Taking Care of your IBS

The holidays are over

Now take care of your IBS

With tempting treats confronting you at every turn, it’s easy for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to “get off track” during the holidays. Help your system to feel normal again by following some simple self-care guidelines.

IBS is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain, cramping and other uncomfortable symptoms. It’s estimated that IBS affects up to 15 percent of the population.1 And if you have IBS, you know first-hand how disruptive it can be. It can be affected by the foods you eat and exacerbated by emotional stress.

Eating for IBS and IBd

soup"Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder that can often be managed with dietary modification and maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said Marie Borum, MD, Director, Division of Gastroenterology at GW Medical Faculty Associates. The fundamental idea of eating for IBS is to avoid foods that over-stimulate or irritate the colon, while incorporating foods that can soothe and regulate it. This can help relieve and prevent diarrhea and constipation, as well as pain, gas and bloating. Here are some guidelines that may help you to manage after-holiday indulgences:

  • Eat several small meals a dayinstead of three large ones.
  • Keep meals low in fat and high in carbohydrates.
  • Be careful with trigger foods and drinks like alcohol, artificial sweeteners, coffee, dairy, egg yolks, fried foods, oils, red meat and shortening.
  • Reduce gassy foods like bananas, beans, broccoli, cabbage, garlic and onions.

And be sure to introduce IBS friendly foods to your diet, like soluble fiber, soy and yogurt.

A few adjustments and you’re back in business

In addition to paying attention to what you eat, lifestyle changes can help relieve stress and improve your overall health. Don’t lose sight of the need to nurture your body and your mind as an antidote to intestinal distress.

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Keep following your doctor’s instructions.
  • Take your medication on time.
  • Practice the stress-relief methods that work for you.
  • Take time out for yourself as you need it.

1. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2010

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