If you are experiencing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, be assured that you are not alone. At least 15% of the general population is affected with this condition and many more are yet to be documented. Living with a condition that affects daily affairs is not only disabling but can also be embarrassing. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic disease, so that means coping for your whole life.
Since there is no cure for IBS here are some self help tips:
Keep a journal to help you identify triggers of IBS symptoms. You will want to record what you have eaten when symptoms occur. Record dates and times of occurrences and any particular stressful situations you are undergoing when symptoms hit. This will give you insight into any behaviors you may want to modify and give your doctor useful information.
Find a support group. Not many people want to hear digestive issues. But other people going thru the same experiences could use a sympathetic ear. Talking with people in the same condition can be reassuring. The internet seems to offer the widest venue for all patients of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Try the chat rooms or the forums and you will see that you are just one among the many.
Stay away from trigger foods. Your journal will help you discover these but decreasing high fat content foods is usually helpful. Most foods that have high fat content are often deemed as bane of the normal functioning of the intestines. High fat foods create slower movements of the digestive muscles. This causes more gas to be produced since the bacteria acting on the digestion of the fat takes longer to finish.
Drink lots of water. Water will cleanse the digestive system. Water also will help drive digested foods into the lower portions of the digestive system moving things along if you are experiencing constipation. Diarrhea is dehydrating, so again drink lots of water to replenish fluids.
Get regular exercise. Exercise is good for the whole body but it also helps regulate the movements of your intestinal tract.
Find ways to unwind. Stress and anxiety can cause IBS symptom flare ups. So, learn to meditate, listen to classical music (this works for me), pray, practice yoga, whatever works for you. You need to find something that helps you to relax.
Remember there isn’t a cure; you just need to determine the best way to manage your symptoms.