Get on the Road to Relief from IBS
While there is no known cure for irritable bowel syndrome, there are ways in which one can improve symptoms. Always talk to a doctor and registered dietitian before beginning any "diet" aimed at treating IBS. Here are a couple of tips for getting relief:
- Eat Smaller Meals
Consuming large meals can often result in cramping and diarrhea in those with IBS. To avoid this, eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
- Keep a Diary
Tracking dietary intake, symptoms and other factors like stress, medications, daily activities and sleep patterns will help identify what triggers and worsens IBS symptoms.
- Try Probiotics
Several studies suggest that use of probiotics helps to manage IBS symptoms. Probiotics are live microscopic organisms, known as "friendly bacteria" that keep the digestive tract healthy and functioning properly. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are the most common strains of probiotic bacteria which can be found in yogurt and other cultured dairy products. They are also available as dietary supplements.
- Stress Relief
While stress does not cause IBS, patients with the disorder often find that their symptoms intensify in stressful situations. Therefore, taking steps to reduce stress levels may help with IBS. Consider activities like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, hypnosis, or counseling. Everyone reacts differently, so it may be necessary to try different stress relief techniques.