6 Tips for Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a common intestinal disorder that leads to pain in the stomach, diarrhea, and constipation. It’s a chronic condition that requires long-term management and is often triggered by food, stress, and hormones. If you are living with IBS, these tips can help you manage your condition so you can enjoy a higher quality of life.
- Stick to a High Fiber Diet
High fiber can do wonders for your digestive system because it keeps food moving through the digestive tract. Fiber-filled foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes are important to incorporate into your diet.
- Stay Away From Fatty Foods
Although fatty foods like fries, potato chips, and red meat are tasty, they can take a serious toll on your digestive system and aggravate IBS symptoms. It’s a good idea to stay away from or reduce the frequency that you consume these types of foods.
- Try Probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria that can be beneficial to your digestive system. It can enhance the way your body absorbs nutrients, strengthen your immune system, and improve IBS symptoms. We recommend probiotic supplements or foods like kefir or low-fat yogurt.
- Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water can improve your stools and overall digestive system. Try to keep a water bottle by your side at all times so that you are always reminded to hydrate.
- Manage Stress
Stress can also worsen IBS symptoms. If you find that you are stressed often, find activities that relieve your stress like taking a warm bath, participating in an enjoyable hobby, or spending time with loved ones.
- Exercise Regularly
Get into the habit of working out every day as doing so can aid your body’s digestive system, alleviate stress, and improve your overall mood. Take a stroll around your neighborhood, go for a swim, try a yoga class, or follow workout DVDs in the comfort of your own home.
- Eat Frequently
Rather than having three large meals a day, you may find that smaller, more frequent meals relieve symptoms of IBS. By eating large meals or waiting all day to eat, you may trigger IBS.
- Keep a Food Diary
Since IBS is a very individual condition, the foods that prompt your symptoms may not have the same effect on someone else. Keep a food diary so you can make connections between the foods you eat and the symptoms you experience.
Contact Birmingham Gastroenterology
If you have further questions on how to improve IBS symptoms or are longing for relief from this condition, don’t hesitate to contact us today. The board-certified physicians at Birmingham Gastroenterology Associates specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of digestive conditions, including IBS. To schedule an appointment at one of our eight office locations, call (205) 271-8000.