In many cases of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can provide great relief from the symptoms. Not all cases require medication. Although, your body may not respond immediately to these lifestyle changes, your goal is to find long-term solutions, not temporary.
Here are some diet and lifestyle tips to help you aid your IBS-
1) Drink plenty of liquids-Patients with IBS (diarrhoea or constipation predominant) must avoid dehydration and drink lots of fluids. Alcohol and caffeine should be avoided as they stimulate your intestines and make diarrhoea worse. Also, carbonated drinks can produce gas.
2) Avoid problem foods-Avoid those food stuffs that make your symptoms worse. These may include anything from alcohol, dairy products, caffeine, sugar-free sweeteners. Gas-producing food like cabbage, beans, cauliflower should also be avoided. Use of chewing gum or drinking through a straw can lead to swallowing of air, thus more gas.
3)Fiber rich diet-A high fiber diet is one of the most crucial changes you must make to keep your bowel movement regular and prevent constipation. Fiber rich food should be included in diet which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products like whole wheat bread, wheat pasta and brown rice. Fiber rich diet is required to give roughage to your stools. Gradually increase the fiber content in your diet according to the suitability as the condition may even get worse after taking excessive fiber rich diet.
4)Exercise-The more you get your body in motion, the more likely your bowels are to follow. Exercise is known to help regularize bowels and prevent constipation. Brisk walking everyday will also be sufficient.
5)Eat at regular time-Small frequent meals may make patients with IBS feel better than skipping meals as it regulates your bowel movement.
6)Inform your doctor about any medication you are taking-A number of medications can cause diarrhea or constipation as a side effect, that can only worsen your IBS complaints.
Identifying the factors that trigger IBS is a key step in managing your condition and in helping you feel you have control of your life.