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Is your bowel irritable? - Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo
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Is your bowel irritable?

Irritable bowel

Is your bowel irritable?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an all too common condition also known as “spastic colon”.  It leads to symptoms such as abdominal cramping, pain, gas, bloating and/or a change in bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation) and lasting for over three months.  The exact cause of IBS is unknown and the onset is generally in the teenage years. For reasons unknown, it is twice as common in woman compared to men.

Suffer from IBS? You're not alone! DYK 1 in 6 people have irritable bowel?! Click To Tweet
If you are someone affected by IBS, you are not alone. It is estimated that 1 out of 6 people have irritable bowel. The severity of the symptoms mentioned above range from mild to severe depending on the individual. The triggers or causes are also individual. The GOOD NEWS however is that most people are able to control their symptoms through dietary and stress management.
Food diary

Lifestyle & Nutritional Treatment Tips:

  • Keeping a Food Symptom Journal: I know this may sound laborious but trust me it helps in discovering the foods that are triggering your symptoms. Working with a dietitian can help you in keeping track of your daily food and fluid intake so that you can identify which foods should be limited or avoided.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Soluble Fibre is important for solidifying stool in cases of diarrhea since the fibre draws water in to help with adding bulk. Metamucil is psyllium fibre (soluble fibre) and is excellent for diarrhea treatment.
  • Insoluble fibre (ex. wheat bran) is useful in loosening stools in cases of constipation and decreasing pressure on your intestines which help to relieve symptoms.
  • Drinking 6-8 cups of water daily is important for both those experiencing diarrhea and those experiencing constipation . 

 

lime water

 

Last but certainly not least, emotional stimuli are a definite trigger for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Try these tips below:

  • Meditation (10 minutes daily with emphasis on deep breathing).
  • Regular exercise (as often as is reasonable for you).
  • Yoga is a great stress relief and used to calm the mind.
  • Massage therapy for relaxation.

meditation

Bottom Line:

Speaking with professional is essential for identifying food triggers and in developing better coping mechanisms for dealing with emotional/stress triggers.  Feel free to fill out a Food Symptom Diary, which you can find on the Connect page of my website.
I hope you feel empowered that there are options available to help in treating IBS with nutrition and lifestyle 🙂