Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can affect anyone at any point in their life. IBS will affect one in three people at some point but usually develops in early adulthood. The symptoms include bloating, wind, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and sometimes constipation and it is far more common in women than it is in men. However, you dont have to live with the pain and discomfort that it causes because a few lifestyle changes, aimed at tackling diet, stress levels and fitness could help enormously.
It might sound stupid but the first step towards tackling IBS is to learn how to eat again. Although what you eat could trigger the symptoms of IBS, the way you eat is likely to as well. Avoid rushing food to ensure you dont swallow air, which causes bloating. You should also aim to eat smaller meals more often. This encourages your digestive system to get into a routine and will help to avoid bloating and diarrhoea.
- Eating Pattern: Try to eat bigger meals earlier on in the day and avoid, where possible, a large evening meal. You should also avoid eating foods that are hard to digest, such as raw fruit and vegetables, after 4pm.
- Exercise: Even though you might not feel like it, regular exercise can really help your symptoms. Exercising regularly can reduce bloating and constipation and it doesn't have to be anything too strenuous, brisk walking or even yoga for thirty minutes, five times a week will be a serious help.
- Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil may help to relax the muscles in the intestines, consequently alleviating the symptoms of IBS. Whether you drink peppermint tea, add oil to water or take capsule supplements every day, it will help.
- Black Pepper: Black pepper oil may help to stimulate your digestive system and relieve cramps and wind, so its always worth having some to hand.
- Get Plenty of Sleep: The severity of IBS has been shown to be directly impacted by having little or poor quality sleep. Avoid caffeine later on in the day and make sure you get the rest your body needs.