Here are some key things to follow when you are living with IBS to make life a bit easier! We’ll start with the ‘dos’!!
DO allow time for you
When you have IBS it is really important to take time for yourself. High stress can trigger your IBS symptoms, so you need to learn to relax, destress and treat yourself.
DO meal prep
If you do meal prepping, you’ll be so thankful during your busy week and it’ll stop you grabbing quick ‘High FODMAP’ meals when you’re in a rush or can’t be bothered to cook, which will flare your symptoms up.
Do try the low fodmap diet
The Low FODMAP Diet consists of three key stages – elimination, reintroduction and continuation. It has been scientifically proven to help improve and even eradicate symptoms in 75% of IBS sufferers who try it! When doing so seek help from a qualified dietician… preferably one who specialises in gut health and the Low FODMAP diet if possible.
DO SLEEP WELL
Sleep is really important for everyone, but particularly those who have IBS. A good night sleep can make all the difference to your symptoms and ensure you get long enough and aren’t disturbed.
Do listen to your body
It’s so important to LISTEN to your body! If you aren’t feeling great, then rest and allow your body time to recover. Trying to plough through a flare up (usually is impossible anyway) but if you do, you will just drag out your symptoms for longer. Relax, destress, sleep, eat well and you’ll feel better much quicker.
Do plan ahead
Life can be a lot easier and less stressful when you plan a little, meal prepping does come into this, however planning also comes in handy when it comes to eating out, going on holiday etc. Make sure you pack snacks for long journeys, call ahead at a restaurant to see what you can have which will be ok with your intolerances and choose holiday locations where you can relax and not worry about the local cuisine too much!
And now for the don’ts!!
Don't be scared to talk about it
IBS gets so much easier to manage when you open up about it… you’ll soon realise how many others also suffer with it. Discuss it with your doctor and get a plan to manage it. Discuss it with your friends and family who will support you and not question you every time you have to cancel plans or seem fussy when you’re ordering food.
Don't chew gum
Chewing the gum is one of the worst things for the gut but especially for the guts of those suffering gastrointestinal disorders like IBS.
Don't overdo exercise
Going too crazy with your exercise… this can actually make things worse. Daily light to moderate exercise is good. Running a marathon…not so good, daily yoga, walks, easily cycling, chasing after the kids… much better!
DON’T exceed 6 weeks on elimination
When following the Low FODMAP Diet, it’s important not to stay on the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet for longer than 4-6weeks. Make sure you being reintroducing as many foods as you can after 4-6 weeks. Reintroduction is key to ensure you can have a balanced and varied diet.
We hope these tips help you manage your IBS and you begin to lead a happier more symptom free life!
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