Tag Archives: IBS

7 Tips To Help Ease IBS Symptoms

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!

40 Foods That Are Rich in Insoluble Fiber

Fiber is an integral part of healthy digestion, particularly insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber dissolves in water, helping slow and relax the digestion process, insoluble fiber passes straight through the digestive tract, pushing things along. It helps combats constipation by getting the digestive system moving. Insoluble fiber is responsible for lowering the risk for such digestive complications as hemorrhoids or inflammation. The recommended daily intake of fiber for a healthy adult is about 25-30 grams, three-quarters of which should be the insoluble kind.

The Best Sources of Insoluble Fiber

  1. Artichoke
  2. Dried figs
  3. Psyllium seed husks
  4. Lentils
  5. Kidney beans
  6. Blueberries
  7. Strawberries
  8. Almonds
  9. Walnuts
  10. Split peas
  11. Sunflower seeds
  12. Applesauce
  13. Turnip
  14. Sweet potato
  15. Brussels sprouts
  16. Wheat bran
  17. Whole grains
  18. Popcorn
  19. Prunes
  20. Spinach
  21. Bell peppers
  22. Cabbage
  23. Lettuce
  24. Kale
  25. Collards
  26. Scallions
  27. Peas
  28. Green beans
  29. Black, white and red beans
  30. Flaxseeds
  31. Kernel corn
  32. Eggplants
  33. Potatoes (with skin)
  34. Sesame seeds
  35. Quinoa
  36. Celery
  37. Onions
  38. Apples
  39. Oat bran
  40. Oatmeal

Not Everyone Should Overdo Insoluble Fiber

Increasing insoluble fiber is a great idea for those who are constipated or have trouble with regular bowel movements. While it can be pretty hard to ‘overdo’ fiber, people with certain stomach conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should be careful not to consume too much of it as it may further aggravate their digestive symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your diet if you have IBS or another stomach problem before making changes to your diet.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Keep an eye out for other helpful food lists!



IBS Symptoms, Triggers And Management

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a troublesome condition of the large intestine that causes a variety of unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. IBS sufferers have disrupted digestive rhythms, tending to move food through the tract either too slowly or too quickly resulting in chronic constipation or diarrhea. IBS sufferers experience a range of symptom severity, some with only the occasions stomach upset while others live a more restricted life, always having to know where the nearest washroom is. Fortunately, there are things IBS sufferers can do to better manage their condition and minimize discomfort.

Common Symptoms Of IBS

  • Bloating
  • Bouts of diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain or cramps (that are relieved by using the washroom)
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Gas
  • Upper GI tract discomfort (such as heartburn)
  • Frequent urgent need to use washroom
  • Worsening of symptoms with stress
  • Worsening of symptoms with certain foods

Risk Factors of IBS

Some people may have all these risk factors and never develop irritable bowels while others may fit none of the criteria but still develop the condition. However, those that fall into the following categories are at a higher risk of developing IBS:

  • Age: young people are most often affected by IBS.
  • Gender: IBS is much more prevalent among women.
  • Family history: research points to increased risk if a close family member has IBS.
  • Mental health: those with such conditions as anxiety or depression are at a higher risk for IBS as the stomach and brain are highly connected.

Common IBS Triggers

  1. Stress and anxiety
  2. Certain beverages: alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated drinks
  3. Fatty, fried or processed foods
  4. Dairy products
  5. Spicy foods
  6. Wheat and gluten may be IBS triggers for certain people
  7. Medications such as antibiotics or antidepressants may effect the bowels
  8. Not getting enough exercise

Lifestyle IBS Management Tips

Get Moving

To help control your IBS through diet and lifestyle, be sure to start exercising more if you are sedentary. Regular exercise can help ease some of the symptoms of IBS. Yoga, routine walking and swimming can be especially good activities to try if you have IBS as they are not too strenuous.

Stress Management

With most IBS sufferers high stress levels can lead to flare-ups, so it would certainly be in your best interest to keep your cortisol levels in-check. Try to set aside some time each morning (or when you feel stress rising) to do something you find relaxing such as journeling or going for a little drive with relaxing music. Some IBS sufferers experience some success practicing relaxation techniques.

Diet Modification

Try to follow a healthy diet which works in high fibre fruits and veggies while limiting intake of junk food, dairy, take out, greasy or spicy food. Drink more water (especially to replenish your fluids if you tend toward loose bowel movements regularly).

Probiotics or Medication

Some people with IBS find success with probiotics; taking certain kinds daily may help replenish beneficial gut flora that can be out of balance from irregular washroom habits. Talk to your healthcare professional before beginning probiotics to make sure they are right for you. You should also consult your doctor (or one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians) if your IBS is still uncontrolled after modifying your diet and lifestyle as you may need to look into other treatment options.

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