Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an internal disorder that causes pain, diarrhea, gas, and constipation. IBS lasts for a lifetime and the symptoms can be very embarrassing, especially gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea are never fun. Yet there are several lifestyle changes and home remedies that you can try to provide some relief. Although everyone’s body is different, once you find remedies that work, you can try using them to prevent discomfort.
Consume more fiber
Depending on the symptoms, eating fiber can have a mixed result for IBS sufferers. For some people, it can help ease symptoms like constipation, but can also worsen other symptoms like gas and cramping. Foods high in fiber such as beans, fruits, and vegetables, are recommended as an IBS treatment if taken regularly over several weeks. Fiber supplement like Metamucil may be prescribed by a doctor in some cases instead of dietary fiber.
Know foods to eat and avoid
Consuming some certain foods can worsen gastrointestinal (GI) pain. Watch out for foods that can aggravate your symptoms, and try to avoid them. Some common foods and drinks that should be avoided for IBS include: foods like beans, dairy products, and chocolate; vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower; drinks like alcohol, coffee, and soda.
Also, there are some foods you can eat that can help with symptoms of IBS. These includes foods containing probiotics, or bacteria that is helpful to your digestive system.
Regular exercise is a tested and trusted way to relieve stress, depression, and anxiety for some people with IBS. Anything that relieves stress can help with bowel pain by stimulating regular intestinal contractions. It is best to work out for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, according to recommendation from The American Heart Association.
Avoid dairy products
Lactose intolerant people also suffer from IBS. These class of people should avoid milk and dairy products, instead they should opt for yogurt. For those who are to completely avoid dairy products, they should make sure they eat foods rich in enough protein and calcium from other sources.
READ ALSO: Five Foods that Causes Diarrhea
Use laxatives with caution
Using over-the-counter (OTC) medications can either improve your IBS symptoms or aggravate them, depending on how you use them. Experts recommend being careful if you use OTC antidiarrheal medicines like Kaopectate or Imodium, or laxatives like polyethylene glycol or milk of magnesia.
Relax more often
Relaxation techniques can be helpful to everyone, especially people living with IBS. According to The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, three relaxation techniques that have been proven to reduce symptoms of IBS include:
- progressive muscle relaxation
- diaphragmatic/abdominal breathing
- visualization/positive imagery
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