Why See An Ibs Specialist
IBS symptoms can come and go, and last for short or long periods of time. There is no known cure for IBS and for many sufferers it becomes a life-long condition. Fortunately, it can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication.
IBS shares symptoms with other conditions, so it is important to see an IBS specialist if you suspect that you have IBS. An IBS specialist is a gastroenterologist who specialises in diagnosis and treating IBS.
IBS is a diagnosis thats given when other similar conditions have been ruled out. An IBS specialist will not only diagnose your condition, but give you detailed advice on how to manage your condition.
Coping With Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Living with irritable bowel syndrome can be challenging, painful, and embarrassing, and it can affect your quality of life. We have compiled some ways to cope with the condition that may help to take the edge off the unpleasant symptoms you experience from irritable bowel syndrome.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects more than 10 percent of adults in the United States, only 5 to 7 percent of whom have received a diagnosis. The condition is twice as likely to occur in women than men and usually happens in people aged 45 and younger.
IBS causes abdominal discomfort, gas, and changes in the patterns of your bowel movements, as well as diarrhea or constipation. The cause of IBS is largely unknown, which hampers the development of effective treatments.
However, there seem to be common triggers for IBS, such as certain foods, stress, and hormonal changes, although these can vary from person to person.
Working out what sparks and eases your IBS can help you to manage the condition and regain control of your life. Here are five steps you can take to avoid triggers, prevent symptom flare-ups, and cope with IBS.
What Can You Eat On The Fodmap Diet
Lots of vegetables and fruits are still available to you like red peppers, courgette, green beans, pumpkin, parsnips, kiwi, blueberries, sweet potato etc.
You can also eat meat, oats rice, some nuts and some low lactose dairy.
How to do the low-FODMAP diet
Its a very tough diet to manage because its so restrictive, and you need to ensure youre eating a balanced range of nutrients. I dont recommend anyone trying to manage a dietary changes this big on their own, always work with a nutrition professional.
Think of the low FODMAP diet as a diagnostic tool that is intended to identify food triggers for symptoms of IBS rather than a way of life.
In some cases the low FODMAP diet can allow some healing in the gut and a chance to build more resilience. Then we can reintroduce as much food back into your diet as possible. The low FODMAP diet should not be followed long term because it is too restrictive.
The microbes in our gut need fibre and diversity. Its better for us to eat as varied a diet as possible some studies have suggested 30 different plant foods a week is a good target. But, back to the FODMAP diet
To ensure we are getting the right kind of data out this targeted IBS treatment intervention the diet is conducted in 3 phases:
Should you try a low FODMAP diet?
Also Check: Does Xanax Help With Ibs
Find Healthy Stress Management Techniques
Managing stress may aid in lessening IBS symptoms as well. Daily yoga or meditation are activities that are known to lessen stress in people, Dr. Sonpal explains. Exercise can also help regulate bowel movements so that living with IBS is more tolerable.
Because stress and anxiety play a major role, identifying what may be impacting your day-to-day stress levels is important. Work and family issues are the most common. Stress reduction exercises, yoga and self-introspection can be helpful, Dr. Singh states. Talking about these stressors with a therapist may be beneficial as well. Exercise has also been shown to reduce flares of IBS.
Foods To Consume During An Ibs Attack
The good news is that many foods and drinks are known to be well tolerated in IBS. Some of the examples are water, ginger ale, Gatorade, Sprite, soy milk, rice milk, plain pasta, plain white rice, and baked or boiled potatoes .
Some other examples include white bread, plain fish, plain chicken, plain turkey, plain ham, soft boiled or poached eggs, plain cornflakes, Rice Krispies, lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, oil, vinegar dressing, cooked carrots , peanut butter, jellies, and jams.
Recommended Reading: Can Turmeric Give You Diarrhea
Can Ibs Attacks Be Prevented
IBS is a set of symptoms rather than a disease. For decades, health care professionals did not know the cause of symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. However, research is now shedding light on the many factors that can lead to IBS [48
All of this research gives us much more insight into managing IBS symptoms. If you suffer from frequent IBS attacks, there are steps you can take to prevent IBS flare-ups and improve your quality of life.
Prioritize A Full Eight Hours Of Sleep
“Poor sleep is directly linked to poor gut health and changes in the microbiome,” Jackson says. “It also impacts our mood which is linked via the gut-brain axis.” Because of this, getting adequate sleep can help stave off flare-ups. If you’re recovering from one, that’s another time to go to bed early. Flare-ups are draining, mentally and physically good sleep will help you recover.
Even if you’re extra diligent, sometimes IBS flare-ups happen. But keeping these expert-vetted tips in mind will help you bounce back quicker. In the end, they help you do what’s most important: take care of yourself.
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. , our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.
Recommended Reading: Define Heartburn
Use Heat To Treat Spasms
During an IBS attack, it helps to apply heat to the abdomen with either an electric heating pad or a hot water bottle. The gentle heat not only feels nice, but it also helps stimulate the blood flow and relax the smooth muscles of the colon, reducing spasms and cramps.
Be sure to place a towel or piece of clothing between you and the heat source so that you don’t get burned.
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 .
Don’t Miss: Does Baking Soda Help Heartburn
Which Foods Trigger Ibs
Some diet changes will help regardless of which category you fall into. Start by eating small meals and make them low in fat. Its better to grill foods using a light cooking spray than to douse your meal in oil, Dr. Moshiree advises. Red meat can also irritate the stomach, so its best to go for poultry or fish.
Also, a high-protein diet will help with both diarrhea and constipation, so that piece of fish or chicken is better than a bowl of pasta. Raw vegetables are more likely to cause gas and bloating, so consider cooking them, Moshiree said.
Its important to know your own body and how it will react to different foods. Most people with IBS have a very hard time with dairy products, so eliminate those right off the bat.
You may also be sensitive to gluten, found in bread and baked goods made with wheat, rye, and barley. Research has suggested that for some people, IBS and gluten sensitivity may overlap. A review published in November 2017 in the journal Nutrients concluded that a gluten-free diet can benefit both patients with gluten-related symptoms, as well as those with IBS who could have a gluten or wheat sensitivity.
Moshiree tells her patients to do a two-week trial of eliminating gluten to see if symptoms improve. If they do, you probably need to follow a gluten-free diet, especially when your symptoms are acting up.
Also remember to eliminate alcohol, which is known to provoke symptoms.
Bad Ibs Flare Up Please Help
I’ve had IBS for jus over a coupleasure of years. I suffer with loose stools and diarrhea a lot, and take immodium a few times a week if it’s bad. I’ve been off work this week so am having a break from taking the immodium. Over the last 6 days however, I have not been able to stop pooping all day long. I’ll get most of it out in the morning, but for the whole of the rest of the day I keep getting cramps and feeling a despray urge to go. When I get to the toilet I feel blocked up, have a lot of wind and then usually pass a tiny stool, which is sometimes very watery, sometimes just mucus, but then sometimes it’s solid. I might have a bout of diarrhea a bit later in the day, then it goes back to being more solid.
All day long though I have a constant feeling like I need to go, and I am passing stools literally 15 times each day. Each time I go, I still don’t feel empty, and can get stomach pains straight away after I suffer from bad anxiety so I am wondering if this could be causing this as it’s on my mind all the time. I can’t concentrate on anything else.
It’s really worrying me that this is never going to stop, or that I’m causing some damage to my bowels by going to the toilet so often. It has completely ruined my week off from work and I’ve got a wedding to go to next weekend and I am really anxious that this will stop me going.
I’m not sure whether I should take some immodium to stop it, or if that would make matters worse.
Read Also: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
How Long Does An Ibs Flare Up Last
IBS flare up duration is different for everyone. Most people’s IBS symptoms will flare-up for 2-4 days, after which your symptoms may lower in severity or disappear completely. Many people experience IBS in waves, in which symptoms may come and go over several days or weeks.IBS attacks can be managed to reduce symptoms or shorten duration using several management techniques .
Keep Stress Levels Low
Pain and bloating can be reactions to stress. They manifest themselves even more so in those who have IBS. Employ sound stress management techniques to stay calm each day, such as through yoga, deep breathing, meditation, or just taking the time for a walk by yourself each day.
Bonus: regular bowel activity can result when you are stress-free.
Recommended Reading: Peanut Butter Acid Reflux
To Avoid: Milk Products
Foods made with cow’s milk can cause problems for some people, which is why it’s often recommended that people with IBD avoid them. A gastroenterologist can help in diagnosing lactose intolerance, and for those who do have an intolerance and find milk products cause gas and pain or other symptoms, avoiding those foods is the best idea. This includes foods like a glass of milk, cheeses, ice cream, pudding, and yogurt. Some foods will have a lower lactose content, or may even contain only traces of lactose, such as yogurt and aged cheeses .
How To Calm Ibs Flare Up
What do you do when you have an IBS flare up and your IBS symptoms are causing you pain discomfort and worry?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a totally curable condition that essentially means there is a problem between where the food went in and where it comes out at the end. There are SO many organs and systems involved in digestion of food that sometimes it can feel like shooting in the dark at an invisible enemy…
Most medical GP’s or doctors are not specifically trained in the complexities of IBS relief and although they have a good general knowledge of many different diseases and illnesses the finer points of IBS relief can elude most doctors unless they decide to specify in Irritable bowel syndrome and hence really start to dig into the illness and find the exact cause.
It’s also complicated by the number of different names of illnesses and dis-eases that are grouped together with Irritable bowel syndrome, from abdominal pain, stomach pain, celiac disease, IBS-D, IBS-C, Inflammatory Bowel Disease , SIBO, Food intolerances, Crohn’s disease, Leaky Gut, coeliac disease, liver disease, lactose intolerance and the list goes on…
It’s important to note that no clinical trials have bee carried out on alternaitve therapies or supplements as there is no benefit for the doctors and pharmaceuticals to test these methods or supplements.
Don’t Miss: Lettuce Causes Diarrhea
To Drink: Liquid Nutrition
There are a variety of nutritional supplements on the market that can be found in grocery and drug stores. They do tend to be pricey, but they can add much-needed nutrients to the diet during a flare-up. A gastroenterologist can recommend a particular brand and offer advice on how often they should be used. Liquid nutritional supplements shouldn’t be used as the sole source of calories, however, as they are only meant to augment the diet until more foods can be added.
What Is Ibs Awareness Month
April was declared IBS Awareness Month in 1997 by the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders . It is now an annual event during which organisations, charities and health professions work to raise awareness of the condition and to improve the quality of life for sufferers.
Found this useful? What do you do after a flare-up? Get in touch.
The Gut Choice advise consulting a medical professional or dietitian before taking medication or making any alterations to your diet.
You May Like: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
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.
How Do You Recover From An Ibs Flare
Once you start to calm down the symptoms of your IBS flare-up, it will be time to focus on recovery and preventing further attacks.
Many IBS flares are triggered by stress, so it is important to try to stay calm in your daily life.
Avoid stressful situations when possible and try guided meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques.
Your body will most likely be feeling tired and sore after the flare-up, so try to go easy on yourself. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and avoid any aggressive exercise.
According to a study by the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal, you should continue to eat natural probiotics after your IBS flare up ends to ensure that your gut has enough helpful probiotics.
As the flare-up starts to go away, you can begin slowly getting back to your normal diet. Gradually add in more fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and spices instead of suddenly going back to eating whatever you want.
It may be wise to continue eating cautiously for a few weeks to avoid a recurrence. Gradually increase your fiber intake and continue to avoid caffeine.
You May Like: Why Does Lettuce Give Me Diarrhea