6 Easy Remedies To Improve IBS Symptoms
IBS is a crippling condition which can really derail and hijack your life when it decides to flare up. If you’re an IBS sufferer you know that it’s far more than just a “sore tummy”. It involves bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, extreme pain and even depression. Even more frustratingly, there is no hard and fast cure, only ways to manage it.
Knowing your own body and your own symptoms are a few ways to getting your IBS under control. This can be a hard road as certain foods really trigger some people while they’re fine for others. It’s all about assessing your own experiences.
However, there are some universal tips which can help almost every IBS sufferer to some extent. Here are 6 simple ways to improve IBS symptoms.
1. Follow The “Little and Often” Rule
When you eat large meals, your digestive system can become stressed, overwhelmed and cause all those IBS symptoms we dread. Bloating, diarrhea and pain can be avoided or heavily reduced by eating smaller portions more often. When you eat little bits of food throughout the day your digestive system can stay on track and keep functioning without becoming irritated. What’s more, if you keep yourself fed by grazing on small meals you will avoid becoming too hungry which often leads to binges and large, indulgent meals.
2. Increase Your Omega-7 Intake
Omega-7 is a fatty acid in the same family as the more popular Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-7 is known for being a great anti-inflammatory which is wonderful news for our irritated digestive tracts. You can get pure Omega-7 supplements such as Ultra Omega Burn. However, you can up your Omega-7 intake naturally by adding a serving of macadamia nuts to your daily menu (provided they aren’t an IBS trigger for you). Oily fish like salmon and tuna are also amazing Omega-7 sources, which are often very gentle on IBS-plagued tummies. Oily fish is also great for keeping you full and energized without causing uncomfortable IBS symptoms.
3. Stock Up On Herbal Teas
The soothing warmth of herbal tea can be surprisingly effective for IBS symptoms. Regardless of the tea itself, warm or hot water can be very effective at soothing the digestive tract and “moving things along” if you suffer from IBS-C. There are some age-old herbs which are wonderful digestive soothers, the best being peppermint. Peppermint tea after a meal or throughout the day can help to move gas through the digestive tract, soothe a spasming gut and reduce cramping pain.
Fennel tea is also a wonderful tea to have on hand in the cupboard as it can very gently get the bowels moving if you have IBS-C.
Chamomile and anise tea are also great choices. Have a few on hand so you’ve always got a tea to reach for between meals and when your symptoms are flaring up. The relaxing process of enjoying a cup of tea can also help you to slow down, relax and soothe any anxieties which may be triggering your IBS.
Regular movement is one of the best ways to soothe IBS symptoms. You don’t need to go crazy, just a brisk walk, a yoga class or even a nice stretch at home can really make a difference. Gentle to moderate exercise releases tension from the body and helps the gut to relax. What’s more, exercise is one of life’s very best stress remedies and by now, we all know how destructive stress is for our IBS experience. Exercise also helps the digestive system to move along gently, reducing the risk of constipation. Gentle activity such as walking can help trapped gas to move through the body, relieving you of painful bloating and that “blocked” feeling.
5. Keep Peppermint Oil Tablets Handy
Sometimes life really can’t take a break while our IBS runs amok, and we just have to keep pushing through the day. During these times (meetings, family occasions, work deadlines…) it’s really important to have a stash of something effective in your bag.
Peppermint oil (like peppermint tea) has been found to be extremely effective for soothing bad bouts of IBS. The minty oil calms your colon down and dulls the pain, allowing you to carry on with the day more comfortably.
Peppermint oil tablets are the way to go as they are safe, effective and reasonably affordable. It’s amazing the kind of health benefits essential oils can have on our body.
6. Choose Fermented Foods and Probiotic Supplements
Not only do fermented foods feed your gut with healthy bacteria for better overall health and function, they help to boost your mental health. IBS can lead to (and sometimes is the cause of) feelings of anxiety, depression and hopelessness. There has been more and more research coming out which shows that the health of our gut can tie in with our mental health. The best foods to add to your IBS-soothing diet are fermented foods such as:
- Probiotic supplements
These foods pack your gut with billions of healthy, helpful and active bacteria which help to digest your food and soothe inflammation. Of course, it’s best to introduce fermented foods slowly so you don’t overwhelm your gut and cause more irritation.
IBS is frustrating as there is no magic pill to make it go away. It simply must be managed in the way that works best for you. Start by adding regular exercise, fermented foods, soothing teas and a dose of Omega-7 to your daily routine. Keep a supply of peppermint oil tablets in your bag and try to find ways to reduce stress.