential part of our diet to ensure that we maintain regular bowel movements. Fiber can be found in a variety of different foods including oats, pears, split green peas, lentils, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and bananas. If your diet is lacking in these health food options, then there are a range of healthy fiber supplements available over the counter from your local pharmacy. Research suggests that fiber over bran is a preferred option when it comes to treating IBS symptoms as it appears more effective for dealing with cramping, constipation, and gas.
Reduce the Dairy
For some IBS sufferers, dairy food groups can be a killer when it comes to triggering the painful symptoms. Generally speaking, the inclusion of dairy within your daily diet already has a big question mark hanging over it. For many, who may be lactose intolerant, then it is already a big no-no. There seems to be a common theme in the health industry that cutting out dairy is a good thing and can help reduce the symptoms of IBS. The FODMAP diet is one that is low in dairy and has shown positive success in clinical trials in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Luckily, there are many other options out there in the market including soya, almond, oat, and rice milk.
De-Stress and Relax
Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of IBS so it is important to ensure that you manage your stress levels and learn to relax. Here are some key ways in which you can help manage stress:
- Enjoy warm baths filled with lavender oil
- Cut out caffeine and opt for herbal tea
- Go to sleep earlier
- Cut out alcohol
- Meditate and practice mindfulness
- Exercise often
- Do Yoga
Whatever method you choose, try to keep a positive frame of mind and a positive can-do attitude. As Gandhi put it – “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny”.
IBS doesn’t have to control your life. There are things that you can do to ensure that it doesn’t take over and ruin your every day. By being food aware, staying active and remaining positive, you are well on your way to learning to live with this chronic condition that afflicts millions of people all over the world.