Being a sufferer of IBS I can tell you life is not a bed of roses. Most of my days are hit and miss if I wake up with symptoms of IBS or eat something I’m sensitive to or stressed or eat to much. In other words a pain in the gut! Well today I has a bad episode as I went to a restaurant and ate a dish with hidden garlic in it! So now I have a bloated, inflamed bowel with diarrhoea.
I know there are a lot of you out there that wonder show to cope day-to-day with the symptoms of IBS. So here are some of my tips.
Bloated Gassy Tummy
These tricks usually help when I’ve eaten something by mistake and as a result have a swollen stomach.
- Peppermint tea- no sugar just hot water and tea
- Peppermint capsules (pure 100% oil)
- Hot water to drink
- Lying down with your legs flat helps your stomach to stretch out and move things along.
- Exercise -I sometimes find gentle exercise such as a brisk walk or jog helps. I know the last thing you want to do is move it helps
- Have a warm bath with some lavender
- East clean simple, non irritating food. Avoid: Coffee, spice, sugar, garlic, onion or heavy starches.
- Flaxseed (Ground Flaxseed can be sprinkled on cereal or put in dishes)
For constipation you will need a balance between soluble and insoluble fibre.
- Ginger tea
- I usually find coffee helps but for some it could be too much
Soluble fibre absorbs water into the bowel and combines with fatty acids to create a gel like substance which in turn makes the stool soft and easy to pass.
- Ispaghula husk* (adds bulk and moisture. This is also used as a preventative of constipation)
- Pumpkin Kernels*
- Chia Seeds*
- Nuts (Some are suitable for low FODMAP)
*Suitable for low FODMAP
Insoluble fibre adds bulk and moisture to the stool enabling it to move throughout the passage faster and easier.
- whole wheat
- whole grain
- corn bran
- seeds* (Some are suitable for low FODMAP)
- brown rice*
- green beans*
- dark leafy vegetables*
- raisins (Small quantities for low FODMAP)
- fruit* (Some are suitable for low FODMAP)
*Sutiable for low FODMAP
When you have diarrhoea you need to slow the digestive system down, which would be the opposite to constipation. Here what to eat:
- Banana (contains pectin which is an insoluble finer which absorbs moisture and inulin which is a prebiotic which put good bacteria in the gut. It also contains potassium which replaces electrolytes)
- White toast
- Blueberries (to stop inflammation)
- Peppermint tea
- Steamed Chicken
Emotions & Anxiety
We all have good days and bad days, but some more than others. If you know you have IBS the best thing you can do is ask yourself ‘What am I anxious about?’ or ‘Why do I feel this way?’ if the answer is I don’t know, I’m happy in life and I have people that care about me, then you will know it is down to your hormones as a result of your IBS. It’s OK it is perfectly normal to feel like this, but you need to pull yourself out of it, when I get like this I:
- Exercise, this will realise endorphins, which is the happy hormone, you will feel much better after a gentle jog or walk.
- Talk to a close friend or family member, preferably optimistic conversation. Remember you want to lighten your mood not dwell on your current emotions.
- Go outside, walk your dog or go to a coffee shop with a friend and relax.
- Pets. This is a big one, but if you don’t have a pet, it might be a good idea to get one. They calm people and when I’m feeling blue I know my dog will always get me on my feet and demand a walk and after I always feel much better.
- If you have anxiety take a deep breath and drink some lavender tea or smell lavender. It will automatically relax you.
- Overall the worst thing you can do is stay and home and slip deeper and deeper into your thoughts and feeling. GET MOVING!
I always get hunger and crave sugar when I have an IBS attack. Unfortunatly no one knows why but it is regularly reported that IBS sufferers get hungrier and have a tendency to crave sugar. My best advice is don’t cave in as this can cause weight gain.
Do you have any tips on how to cope with your IBS symptoms, post a comment!