Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the large intestine. The symptoms of IBS include everything from abdominal pain, gas and bloating to severe constipation and diarrhea. It can severely affect one’s daily routine as the symptoms in most cases are persistent in nature. One needs to know that there is no known cause of irritable bowel syndrome; however, there are multiple triggers that can result in health complications.
A thorough diagnosis is necessary to identify the trigger for effective treatment. Alternatively, IBS is also manageable without extensive treatment by making changes to one’s diet and lifestyle to counter its effects.
Here are a few easy ways to manage the known symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Identifying the trigger
Insoluble fibers, gluten, dairy, fried foods, beans and legumes, caffeinated drinks, processed foods, sugar-free sweeteners, chocolate, garlic and onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and alcohol are among the common triggers of irritable bowel syndrome. Identifying the triggers will help one plan their diet and avoid such foods thus reducing the risk of IBS. Identifying food triggers will also help one assess tolerance levels to reduce or maintain consumption accordingly. One must consult with a nutritionist to ensure there is a proper balance of vital nutrients and minerals in the new diet to reduce the risk of nutrition deficiencies.
Stress is a silent killer and often one of the leading triggers to major health complications and disorders. It is very common for people today to experience varying levels of stress as a result of personal or professional complications. However, stress can have a serious effect especially if one is suffering from IBS as it increases the severity of symptoms.
Dehydration can lead to many health complications as the body cannot produce and refill the supply of vital fluids necessary for the proper functioning of the body. Medical professionals recommend a minimum of eight glasses per day to stay properly hydrated. Water has an important role in maintaining stool consistency to avoid problems like diarrhea or constipation. Note that eight glasses per day is a general recommendation as one’s water intake is also influenced by factors like climate, the surrounding environment, size, and even gender depending on the daily requirement for maintaining optimal bodily function.
Include probiotics in your diet
Probiotics are good bacteria that aid with digestion and can be incorporated into one’s diet. The good bacteria thrive in the gut region promoting a healthy digestive function to counter and reduce the symptoms of IBS. However, it is important to consult with a dietician and nutrition specialist to confirm the best type of supplement to replenish and maintain a healthy quantity of bacteria.
The Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols (FODMAP) diet includes a group of carbohydrates that ensures the body gets the necessary nutrition, especially for people who are experiencing mild symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Note that it is vital to maintain a low FODMAP diet to ensure the food restrictions do not affect the delicate balance of essential nutrients and vitamins ingested on a daily basis.
Incorporating healthy habits into one’s lifestyle will help manage and counter the known symptoms of IBS to a great extent. However immediate medical attention is advisable in case the symptoms are persistent or severe in nature.