IBS Part 2 - Symptom Treatment

Last week I spoke about the signs and symptoms of IBS, along with diagnosis techniques and long term management. This week I'm covering what to do when IBS attacks - how to relieve symptoms.

If you are IBS C (constipation) dominant, increasing your daily fibre intake can help improve your bowel movement frequency. IBS C sufferers should look to increase insoluble fibre. This fibre type is considered 'roughage' and will help move/push food through your bowels. Examples include beans (kidney, lentils, chickpeas) and vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans). 

If you need a more immediate result, slippery elm in powdered form will help soothe the stomach discomfort and relieve constipation. Iberogast is a herbal formula you can buy from any chemist that will prevent intestinal spasms and increase motility (movement of food through your intestines).

IBS D sufferers can take soluble fibre to help bulk stools and decrease food transit time. Examples of this type of fibre includes psyllium husk, chia seeds and prunes.

Chamomile tea has been shown to reduce spasms in the gut that cause pain, and the tannins in berry leaf teas (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry) can help reduce overall inflammation. 

Treatments that can help all 3 types of IBS include:

Exercise - symptoms have been shown to be worse in suffers who do little to no exercise. Specific exercise such as yoga has been shown to improve symptoms, but even just going for a walk (which gives you the bonus of absorbing some Vitamin D as well) can help move along both gas/bloating and poop.

Most IBS sufferers have been shown to be Vitamin D deficient. You can increase your Vitamin D levels by getting 15-30 minutes of sun per day or via eating salmon, canned tuna, mushrooms (specifically shiitake) and egg yolk.

When you experience a bout of IBS, Peppermint in the form of tea or capsule, along with ginger, in the form of tea, tablets & juice has been shown to reduce gas and bloating. Ginger is also highly effective at reducing nausea.

Implementing hypnosis, breathwork, meditation and acupuncture into your daily/weekly treatment plan have all been shown to be effective in reducing symptom severity and frequency. Meditation and breathwork are amazing to help reduce stress and anxiety if you know these are triggers for your IBS.

Finally, moving to fasting for 14-20 hours per day, most days of the week has been shown to reduce 7/8 IBS symptoms, including:

- abdominal pain

- abdominal distention

- diarrhoea

- decrease appetite

- nausea

- anxiety

- quality of life

Let me know if you have found any other treatments that work well for you so I can share it with others :)

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