Lifestyle Changes to Manage Your IBS Symptoms

posted by Dave Leman on October 16, 2013

Food Journal

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) tends to focus on managing the condition by reducing the severity and frequency of symptoms. Here is a list of symptoms and lifestyle changes associated with IBS and how you can manage each:

  • Gas/Bloating – First and foremost, keep a food diary along with how you felt after eating that meal. Where there any side effects associated with what you ate? Try staying away from legumes (beans) which are known to produce gassy symptoms. Beano, found at most drugstores, could provide relief. Some dairy products can also cause people to feel gassy, so if you are one of those individuals try lactose-free milk.
  • Diarrhea – Again, try keeping a food diary to avoid those foods that cause your diarrhea symptoms to arise. Eating foods such as bananas or cheese that can help turn your stools into a solid again. All individuals are unique, so knowing your triggers is beneficial.
  • Cramps – Caffeine is known to cause cramping, so stay away from caffeinated drinks such as coffee, energy drinks, and soda. A method to help sooth your IBS cramps is to place a cold or hot pack on your abdomen for about a half hour to relieve the pain.
  • Constipation – Try incorporating high-fiber foods into your diet and eat a lot of veggies! Prune juice is another alternative because it contains sorbitol content along with fiber, which makes it an effective way to soften the stool and help alleviate the pain associated with constipation. If eating high-fiber foods doesn’t cut it for you, consider a fiber supplement or even stool softeners to help make bowel movements easier.
  • Education – Take the time to learn about your IBS and assess your symptoms. You will then be an advocate for your own health.

Most people living with IBS are able to control their symptoms through education, diet, and stress management. For others that are having a hard time doing so, keeping a food journal is highly recommended to tackle the onset of your IBS symptoms immediately, before they get worse.

If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and are interested in a clinical research study for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, visit our current studies page for more information.