Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is no cakewalk. IBS, being a chronic disease, will have you planning your life and everyday routine around the condition. Some of the symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc. The only way to treat it is through a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and sometimes counselling.
Since there is no cure for the condition, the process of living with IBS can take a toll on your overall physical and mental health. However, before you decide to give up on your body that seems so adamant to work against you, we have rounded up a few things that can help you deal with the condition in a much better way.
- Maintain a routine and keep a record
One of the most important things to look out for when living with IBS is identifying what triggers it. When something happens that is not a part of your routine, it can trigger the condition. Start with following the same bedtime and wake-up time. IBS can cause pain and anxiety which might, in turn, result in poor sleep. Positive sleeping habits help in improving mental and physical health. Also, make it a habit to make a physical record of your daily activities and intake. This will help you compare with other days and the days you triggered the IBS to find the trigger.
- Prioritise yourself
Making spontaneous plans or even sticking to plans made earlier might not always be possible for you. Hence, whatever you or your social circle plans, make sure it bodes with your mental and physical health. When you have important meetings or other commitments, schedule them when you think is best for you. For other social commitments, avoid plans that involve food or carry your own food so that you don’t trigger the condition. Never feel guilty for prioritising yourself.
- Follow a diet and avoid trigger foods
To avoid triggering the symptoms of IBS, it is best to follow a particular diet. Most IBS patients are asked to follow the low-FODMAP diet as it helps improve digestive health. However, it is also highly important to consult with your doctor before deciding on a diet as the food needs of your body may differ from others with IBS. Try to have smaller meals more often and when you eat, take it slow.
Figure out your trigger foods and avoid them at all costs. The most common trigger foods are dairy products, artificial sweeteners, vegetables known to cause gas, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and beans, sugary, fried, or fatty foods, and alcohol, caffeine, or soda.
- Manage stress
Stress can aggravate the symptoms of IBS and trigger flare-ups. De-stress yourself with techniques like yoga, deep breathing, leisure activities, etc. This is as important as medications and managing food.
- Have a trusted doctor
IBS is a condition that doesn’t have a treatment that works for all. So, it is important to have a doctor whom you trust and more importantly, who knows your condition well. The right doctor can guide you through the process and suggest all the lifestyle changes and dietary restrictions that can make your life much easier.
SMILES Hospital is the best gastroenterology hospital in Bangalore carrying advanced equipment, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and effective treatment plans. Being one of the pioneers in offering treatments for colorectal and digestive disorders, we have the best gastroenterologists in Bangalore. We follow a wide range of treatment methods including therapeutic, dietary modifications, and pharmacological therapies for IBS which will help in helping you lead a better quality of life. Book an appointment with SMILES, today.