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10 Tips for Living with IBS

Mahmuda Khatun
Superintendent Pharmacist
"Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be an unpredictable condition to live with. Read our ten tips to help with managing IBS on a daily basis."
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be an unpredictable condition to live with. Luckily, we have ten tips to help with managing IBS on a daily basis.

  1. Know your triggers

Figure out if you have any IBS food triggers by keeping a food diary. Record what you eat and what symptoms you experience, if any. When you know your IBS triggers, you’ll know what foods to avoid.

  1. Take time to relax

If you’re stressed and anxious, you can experience an IBS flare up even if you haven’t eaten any of your trigger foods. Taking time to relax will help with managing IBS.

  1. Drink plenty of water

Dehydration will make you feel worse. If diarrhoea is one of your symptoms, and you experience it regularly, it’s important to replace the water you lose that way too.

  1. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake

As much as you may enjoy your morning coffee or a glass of red wine on a Friday night, they may actually be making your IBS symptoms worse.

  1. Limit the amount of fruit you eat

Although fruit is a crucial part of a healthy diet, it can make irritable bowel syndrome symptoms worse. If you find you suffer with gas and bloating, limiting your fruit intake to three portions a day may help.

  1. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise has been found to provide IBS relief, particularly for those suffering from wind or bloating.

  1. Don’t skip meals

Even though your symptoms may worsen after eating a meal, it’s best not to skip meals. Eating three regular meals is better than going a while without eating and then having a large meal.

  1. Don’t rush when you eat

If you eat quickly, you’re more likely to swallow air and make bloating and gas worse. Lessen bloating after eating by eating slowly and chewing food thoroughly.

  1. Carry medication with you

There are a number of medications that can help with IBS treatment. Antispasmodics relieve abdominal cramps and spasms, laxatives ease constipation and antimotility drugs relieve diarrhoea. Some people find peppermint capsules ease their symptoms. Read more about the benefits of peppermint here.

  1. Try not to worry!

We’ve already mentioned that stress and anxiety can make IBS symptoms worse. Although you may be feeling nervous about going out for dinner, worrying about your IBS might actually be making it worse.