Ten Ways to Help Manage IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition among adults in the United States. In fact, nearly one-third of all Americans are expected to experience symptoms at one point in their lives. Symptoms of IBS include constipation and diarrhea, and while the cause of this disease largely lays in the inability of your intestinal muscles to properly contract in an orderly manner, stress and diet also play a large role in the onset and flare-ups of IBS. Therefore, managing your stress levels and dietary habits often helps in the management of your symptoms. Here are 10 tips to assist in your physician-recommended treatment plan.

Before following any home-based treatment plan for a gastroenterology disorder, it is crucial that you consult your Los Angeles area gastroenterologist about the symptoms and discomfort that you are experiencing.

  1. Drink less Coffee: Coffee, soda and other sugar-rich drinks aren’t doing you any favors in terms of digestion. Switching to lightly caffeinated teas for your morning pick-me-up instead of your regular coffee or soda will be a great help.
  2. Eat More Whole Grains: Change from white bread to wheat bread, or at least enriched white bread. White bread and pasta don’t have the same fiber content as whole grains.
  3. Drink More Water: Staying properly hydrated helps in the prevention of many health issues. Try to make sure that you are drinking your recommended eight glasses of daily liquid, or about one gallon every day to help aid in proper digestion and relieve your IBS symptoms.
  4. Start Exercising: Abdominal exercises aren’t just for losing weight; they also help you to maintain a healthy digestive system.
  5. Get 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night: Poor sleep is one of the leading causes of IBS flare ups. It’s important to get a full eight hours of sleep every night in order to minimize IBS symptoms.
  6. Take a Break: Stress causes bodily changes and evokes certain chemical responses. The same physical fight-or-flight response is triggered in almost every stressful situation, so when you feel stress building up, take a break!
  7. Go to Bed Early: When you go to bed early, you wake up early, and this means you don’t have to rush. When you are in less of a hurry you will also be less stressed, and this will help reduce your IBS symptoms.
  8. Reduce Your Expenses: Feeling financially insecure is a huge stress-factor for a majority of people. Try setting out a budget and stop letting your finances overpower you and potentially lead to an overabundance of stress. Remember that reducing stress is a huge factor in treating your IBS.
  9. Walk to Work: Fitting more walks into your day is a good way to sneak in some exercise. If your schedule is a bit too packed in the morning or evening, then try walking to and from lunch for a mid-day break.
  10. Eat at the Same Time Every Day: Maintaining a normal eating schedule will help your body know what to expect. Try to eat at roughly the same time each day to prevent the onset of your IBS symptoms.