Introduction: Tips to Help Cope With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Some of us suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Its important to have this assessed by a doctor specializing in this field however for most of us with IBS its just a matter of learning to live with it.
I have a particularly severe version of IBS and since its full onset a couple years ago, my quality of life has changed. Its very painful, eating (and processing) food is now a challenge, sleeping a proper rest is problematic, getting rid of waste is a daily challenge. It affects every day of my life however life has to continue. I still need to work in order to pay the bills and I just thought I would share a few tips on how I cope with my situation.
I just want to stress that periodic visits to a specialist for digestion disorders is recommended especially for folks that have non-stop rough sessions of IBS.
Step 1: Knowing Your Triggers.
IBS gets worse with certain triggers.
1. Type of Foods (for me, tomatoes are a number one enemy).
2. Mental Health (stress in any form will aggravate the issue).
3. Temperature (the cold makes my IBS worse).
Paying attention to the triggers can help you offset the symptoms.
Step 2: Keep Warm.
I work in an air conditioned office most of the time. Sadly, field work is not as bountiful as it used to be. Being cold really gets painful. For this I wear a jacket to keep my mid torso warmer. A hot water bottle or electric blanket is just as well. When my pain acts up badly at home, I take a hot shower and it just melts that pain away.
Step 3: Probiotics!
Taking probiotics regularly will help the intestine to be happy and produce less pain handling solid waste. The higher the culture count is usually the better however different brands have varying potencies.
Step 4: Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar.
The organic version is by far the best. I have the filtered version at work and it still helps. Sure it tastes crappy but I now (barely) enjoy the taste. There are numerous other benefits to drinking apple cider vinegar so its a good thing to try.
Step 5: Release Pressure on the Waist.
After eating, the pressure on my waist area will make my IBS symptoms worse. Carrying my belt a notch looser helps immensely! Depending if you are home or at work, try if possible to release that pressure without appearing rude.
Step 6: Excercise and Mental Health.
Doing even a small amount of exercise regularly really does help. Do as much as you can for your benefit. Dont worry to outrun the pack. Just do what you are capable of.
For me abdominal exercises, free weights and walking all help to keep my symptoms down but there are often days when I cant do anything and just need to rest. Yoga I heard is a good addition/alternative.
Keeping a cool head will keep the tummy happy. As soon as I'm stressed the pains flare so its a balancing act in my personal and professional life. Having a hobby or hobbies you are passionate about will also remove that negative stress.
So for all IBS survivors (not sufferers since I want to be positive), as bad as the pains gets and you may think "why me?" there are others like you and there are means to help keep the pains down without resorting to pain killers on a daily basis. Of course everyone will have varying intensities of pain and my heart goes out to all of you. Keep the faith up and I wish you the best.