This post is part of anxiety series. Ibs is often classified as anxiety related condition.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - disturbance of the colon or large intestine/ condition of the digestive system.
Let's start from the beginning.
The most common symptoms of IBS are:
stomach cramps, abdominal pain ( often severe), discomfort/bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation, heartburn, nausea, difficulty in passing gas /passing excessive amount of gas.
- your symptoms get worse after eating
- symptoms pass while you're asleep and they're back with the first 'hello'
I know, it doesn't sound fun, and it's not.
Please, always be sure to check your symptoms with doctors, as you might suffer from different condition such as inflammatory bowel disease or coeliac disease.
Doctors still don't know what exactly causes ibs and they struggle to find universal treatment.
But if you get diagnosed, the first thing you will be asked to do is to make some lifestyle changes (I hate when doctors say that! :))
1- Treat anxiety/ find stress relief
Depending on your condition, they may ask you to take antidepressants, attend cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or take a proper vacation/ reschedule your calendar.
2- Get active / Work out
3- Completely change your diet
That's the big one, as doctors believe certain foods trigger ibs. The most popular solution is switching to low fodmap diet. Here's more about that:
To eat/ to avoid list (general).
To eat/ to avoid list (more detailed).
With 'ibs trigger foods' you kind of need to experiment on your yourself and check what works for you. Although, my doctor said that there are some' no brainer' foods to avoid like onion and garlic.
Also, most people with ibs switch to gluten free and dairy free diets.
Ibs diet is especially frustrating when you're a busy person, you don't eat regularly, you usually eat in a hurry and you don't have time and opportunity to plan your meals ahead. Well, that makes most of the first world population.
If you are interested in ibs friendly recipes, you can check out my 'ibs diet' pinterest board. Please note that I sometimes pin 'normal' recipes, if there's an option for swapping or skipping unfriendly ingredients. So, if there's a pasta, it is always a gluten free pasta, if there's milk, it is always milk substitute etc. :)
4 - Use probiotics and food supplements.
Probiotics can improve your gut health. Probiotics examples: actimel, kefir, symprove (more on this one later!)
Please, check out this useful post : All natural sources of probiotics
5 - Take appropriate meds:
Ask doctor for antispasmodic and pain relief medicine.
6 - Learn and ask.
Ask your doctor or nutritionist - they know tips and tricks that may never occur to you.
Honestly? There hasn't been one normal day in the last 3 years. By 'normal' I mean a day without gastric problems.
So, after changing my diet, getting more active, taking 8 buscopans a day (for a year!) and still getting no results, I've finally had enough. I thought there must be something else I can do. It turned out that there is one more possible treatment. But that's the whole other story! So please, join me this evening to find out more!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided.
I recommend for ibs:
Anxiety series :