How to Manage Your IBS and Improve Gut Health
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects up to 16% of people in the United States. Those who have IBS suffer from bloating, constipation, and other digestive issues. Managing these symptoms can take practice and consistency. Here are a few tips to help improve the symptoms of IBS and increase your quality of life!
PRO TIP: Keep a journal when you first start making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Tracking physical and emotional reactions to these changes will help you identify what helps YOUR body best. Keep in mind, everybody will react differently to these tips. Don't get discouraged if you haven't found what you need! Eventually, you will find what works best for your digestive system.
A new study suggests that a unique type of carbohydrate fiber can help maintain weight and support the gut: Resistant Starch.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
To combat constipation, it’s important to add more fiber to your diet. This can be in the form of fiber-rich foods like grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits or supplements such as Resistant Starch Prebiotic Fiber. Regardless of the type of fiber you choose, be sure to slowly add more into your diet so your body can adjust to increased intake.
Find Ways To Manage Stress
Stress can be a key trigger for many of those suffering from IBS. Look for ways to decrease stressors in your life and increase activities that help you wind down. This can include saying ‘no’ to extra work or extracurricular activities and adding meditation or working out to your weekly schedule.
Get Sufficient Sleep
Getting enough sleep has been found to improve symptoms of IBS, so if you find yourself lying awake at night, maybe it’s time to create an evening routine. Try going to bed at the same time every night, turning off electronics one hour before bed, and avoiding caffeine.
The good bacteria found in probiotics have been credited with helping ease the symptoms of IBS. Diverse strains of good bacteria such as lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, and saccharomyces boulardii are key in feeding your gut bacteria.
Avoid Processed Foods
Emulsifiers are found in many processed foods to help with texture and shelf stability. This has been proven to negatively impact gut flora. In addition, added sugars can impact hormone levels and imbalance healthy gut bacteria.
IBS comes with many different symptoms which is why it is so difficult to manage. Functional medicine works to find the root cause of the problem and identify triggers and create a healing protocol unique to YOU.