Relaxation Techniques To Manage Ibs Symptoms
Youve been to a healthcare provider and youve had all of the tests. The diagnosis youve been given is irritable bowel syndrome or IBS now what?
Your health care provider may have suggested that your IBS is stress-related. In no way does this mean that your symptoms are all in your head. Rather, your healthcare provider is referring to the ways in which the brain and digestive system communicate and interact with each other, commonly referred to as the brain-gut connection. In response to either a significant physical or a psychological stressor , a disturbance in these complex interactions often can lead to the first onset of symptoms or aggravate symptoms you are already having.
Given that IBS is a disorder of brain-gut and mind-body interactions, many individuals find symptom relief and an improved sense of well-being when they incorporate simple relaxation techniques into their daily lives. Although stress is inevitable, if not managed well, it can become detrimental to ones physical and emotional health. Thus, a regular practice of deep relaxation is associated with several health benefits including:
- a reduction of generalized anxiety,
- increased energy levels and productivity,
- improved concentration and memory,
- increased sense of self-confidence, and
- reduced muscle tension.
Here is a description of three widely used relaxation exercises:
Feeling Your Way Away From Ibs Flare Ups
Sometimes symptoms can linger until an emotional issue has been removed or understood by your conscious mind and in order to treat IBS, IBS patients can start to record all the symptoms of IBS and also their IBS medications with how they are feeling in a food and mood diary.
It’s important to record all of the painful bowel spasms, gastrointestinal disorders, ibs flare up, tricyclic antidepressants and ensure that your dietary management is on point also. If you have any painful abdominal muscles that hurt during the process, when ensuring that trigger foods have been removed then you should seriously consider a low FODMAP diet along with other alternative elimination diets and see if an IBS flare up happens again.
Then start re-introducing foods that you originally cut out, one by one in order to see if your body gives an IBS flare up so you can determine if the food that you re-introduced was the cause of the IBS flare up. If this seems to worsen symptoms then you know you’re on the right path with the right methods. You rightly so then may seem to find that after being on the FODMAP diet for a minimum of 6 weeks your gastrointestinal disorders seem to begin to heal themselves naturally and become less functional gastrointestinal disorders and more of a diet modification exersise or experiment as you see huge improvements.
What Causes Ibs Flare Ups
An IBS flare up can last anywhere from a few hours to months. Some things that may cause a flare up are stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Eating trigger foods or FODMAPs can also cause IBS flare ups.
A gastrointestinal infection may also cause IBS flare ups and worsen the other symptoms.
There are quite a few typical symptoms of an IBS flare up, which include:
Bloating or swelling of the abdomen.
Anxiety or depression.
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How To Calm An Ibs Flare Up Top 5 Tips
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This common problem, which affects the large intestine, isnt serious but does cause distressing symptoms such as abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence and a change in bowel habits diarrhoea, constipation or alternation between the two. Most people with irritable bowel syndrome find that they can learn to control their condition and improve their symptoms greatly just by taking a few simple measures to calm an IBS flareup. So here is your top 5 tips on how to calm an IBS flare-up.
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Here Are A Few Options:
I can attest to the helpfulness of this remedy. Ginger has the ability to in the gut and soothe nausea. You can use ginger in lemon water or you can add it to other drinks that do not irritate your gut. I personally use fresh ginger root in my water every morning.
While some fibers, insoluble fibers to be exact, exasperate symptoms, other fibers, soluble fibers, such as flaxseed, actually provide relief. Soluble fibers such as flaxseed and also provides helpful fatty acids.
Fruits like bananas are considered simple carbohydrates, which means they are easy to digest. You can eat these fruits instead of rich desserts which usually include sugars or dairy.
4. Plain meats
If you eat proteins such as meats, you should eat them with only a small amount of seasoning or condiments. For example, Himalayan salt can be used to season poultry, beef or seafood.
Although this may not seem as tasty as what youre used to, its a good start to healing your gut. You can move on to more seasoning choices later on.
Ingestion of yogurt is probably the safest choice in dairy consumption. Although it is dairy, it also has beneficial cultures that help heal and keep the digestive system working correctly.
Treatment Options To Relieve And Prevent Symptoms Of Ibs Attacks
IBS is a common condition that can negatively affect ones quality of life . For many IBS patients, symptoms arrive in well-defined episodes, lasting, 2-5 days on average . These episodes, or IBS attacks, interfere with work, family life, friends, and self-confidence.
The good news is theres lots to be learned from recent IBS research, including strategies that can help you to reduce and even avoid symptoms of IBS attack. Read on to learn more about how to ease these symptoms and get your life back on track.
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How Can Chronic Pain In Ibs Be Managed
When pain is chronic it takes time for it to go away. Because pain is an emotional experience, taking steps to improve emotions can lead to reduction of the harmful effects of the pain even when it is still present.
Maintaining an active role in life, engaging in physical activity, and addressing emotional and social health are important to help promote a sense of well-being, which counters negative expectations.
Psychological approachesPsychological approaches harness the minds own ability to affect pain sensations by sending signals, thoughts or nerve impulses, which close the pain gate.
There are many of these techniques, ranging from hypnosis to relaxation therapies to meditation to cognitive-behavioral therapy. They can help ease symptoms and restore a sense of control over the disorder.
Medications Anticholinergic agents taken before meals may provide short-term reduction of abdominal pain after meals. The newer gut-targeted medications treat multiple symptoms, including pain, in IBS with diarrhea and IBS with constipation .
When the above mentioned medications do not adequately treat the pain, centrally targeted medications may be tried. They can be used in addition to other IBS medications and are prescribed to provide long-term relief of severe chronic pain.
Try An Elimination Diet
Its important to identify your individual triggers. To do this, your doctor may recommend an elimination diet. This involves:
- removing certain foods and drinks from your diet
- monitoring your symptoms for improvement
- slowly reintroducing these foods one at a time
Keep a food journal to track what you eat and drink and log any IBS symptoms you develop. This technique helps pinpoint foods or beverages that cause your attacks.
An elimination diet might reveal a gluten sensitivity. If so, maintaining a gluten-free diet may improve your symptoms. If you introduce wheat, barley, or rye back into your diet, your symptoms could return.
Similarly, your symptoms may improve if you avoid high-gas vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.
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When Will Ibs Symptoms Go Away
How long symptoms last varies from person to person. As you work on your diet, remember to also work on lowering stress. Even when youre eating perfectly, high stress may make your symptoms stick around, Moshiree said.
When you do start to feel better, Moshiree warns against rushing back to eating foods that you know make your symptoms worse sample only in small amounts. Thats an individual thing you have to determine on your own.
If you eat a healthy diet and learn what to avoid when symptoms strike, you should be better able to manage your IBS.
Additional reporting by Ashley Welch
Manage Your Stress And Anxiety
As mentioned earlier, people with IBS have an overly sensitive gut with unpredictable digestive symptoms.
This unpredictability is highly stressful and anxiety-provoking.
Yet, this stress and anxiety can make digestive symptoms worse.
It can be seen as an unpleasant feedback loop.
For this reason, practicing ways to manage stress and anxiety helps to keep on top of IBS symptoms in the long term.
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Be Your Own Nutrition Detective
Get to know your body. Record your food intake and symptoms for one week. Record when and how much you ate and drank. At the same time, record your gastrointestinal symptoms. Noting the onset, reaction and severity of the symptoms will you identify the “trigger” food that may not be kind to your gut.
Stay Away From Known Trigger Foods
The foods that bring on IBS attacks can differ from person to person however, some foods are pretty universal to IBS flare-ups, including:
You may also find that staying away from dairy makes you feel better, too. If you cant handle milk, try yogurt or soy, or simply decrease the quantity of dairy products you eat and drink.
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What Causes Irritable Bowel Attacks
The most frustrating thing is that even when you are doing everything right you may still get an attack of IBS. Commonly its due to eating something that didnt agree with you, or something that happened to upset you.
You may often link your IBS symptoms to something you ate, but it could also be related to how you were feeling. We know that our mental state has a large part to play in digestive symptoms.
- Stress When were stressed we will have less energy for digestion, which means foods arent broken down as well by the process of digestion, so they cause bloating and sensitivity. This could be coupled with pain, and either diarrhoea or constipation.
- Lack of sleep when were tired we feel more pain so you may be more sensitive to symptoms. We also tend to eat more sugary, carb heavy foods when tired which can affect gut health. Related post Sleep and Gut Health
- Diet Eating something that doesnt agree with you this will be different for everyone, but could be too much fibre, coffee, alcohol, sweeteners, dairy, high protein diet, processed foods.
- Menstrual cycle women may find symptoms worse just before or around their period.
Best Ways To Battle Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Get to know your triggers and ways to prevent flare-ups.
|Images: Thinkstock Irritable bowel syndrome may be due to an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine or nerve problems.|
Cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation are tough to handle at any time. But if a combination of these symptoms occurs over three or more months, you may have a condition called irritable bowel syndrome . It’s the most common diagnosis made by gastroenterologists, accounting for as many as 3.5 million physician visits per year. “I see someone with this condition every day,” says gastroenterologist Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
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The Ibs Buzzword: Fodmaps
The hot topic in flare-ups for irritable bowel syndrome is a group of poorly digested sugars and fibers called FODMAPs. The most common food sources of FODMAPs are wheat, rye, onions, garlic, legumes, dairy products, honey, apples, watermelons, peaches, apricots, blackberries, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. These molecules are digested by gut bacteria, which produce gas and bloating. It’s worth it to reduce these foods to see if your symptoms improve.
Increasing evidence, including a study in the January 2014 Gastroenterology, shows that a diet low in FODMAPs helps to tame IBS symptoms. “I’ve definitely seen this work. In fact, I’ve been using it to help people for a long time,” says gastroenterologist Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Other research shows that FODMAPs may even be the reason why diets low in gluten help relieve symptoms of people who believe they have gluten sensitivitydigestive problems triggered by gluten, a protein found in some whole grains such as barley, rye, and wheat.
Unfortunately, some of the foods that are high in FODMAPslike many fruits and vegetablesalso contain health-promoting chemicals. That’s why it’s best to work with a dietician to develop a low-FODMAP menu that fits your lifestyle.
Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder in which your gut becomes more sensitive and the muscles of your digestive system have abnormal contractions that affect your bowel movements. IBS cannot be cured, but the good news is it can be managed to minimize the effect on your overall health and quality of life. This report explores how your digestive system works and what science knows about this mysterious disorder. Well cover the types of IBS, how its diagnosed, and best of all, what you can do to control IBS instead of having it control you.
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Breathe Deeply And Relax
Your body’s natural stress response can have a dramatic effect on your IBS, triggering the release of stress hormones that can increase IBS symptoms. There are several ways you can deal with this:
- Breathing deeply not only helps calm the nerves, it sends powerful messages to the brain, telling it that everything is okay and that there is no need for an emergency response.
- Pranayama breathing, a yoga practice in which you control the flow and pace of your breathing, is especially useful. It is often incorporated into certain meditation practices.
- Guided imagery is another relaxation technique in which you create mental images to stimulate calm feelings and, by doing so, gently shift your thoughts from the areas of physical discomfort.
Foods To Avoid If You Have Ibs
Digestive troubles are the butt of many jokes, but discomfort in the lowergastrointestinal tract is no laughing matter. In fact, its quitefrustrating for the millions of Americans wrestling with these ratherunpleasant symptoms.
About 10 to 15 percent of Americans suffer fromirritable bowel syndrome , a chronic condition that can cause bloating, gas, abdominal pain andchanges in bowel habits.
While there is no cure for IBS,Dr. Linda Leesays there are certain foods and medications that can make symptoms worse.Avoiding the following foods may bring some relief:
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Home Remedies For Ibs Management
When it comes to home remedies, peppermint oil and probiotics based on bifidobacteria taken before the meals have helped many patients in reducing their pain.
Probiotics help stimulate wave-like muscular contractions in the digestive tract, which are responsible for pushing the feces forward toward the exit point of the colon.
Some of the best dietary sources of probiotics include fermented foods such as pickles and sauerkraut as well as regular or Greek yogurt that is without any added sugars and low in fat.
An Overload Of Bad Bacteria In The Gut
IBS can also occur due to a disruption of the gut microbiome, says Dr. Singh. An imbalance of good versus bad bacteria can cause symptoms of IBS.
Also, be aware of hard-to-digest foods.
While there is no exact cause of an IBS flare up, most symptoms tend to worsen after a person consumes food that is difficult to digest, Dr. Sonpal explains. Some of these foods include processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and dairy products.
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