How To Reduce The Effects Of Ibs
Irritable bowel syndrome can be an upsetting disorder. Regular trips to the bathroom may be embarrassing, and the physical effects of IBS – including abdominal pain and gas/bloating – can have an effect on anxiety as well, especially those with health anxiety/panic attacks.
Because IBS has no known cause, it also has no known cure, other than reducing your anxiety. In some people, IBS may simply disappear – especially after anxiety treatments. In others, it may be necessary to make lifestyle changes that help you manage your IBS so that the symptoms stop disrupting your life.
For those in a constant struggle with IBS, try the following strategies to reduce the way irritable bowel syndrome affects your life. These strategies may not cure IBS altogether, but they can make living with the condition far more bearable:
Finally, the most important thing you can do to decrease your IBS symptoms is to prevent your anxiety. You can’t expect to treat IBS if you still suffer from stress and anxiety on a regular basis.
IBS is a syndrome, not an illness. It’s caused by stress and anxiety and made worse by stress and anxiety. Only by curing your anxiety can you expect to manage it.
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Work With Your Doctor
There is no need to suffer in silence. By working with a doctor, you can better pinpoint the peculiarities of your IBS and find strategiescombining lifestyles, stress relief, and medicationsthat may offer better and more sustainable control of your IBS symptoms.
There is an ever-widening range of medications able to treat both diarrhea-predominant IBS and constipation-predominant IBS. These include antispasmodics to alleviate cramping, bile acid binders to reduce diarrhea, and osmotic laxatives to relieve constipation.
What Is The Outlook For A Person With Ibs
Because irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disease, symptoms usually return from time to time. This may be influenced by factors such as stress, diet, or other environmental causes. No known treatment cures IBS. Multiple factors may play a role in aggravating the syndrome, so it is difficult to predict what triggers may make it worse in a particular person. Establishing a good relationship with a health-care professional may help alleviate concerns over symptoms and allow rapid recognition of changing or worsening symptoms.
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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.
Family Doctor Dawn Harper On The Questions To Ask
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gut disorder that will affect up to one in five people in the UK at some stage in their life. Symptoms can vary, from abdominal pain and bloating to bouts of diarrhoea and/or constipation. There is no cure for IBS, but symptoms can often be eased with treatment.
We asked GP Dr Dawn Harper what she would want to know if she was diagnosed with IBS.
Is my diet causing my IBS?Keep a food diary. Writing down everything you eat and when symptoms flare up can be enlightening. Dairy products and wheat are common triggers of IBS, but beware of excluding these foods permanently. Cut them out in the short term and continue your symptom diary. If your symptoms disappear, these foods may have been responsible.
Remember, stress and routine can play a significant role in IBS, so re-challenge your system a few weeks later to see if the symptoms recur. If youre considering eliminating a food group from your diet long term, speak to a dietitian about how to replace the lost nutrients.
What other factors can affect my condition?Eat regularly. Missing meals then binging will make your symptoms worse. Try to sit down to eat. Eating on the move isnt good for your digestive system.
How can I manage my stress levels?This may be easier said than done, but try making a note of stressful situations that trigger your IBS. You wont be able to avoid some stresses, but putting them down on paper may help you to identify the ones you can do something about.
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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.
Tip : Manage Your Stress
Stress-related symptomslike abdominal pain and bloatingoccur more often and more intensely in people with IBS. Managing the stress in your life is important in avoiding flare-ups.
There are several effective methods for stress management that can improve IBS symptoms, including deep breathing and yoga. The secret is to breathe from your diaphragm, not your chest, to relax your abdominal muscles. Doing so can lead to more regular bowel activity.
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A Word From Mindset Health
An IBS flare-up can be frustrating and may cause a range of digestive symptoms. If youâre experiencing a flare, there are several at-home remedies you can try, such as gut-directed hypnotherapy, removing high-FODMAP foods from your diet, heat therapy, avoiding caffeine, exercising, and reducing stress. You may also wish to talk to your healthcare provider about medications to treat IBS symptoms and check that another condition isnât causing your digestive symptoms.
Prevention Is The Only Cure When It Comes To Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Written by Dr Anitha Anchan | Updated : January 14, 2016 10:53 AM IST
Irritable bowel syndrome is not a disease. It is a group of symptoms caused by changes in the functions of your intestines, without any structural problems. The common symptoms of IBS include stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation and bloating and gas. Living with IBS can get tough as the symptoms may worsen over time and lead to other conditions like hemorrhoids.
IBS can be prevented in two ways either avoid the risk factors or the triggers to prevent symptoms of IBS.
The exact cause of IBS is not known, so there isn t much you can do to avoid it. Risk factors like age, sex and genetics are beyond one s control. But you can avoid some factors like stress, psychiatric disorders, stomach infection, fibromyalgia and alcohol consumption that put you at a risk of IBS. )
Preventing the symptoms of IBS
Some physical as well as mental health problems can trigger IBS. The best way to prevent symptoms of IBS is avoiding the triggers. Diet and lifestyle modifications can go a long way in preventing the symptoms of IBS. The best way to keep the symptoms away is to avoid complex carbohydrates and pulses, smoking and alcohol.
1. Yang T-Y, Chen C-S, Lin C-L, Lin W-M, Kuo C-N, Kao C-H. Risk for Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Fibromyalgia Patients: A National Database Study. Zapata. E, ed. Medicine. 2015;94:e616. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000000616.
Image source: Shutterstock
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Ibs Symptoms Should Be Considered When Choosing Migraine Medications
When I have a person with symptoms that sound like IBS, I usually recommend that they see a gastroenterologist to be evaluated, says Spears.
If you see two different specialists for your migraine and IBS, make sure to tell each doctor about the medications you are taking and the symptoms you are experiencing, he says. There are some medications used for migraine that may exacerbate IBS symptoms, such as constipation or diarrhea.
The treatment plan for migraine can depend on the symptoms of the IBS, says Spears.
If constipation is a symptom, Ill try to stay away from migraine preventives that are going to promote that, such as some of the tricyclic antidepressants or calcium channel blockers. If the person is prone to diarrhea and has a hard time keeping things down, Ill stay away from certain antidepressants such as SNRIs , which tend to speed the gut up, he says.
Is There A Test To Diagnose Ibs
IBS can be difficult to diagnosis. It is called a diagnosis of exclusion, which means a doctor considers many other alternatives first, performing tests to rule out other medical problems. Some of these tests may include laboratory studies, imaging studies , and endoscopy and/or colonoscopy). An endoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible tube with a tiny camera at one end is passed into the GI tract while the patient is under conscious sedation. A combination of history, physical examination, and selected tests are used to help diagnose irritable bowel syndrome.
There are two relatively new blood tests that may help diagnose irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea and constipation . These tests are for anti-CdtB and anti-vinculin antibodies that are thought to develop in some patients after an acute bout of stomach flu caused by several different, common types of bacterium. The overgrowth of these bacteria in the gut may trigger an immune attack on an individuals own intestinal tissues with the ensuing inflammation and damage to the tissues, which cause signs and symptoms of IBS.
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Strategies To Improve Migraine And Ibs
As stress and anxiety increase, so do episodes of IBS and migraine, Dr. DeVito says. To help reduce stress, try to identify and defuse its sources, such as finances, work, or relationships. Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, and overeating. Instead, eat healthfully, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and drink plenty of water.
There are also some natural options that can sometimes benefit both disorders, says Spears. Often people who have both may try these approaches with their migraine and find that their IBS responds, too, he says.
How To Banish Irritable Bowel Syndrome And Stop It Ruining Your Life With These Easy Tips
Thousands suffer from irritable bowel syndrome but there are things that can be done to tackle the symptoms
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is whats known as a functional disorder, so an X-ray of the gut would show no obvious problem and there is no single cause.
Its thought that in people with IBS, the gut is simply more sensitive, but experts still dont know why.
Its been suggested it could be triggered by an infection, such as gastroenteritis, or overuse of antibiotics or other drugs, typically anti-inflammatories.
Symptoms may come and go at different times in your life so its a question of learning to manage the condition.
What’s in our guide:
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Try To Continue Your Day As Normal
It can be so tempting to try and avoid everything when you have a flare-up and thats totally understandable because you dont want to face anyone or risk an embarrassing moment but continual avoidance can make things worse. It causes a hypersensitivity cycle where the more you avoid, the more anxious you become about certain events when they are unavoidable. If you already are avoiding certain things at work due to fear then you may want to try some behavioural experiments in order to conquer these situations with more confidence.
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.
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Day Low Fodmap Meal Plan
A tasty 7 day meal plan with over 25 healthy meals for easing IBS flares
What to eat during an IBS flare
Some people may find that eating foods lower in FODMAPs during a flare up of IBS can improve symptoms.
Example foods are chicken, tofu, oats, eggs, grapes, melon, potato, rice, peppers, broccoli and many more. See my 7 day Meal plan for a low FODMAP selection of healthy recipes to try.
How long does an IBS flare last?
Everything with IBS is very individual but people may experience an upset stomach for around 2-4 days before things settle down again.
What does an IBS flare feel like?
Your IBS flare symptoms may include
- bloating or swelling in your tummy
- excess gas
- feeling sensitive around your digestion
- feeling like you havent been able to fully empty bowels
If youre ready to identify what triggers your IBS flare ups then please get in touch. I can help you, as Ive helped many other people already find a diet that works. See me a message to get started on your nutrition journey.
Should You Skip Meals With An Ibs Attack
You may feel like you need to avoid food or skip a meal during an IBS attack to prevent or reduce your symptoms. However, having a regular meal pattern is recommended as first line dietary advice for the dietary management of IBS as skipping meals may worsen your symptoms of IBS .;
See the previous post on Intermittent fasting and IBS to understand more.
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Ibs Diet: Kitchen Staples
- Poultry and fish: High-fat foods, including red meat, overstimulate the gut. Instead, opt for chicken, turkey or fish.
- Cooked vegetables: Cooked vegetables are easier to digest than raw ones. However, you may still want to avoid cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, which can cause bloating and gas even when cooked.
- Certain grains: Gluten-free oatmeal and brown rice are usually well-received by people with IBS and provide soluble fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements.
- Low-fat yogurt: Some people with IBS have worse symptoms after eating dairy foods. But if you arent sensitive to the lactose in dairy, low-fat yogurt is filling and contains probiotics. Preliminary research suggests that these good bacteria may even help reduce IBS symptoms.
- Egg whites: Eggs are an excellent source of protein and dont typically provoke IBS attacks. If fat is a trigger for you, use just the egg whites.
Common Medical Treatments For Ibs
Since the exact cause of IBS is not known, the goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms. If diet and lifestyle changes donât improve your symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend IBS medications. Some common medications include:
- IBS medications: Some medications can help with IBS by either slowing the movement of material through the bowel to reduce diarrhea or by increasing fluid production in the small intestine to reduce constipation. Alosetron or Lubiprostone are two common IBS medications.
- Antispasmodics: These are designed to relax the smooth muscles of the colon to ease cramping and spasms. Two such medications are hyoscine and dicyclomine . They may cause side effects that include dry mouth, palpitations, and difficulty urinating.
- Antidiarrheals: These medications can be useful in treating severe diarrhea. But they should be taken with cautionâ antidiarrheals may have side effects such as nausea and vomiting and should be taken under close supervision. Loperamide is an example of an Antidiarrheal medication.
- Antidepressant medications: Certain antidepressants can help relieve diarrhea and constipation and may treat pain in IBS. They are often prescribed in lower doses for IBS than for depression. Antidepressants for IBS should be taken under supervision as side effects can include insomnia, nausea, and weight gain or loss. Some tricyclic antidepressants used for IBS include imipramine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as citalopram .
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How Do You Calm Ibs
The best thing to do during an IBS flare is to look after yourself and take some time out to recover. The following ideas may help you next time you get; your symptoms flare up:
- Heat packs or hot water bottles on your stomach can ease pains or feeling of sensitivity
- Try drinking some soothing teas for digestion Best teas for IBS
- Wear comfortable clothes with a soft expanding waistline to accommodate any bloating
- Take a warm bath
- Snuggle up in bed and allow yourself to rest
- Eat low FODMAP foods for a few days to ease your way through the flare . What is the FODMAP diet?