When you know the triggers that can make your IBS symptoms waking up, you can definitely take measures and create a routine to avoid them – this is called prevention.
Keeping away constipation, diarrhea, belly pain and bloating is possible, with a bit of discipline and a lot of self-love, you can do it!
On the other hand, if you’re not familiar yet with your IBS and its symptoms, you might want to start tracking what is good and what is not for you.
IBS manifests itself in many different ways and symptoms vary from one person to another, keeping track of how you, your stomach, your gut, your body react to the most common triggers, will help you to prevent them.
What is IBS?
IBS is kind of a mystery condition as until that day, there are no exact explanations for its cause and why people are developing it. It is a fairly common disease as it’s affecting 11% of the global population.
Interestingly, it affects women twice as often as men and those under the age of 50 are more likely to develop IBS.
IBS is a functional disorder, it means that there is no specific medical exam to detect it and the only way for you to know if you have IBS is to consult with your doctor that will perform a diagnosis and will determine that all other organic or mechanical reasons for the symptoms have been ruled out.
The different theories of the causes for IBS goes from bowel gut hypersensitivity to motility disorder of the muscles in your gastrointestinal tract to an alteration in the quantity or quality of microbiomes that live in your colon, as well as food intolerance or even stress levels.
Prevention is a major ally in treating IBS symptoms. Let’s see what you can do to alleviate the pain and live an easier life.
How to prevent IBS?
What you have to keep in mind is that there is no single diet or specific medicine that works for everyone with IBS, in one word, there is no miracle cure or remedy! But…there are plenty of things that can help if you have been diagnosed with IBS.
“So what are my options?” will you probably ask!
We have listed for you some of the beneficial things you can do to prevent IBS from ruining your life.
- Modify your diet
When it comes to IBS, food plays a major role and the first thing to keep in mind is that each digestive system is unique and will react in its own specific way to food. It is often a matter of try-and-fail until you get the proper results.
To be able to point out the kind of food your gut is sensitive to, you can go on an elimination diet.
By cutting off some trigger food like: processed food, fried food, beans & legumes, caffeine-based drinks, insoluble fiber, gluten, dairy, sweeteners, alcohol, nuts and chocolate.
At one point you will know for sure which one causes troubles and which is safe to eat.
Twelve weeks without one of those elements will help you detect the food guilty for your troubles.
The Low-FODMAP diet has been designed for those suffering from IBS – whether you have IBS-C or IBS-D. If you don’t know about this diet, we recommend you to read this article (insert a link to the article).
To keep track of this journey you are starting, we highly recommend you writing down all the foods that are triggering your IBS. As well as your bowel movements, your emotional state, your feelings.
Writing down all the things you are going through can be of great help. For yourself first, to understand the patterns and for your doctor, as you will be able to give precise information about your condition.
We know now that there is a connection between our gut and our brain, it’s called the gut-brain axis. So there is a possible theory that your emotions might be responsible for your IBS.
When our emotions are overwhelming and when they are taking control of our lives, the body is telling us that something is not going well, through different diseases our body expresses what we are not.
Choose a beautiful notebook, a good pen and start your diary, like a kid.
Allow yourself to write all the things that you might not be able to share with others and talk to your gut for example, you might receive an answer!
- Exercise daily:
Yes! Moving your body, stretching, breathing and meditating will definitely help you to release some tensions and stuck emotions stored in your guts (fear, anger, grief, resentment…).
Practicing yoga for example, will help you develop a positive feeling about yourself, it will calm your nervous system, it will connect both hemispheres of your brain, it will help you to be more grounded and so much more benefits!
Are you stressed, do you have a lot of pressure at work or at home, do you eat regular meals, do you have unhealed traumas?
These are some of the questions you can ask yourself and if the answer is yes, you might want to change some things in your lifestyle habits and try alternative therapies.
In order to help you to get some relief and alleviate the pain, you might want to try alternative therapies such as acupuncture, CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), therapeutic massages.
Those therapies are proven effective to help reduce stress, anxiety and balancing your energies.
In any case, always check with your doctor or a dietician, they’re professionals and they will be able to guide you in the process.