Some lifestyle changes that may help alleviate symptoms include:
- Getting adequate exercise, which helps relieve stress, moves energy, regulates the bowels, and helps alleviate constipation.
- Practicing stress relief measures, such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or quiet time, is key to keeping IBS symptoms under control.
- Dietary changes should be individualized, and should focus on eliminating foods that trigger symptoms and adding adequate fiber to the diet. Soluble fiber is gentler on the GI tract, and includes foods such as oatmeal, berries, and legumes like lentils and garbanzo beans. Crude fiber, such as bran and raw vegetables and their skins may be too irritating, and should be monitored as a trigger for symptoms. Other foods that are common triggers include greasy or fatty foods, diary products, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and drinks that are carbonated.
- Probiotics may be helpful for some sufferers of IBS. Probiotics are supplements that replace the good bacteria in the gut necessary for digestion. A common form is Lactobacillis acidophilus, which can be found in most natural foods stores.
- Adequate sleep is important for sufferers of IBS, because stress, which is the most common trigger for IBS, is aggravated by lack of sleep. In addition, adequate sleep helps the body heal and rejuvenate.
For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of digestive disorders contact us.