Prepare, manage and conquer.
Regardless of how mild or severe your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is, any flare-up has the potential to be painful, embarrassing and may cause unnecessary panic if not handled properly. Arm yourself with these tips so you can cope with your most unexpected IBS flare-ups.
Preparing well is half the battle
You can’t predict exactly when your IBS episode will happen, but you can definitely prepare for it.
To properly manage this potentially lifelong condition, you need to make certain adjustments to your diet and lifestyle. Watching what you eat is one of the most effective ways to minimise future issues. Reducing your consumption of alcohol, artificially-sweetened drinks, beans, caffeine, chocolate and fatty foods can lead to lesser flare-ups in the future.
If you do experience an episode, drink enough water and stock up on IBS-friendly teas such as anise, chamomile and peppermint which will make it easier for you to cope.
Lastly, having easy access to a hot compress is handy during your flare-ups. The heat will provide you relief from your abdominal pain by stimulating the blood flow and relaxing your muscles, leading to reduced muscle spasms.
This is easier said than done especially when you are suffering from an excruciating abdominal pain or you suddenly felt the urge to go to the toilet while you’re in a crowded venue with no restroom in sight, but you must remember that panicking will just make your IBS symptoms worse.
Try taking deep breaths, playing calm images in your mind and utilising other effective stress management techniques can help you cope with your IBS flare-up while preventing it from spiraling out of control.
Write it down
Keeping a record of what you ate and what you were doing before you experienced your IBS flare-up can help you and your healthcare professional spot patterns about your IBS symptom triggers. Your IBS symptom journal can also help your healthcare provider to objectively assess your IBS so they can recommend the most suitable management plan for your condition.
Whether it’s a FODMAP-rich food that you ingested such as wheat bread or a stressful activity such as preparing for a client presentation, recording your pre-IBS flare-up activities can also help you to make the necessary adjustments to your daily routine to minimise them from happening again.
Face the world – Stay active
True to its name, IBS is an irritating health condition that affects your quality of life.
But it should never be a reason for you to stop living yours.
So whatever it is you’re doing or wherever you may be during your IBS flare-up, simply acknowledge that it’s happening. Don’t hide it. Ask for help if you need it. And never think that being diagnosed with IBS marks the start of your life’s downhill journey.
Together with your personal commitment, support of your loved ones and dedicated healthcare professionals and an effective IBS management plan, you can still experience life to the fullest, even with this lifelong condition.
We can help you cope with your IBS
Our team of accredited Brisbane nutritionists and dietitians here at New Life Nutrition have been providing professional support, guidance and long-term solutions to IBS patients for many years. Our dedicated team are committed to help you learn how to properly manage your IBS, so you can live a happier, healthier life. Book your appointment with our team now!