Spontaneity may not be your thing if you have IBS because tummy troubles can ruin the fun. Living with IBS is a frustrating and isolating experience and significantly impacts the quality of life, but there are ways to manage and cope with IBS.
Although the exact cause of IBS is unknown, it is thought to be a complex interaction of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, i.e., what you eat, how you manage stress, and how much exercise you get.
The most common trigger of IBS symptoms is thought to be a disruption in the gut-brain axis, which regulates the communication between the brain and the digestive system. Various factors, including stress, infections, changes in the gut microbiome, and dietary factors, can cause this disruption.
With warmer days ahead, we’re sharing our Top Ten Tips to Manage IBS for an Adventure-Ready Gut!
Keeping a food diary is helpful because it helps you track what you eat and how your body reacts. This will identify trigger foods that exacerbate your IBS symptoms.
Don’t forget to note which foods make you feel great and eat more of them!
OK, we know that planning ahead and spontaneity are polar opposites, but hear us out!
If you want an adventure-ready gut, be good to yourself! Living with IBS means you’re always working toward gut-healthy living!
Be your own best friend and keep things on hand like gut-friendly snacks, a reusable water bottle, and just better.® stick packs for those grab-and-go moments!
Eating smaller meals throughout the day can help manage IBS symptoms for many people.
Large meals strain our gut considerably, causing it to overwork and often triggering terrible tummy upset! Smaller, more frequent, fiber-rich meals help prevent the onset of symptoms by reducing the gut’s workload and promoting more efficient digestion.
Getting enough fiber if you have IBS can be challenging, as some high-fiber foods can trigger symptoms. However, there are several strategies that can help people with IBS get enough fiber while minimizing digestive discomfort:
- Choose low FODMAP foods and drinks.
- Gradually increase fiber intake: It's important to increase fiber intake gradually to allow the digestive system to adapt. Adding small amounts of low FODMAP, fiber-rich foods to meals or snacks and slowly increasing the amount over time can help reduce symptoms.
- Try low FODMAP soluble fiber plant foods because they are generally better tolerated.
- Consider a low FODMAP fiber supplement like just better.® fiber!
just better.® is a 100% Non-GMO soluble corn fiber; that’s it!
And BONUS! just better.® is considered a low FODMAP fiber!
Staying hydrated is essential for managing IBS. Most people are chronically dehydrated, which worsens the symptoms of IBS.
It is critical to stay on top of your hydration routine! Get a fancy water bottle, set a reminder on your phone, and drink up! =)
Stress is a major trigger for IBS symptoms. When the body is under stress, it releases hormones that can cause changes in the way the digestive system functions, leading to symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, inflammation, and potty problems.
Deep breathing, yoga, and other relaxation exercises can all be very beneficial for reducing stress and easing IBS symptoms. Whatever it is that relaxes you, make sure you’re doing plenty of it! =)
Our bodies are exceptional communicators because we constantly receive signals and messages to let us know what our body needs (or doesn’t need)!
These messages can take many forms, such as pain, hunger, thirst, fatigue, etc. By listening to and responding to these signals, we can better care for ourselves and improve overall health and well-being.
Our bodies constantly adapt to our needs, and by paying attention to these messages, we can work with our bodies to achieve optimal health.
So listen up, and respond accordingly! <3
Regular exercise and movement are essential for managing IBS because they help to keep the digestive system moving and reduce stress.
Exercise can also help regulate bowel movements and reduce symptoms such as bloating and constipation. Movement improves circulation and reduces inflammation in the gut, which helps to alleviate IBS symptoms!
Incorporating movement into your routine is a powerful tool for managing IBS symptoms and improving overall health.
So find something you enjoy doing, like walking, dancing, or playing frisbee! Let’s move!
Because inadequate sleep makes IBS worse, getting enough sleep is critical for managing IBS symptoms. Poor sleep quality causes stress and inflammation in the body, leading to an increased frequency of symptoms like gut pain, bloating, and potty problems.
BONUS: Getting enough sleep improves energy levels and reduces fatigue, making it easier to get through the day!
Prioritizing rest and sleep is integral to managing IBS and improving overall health and well-being.
Look, we know that IBS can be a bit embarrassing, and that’s why so many people suffer silently. But telling your loved ones about struggling with IBS is vital because it can help them understand what you are going through and provide much-needed support.
IBS is often isolating and can be difficult to manage on your own. By sharing your experiences with loved ones, you can help to reduce your feelings of isolation and stigma and increase awareness and understanding of IBS—a real and serious health condition.
As you navigate the ups and downs of living with IBS, be patient and kind to yourself, and prioritize your health and well-being. Living a more spontaneous and joyous life while managing IBS is possible with time, practice, and support.
Live... just better.®!