Those that suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
(IBS) often have a lot of difficulty controlling their symptoms. The symptoms range from abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, farting, nausea, cramping.
These symptoms can come on quickly and leave sufferers in embarrassing situations. It’s not uncommon for those with severe IBS to become isolated by avoiding outings, for fear of not getting to the loo on time or farting loudly in public etc.
Finding the Triggers of your IBS
Taking A Good Supplement for your Digestive System…Can Give Lasting Relief !
There is no set trigger of IBS for everyone. What may trigger IBS in one person, is often different for another person.
Finding out what the triggers are can be a long process for some, but a process well worth doing. In this article we will look at the most common triggers…
There is NO set diet for an IBS sufferer. Many with IBS have various reactions to various foods, so once the various trigger foods are known, a suitable diet can then be accomplished.
There are many known trigger foods for those with IBS. Keeping a diet diary and going through a process of elimination diet is a good start. By doing this, you should be able to see which foods trigger the effects.
If you avoid a food and feel better, you can be sure this is a good sign it was one of your triggers.
Where Should I Start?
Many natural healthcare professionals go on the strategy, that the foods we often love and eat the most of, are the very foods that are the most likely to be causing the gut problems.
This may be a good place to start with in your elimination diet. Also check out our list of common food triggers below for more ideas of where you may want to start.
Process of Elimination Diet
- Try eliminating one food at a time. Doing more than one at a time can result in an inaccurate result. NOTE: It is also a good idea to slowly wean off the chosen food for a week or so before eliminating the food completely.This will avoid putting the body into shock, and it may well give an indication that you are in fact able to eat this food item, but less often.
- Note in your diary: The name of the chosen food item and any physical effects you experienced or effects that lessened.
- If there is no change in your symptoms once you have been completely off the chosen food after a few weeks-month, slowly go back onto that food. Monitor your effects through out.
You may well find that you just need more of a balance in what you eat, rather than not being able to eat a certain food. Trying the process of elimination will give you some idea of this.
It’s worth noting that in many cases highly processed fatty or sugar filled foods lead to gut problems, so this is always a good food group to cut down on in general. If you eat a lot of any of the foods below, these will also be worth trying in your process of elimination diet.
- Sugar filled foods including drinks like soda, alcohol, tea, coffee
- Highly processed foods, eg: cakes,biscuits, pastries, some cereals, processed meats like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, sausages etc
- Sauces & gravies such as relish, various mayonnaise types, mustard soy sauce, ketchup
- Wheat and/or Gluten products (See next section)
If you feel overwhelmed about doing a process of elimination diet, your health care professional would be a good person to assist you with it.
Get Tested for Foods you may be Sensitive or Allergic to
It is very common to be sensitive rather than allergic to certain foods. Wheat, gluten or dairy products are the most common ones. Consuming a lot of the foods that you may be sensitive to can have an impact on IBS effects.
NOTE: Many professionals and writings will tell you to eat more fiber. While this may help many, it is often overlooked that some IBS sufferers are actually wheat or gluten intolerant/sensitive. This is more common than many realize.
So for those that fall into this category, increasing fiber intake will often increase the IBS effects.
Be sure to ask your healthcare professional for food sensitivity/allergy tests.
The Gluten Free Society
also offer various tests for possible gluten intolerance/sensitivity.
Have Smaller Meals – But on a More Frequent Basis
Instead of having your main meals three time a day like most do. Have smaller meals, but more often. This will help you to avoid the uncomfortable full feeling, as well as helping your digestive system to digest the food.
- Never eat while working, make sure you are relaxed when you eat
- Eat your food slowly, taking smaller mouthfuls and chewing slowly (This will help to ease extra bloating)
Many of us don’t realize that when we eat or drink, we could actually, subconsciously be gulping in too much air. This can happen at times when we are stressed, in a hurry or just out of habit.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Tests you should Get
Stress, Lack of Sleep & Exercise Triggers
While stress may not be the total cause of your IBS, it can certainly trigger it and heighten the effects of it. And of course, stress often leads to lack of sleep, no relaxation time and hurried meals. It’s easy to say – avoid stress when ever possible…
But in reality this isn’t always easy to do
So finding ways to help deal with stress and relax are important. For most people going for a run, joining a gym, yoga or meditation class can really help.
But this isn’t always a good idea for an IBS sufferer, that is in too much pain to do rigorous exercise, or who is likely to have an embarrassing moment when in public.
Thankfully there are gentle ways to get exercise and/or learn relaxation techniques, while in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
Yoga is very beneficial for IBS sufferers. Not only does it help to relax you, it also tones and strengthens your muscles, as well as promoting the correct deep breathing techniques.
Even if you are having a day of bad IBS effects, you should still be able to cope with gentle yoga, even if it’s just a couple of the exercises. Be sure to wear loose clothing when doing yoga.
Breathing exercises really do help in times of high stress. Often we breath lightly and fast when under stress. Some of us breath shallow all the time.
This technique is not only good for times of stress but also as a day to day exercise to keep you breathing correctly. It can also help to stop that subconscious gulping of air many IBS sufferers have.
Once your body learns how to unwind and relax more, you will find that your quality of sleep is much better, and it will also be easier to eat more slowly to avoid extra bloating and discomfort.
If you can’t do rigorous exercise, the two techniques above are very beneficial and worthwhile to do. The more often you do them the better the result will be.
Article written by Wen Dee
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