IBS is an abbreviation for c, a common condition that affects the digestive system. It’s something that people end up living with all their life and can cause lots of problems in day to day life. IBS sufferers tend to experience symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. There is no known cure for IBS but making changes in your lifestyle, diet and taking certain medicines can help to relieve symptoms.

How you can help to relieve symptoms

  • Cook at home using fresh ingredients as much as possible.
  • Keep track of what you’re eating, to see which food irritates your stomach the most. This means you can then avoid these foods.
  • Try to find ways to keep calm and to relax.
  • Try probiotics for a month or so to see if they help.
  • Try to exercise regularly.

Try to avoid doing these things

  • Don’t skip or eat at random times of the day.
  • Try not to eat your meals too quickly.
  • Avoid spicy, fatty and processed foods.
  • Do not eat more than 3 portions of fruit a day.
  • Avoid drinking more than 3 cups of tea or coffee a day.
  • Avoid drinking fizzy drinks and drink as little alcohol as possible.

Ways to ease cramps and bloating

Eating oats regularly, avoiding foods that are hard to digest (e.g. cabbage and broccoli), avoiding products containing sweetener (sorbitol), and eating up to 1 tablespoons of linseeds a day. Another option is to ask your pharmacist about any other medications that can help these types of symptoms of IBS, they may give you buscopna or peppermint oil.

How to relieve constipation

The best way to help relieve constipation is by trying to drink as much water as you can, as this helps your poo become softer. Eating foods that contain a lot of soluble fiber foods such as oats, carrots, peeled potatoes and linseeds. You can also ask your pharmacist about any medication that could also help to relieve constipation.

When to see a GP or medical professional

You should see your GP if any changes you make in your day to day life are not helping, or if you feel that your medication is not helping. If you feel that you are having to avoid lots and lots of different foods to help ease your IBS then you should also see your GP. You might be considering seeing a specialist who can offer their expert knowledge on your digestive issues. Mr Andrew Clarke works privately and specializes as a colorectal surgeon. A specialist like this can help make recommendations, or suggest other ways to relieve any symptoms and pain.

Health2Wellness

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