IBS Hints & Tips
Don't let IBS take control of your bowel
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common complaint seen by dearPHARMACIST. It affects up to one in three people at some point in their lives. Onset can be at any time and symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, wind, diarrhoea and constipation.
Women are three times more likely to get IBS compared to men. It is possible to make some changes that help you manage the condition. You can take control of your IBS by tackling your diet, fitness and stress levels. Supplements and natural remedies can also help support this.
Most sufferers realise that their symptoms often trigger when they have indulged in a poor diet. What many fail to understand is that the main cause is not eating properly. It is important to learn how to eat.
Learning how to eat is the first step to controlling your IBS. It’s not just what you eat, but when and how. The main symptoms of trapped wind and bloating, is due to not chewing your food and gulping food quickly. Eat slowly, little and often, at regular times, and chew your food to aid the first steps of digestion. This will train your digestive system into a good routine and help train it to digest food properly. Another important factor is to eat lighter meals in the evening and bigger meals earlier in the day.
Regular exercise can reduce bloating and help with constipation. Aim to do at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise daily. Brisk walking is the easiest to do. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Over the years I have noticed that a lot of IBS sufferers get a lot of abdominal pains during moments of stress. It usually stems from stress and anxiety disrupting both your breathing pattern and halting digestion. It’s natural to swallow pockets of air during moments of stress and anxiety. This leads to increasing the problems of wind and bloating. It’s important to learn to control your breathing. This can be controlled by practising abdominal breathing. You can practice this at any moment, while driving and even while waiting in a queue. Try and relax your shoulders first. Breathe in slowly through both nostrils and count to five, while expanding your stomach. Hold for five seconds and then exhale to a count of five, drawing your stomach in.
Try to get into a habit of preparing to get a good night sleep. This can be done by avoiding caffeine later in the day. Also leave a couple of hours between your last meal and getting into bed. Close your eyes and practice your breathing. This enhances your sleep pattern by getting you and your mind in a relaxed state.
Support therapy can come in the form of food intolerance testing. dearPHARMACIST has a clinic that will support this by performing a food intolerance screening test for qualitative determination of food specific IgG4 antibody levels from capillary or venous blood. Contact dearPHARMACIST to book this in.
Remember you can always visit dearPHARMACIST at Regent Pharmacy, 19 Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent DA12 1AS.
Come and meet dearPHARMACIST today.