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7 Tips To Help Ease IBS Symptoms

Written by Courteney

Posted on April 5, 2017 at 1:08 am

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common and troublesome gastrointestinal condition afflicting between 25 and 45 million Americans. IBS can cause a whole host of frustrating digestive symptoms such as chronic constipation, diarrhea, gas, distension or cramping. Even though it isn’t life-threatening and doesn’t increase your risk of more serious stomach problems, IBS can negatively impact quality of life. So, what can be done? Aside from working with your doctor to find medical treatment that works for you, there are a few things you can do to help ease those symptoms:

  1. Keep a food diary – By keeping track of everything you’re eating you will likely be able to identify triggers that you didn’t realize you had before, as well as foods that seem to help ease your symptoms.
  2. Avoid triggers – Stress is a big trigger for many IBS sufferers, so try your best to control your stress and anxiety levels. Examples of common IBS food triggers include: caffeine, alcohol, onions, red peppers, spicy foods, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, wheat and milk products.
  3. Hydrate! It can be hard to ensure you reach the recommended daily water quota, but it is especially important if you have IBS, as water promotes easier digestion and helps your body filter toxins.
  4. Check your fiber – While fiber is essential for healthy digestion, too much fiber can be a problem for some IBS sufferers, causing unwanted gas and bloating. Alternately, many IBS sufferers find extra fiber helpful to help ease constipation. How much fiber you should take in depends on your own personal bowel situation.
  5. Try some peppermint – Certain studies have proven peppermint to help symptoms of IBS better than a placebo, so it may help to try drinking some peppermint to see if it improves your symptoms. Be aware that if you suffer from GERD or heartburn, peppermint can sorely exacerbate those symptoms.
  6. Yoga for your belly The gentle movements of yoga and Tai chi have proven beneficial for easing symptoms of IBS (and other conditions) by reducing pain, easing stress and promoting healthier digestion.
  7. Practice caution with medication – Even some anti-diarrheal medications may cause unwanted effects on someone with IBS such as constipation, similarly, anti-constipation medications may cause dependency so, be sure to discuss any medications with your doctor first.

Check out some more helpful IBS tips in our post: IBS Symptoms, Triggers and Management!

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