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IBS Management Tips: 10 Essential Strategies

Take Control of Your Gut Health with these IBS Management Tips

10 Essential Strategies to Help Control IBS Symptoms

Do you suffer from IBS? Check out these practical tips and resources for improving gut health and managing IBS symptoms effectively. When it comes to irritable bowel syndrome, what you do for you is more important than what your health-care team can do. Take charge by embracing these proactive self-care practices.

1. Eat a nutritious, varied diet.

Diversity of food intake encourages diversity of the gut microbiome and helps ensure a wide range of nutrients.

Your dietary focus should be on vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, good sources of protein, and 1-2 serves of fruit daily. Fresh is best!

If symptoms flare from any of these food groups, make an appointment to get support. These are all healthy foods, and important for good gut health.

eat a nutritious, varied diet

2. Don’t underestimate the importance of dietary fibrE

There are 2 kinds of dietary fibre, and both are important. For some people, too much can cause problems, and insufficient can lead to symptom aggravation.

Read more about dietary fibre here.

3. Eat Meals, Not Snacks

Unless you’re a growing child, an active athlete, or have a specific health need that requires frequent food intake, limiting your eating episodes to three a day allows your digestive system to fully process each meal before the next one comes in.

The impact food has on your digestive system may be highlighted by how it feels when empty, best assessed first thing in the morning. If you are one of the many for whom this is the “most comfortable” time of the day, be inspired to allow that extra space between meals. 

4. Sit down to eat and chew well

Digestion begins in the mouth, so focusing on the process of eating helps ensure your digestive system can extract the nutrients from the food.

Digestion begins in the mouth, with the physical grinding of food by your teeth, and the mixing with your enzyme-rich saliva. This ensures a good start to the process of breaking down your food, so further down your digestive system things work more efficiently. 

5. Maintain good hydration

Water is best!

Just one of the many important jobs of the large intestine is to extract water from the material moving through. So if you are not adequately hydrated, more fluid will be recovered from the large intestine, contributing to constipation.

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6. Manage Your stress levels.

Stress has a massive effect on the digestive system. It can slow it down (contributing to bloating, pain and constipation), or speed it up, which can trigger more frequent visits to the bathroom.

In either scenario, you’re not going to feel great and quite likely not get the nutrition from your food that you need to help with that stress management strategy. 

7. Exercise regularly

Establishing and maintaining a daily routine that includes moderate exercise (ideally 20-30 minutes are day) can promote regular bowel function. 

Added bonus: exercise also helps with weight management, stress management, and your immune function as well!

Exercise is good

8. Probiotics

Taking a probiotic or regular intake of probiotic-rich foods (such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi
etc.,) may benefit some people. Note that not all types of these foods actually contain probiotics, and if a probiotic doesn’t help you, it’s either not the right one for you, or you didn’t need one anyway. 

If taking probiotic foods or supplements aggravate symptoms, stop using them and see a healthcare professional.

9. Obey the call of nature!

When you’ve gotta go. Just Go!

Go when you have to go!

10. Work with a Professional.

If you suspect a food is causing a problem, see a health professional who can investigate this
– simply removing foods from the diet can lead to more problems. People with irritable
bowel syndrome are more likely to develop unhealthy eating patterns or become deficient
in important nutrients due to dietary restrictions.

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