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How to beat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

I have struggled with IBS for almost my entire life and tried everything possible. After many years I figured it seems there are simple ways that don’t include medicine to beat IBS. This is what truly helps me and I hope it will help you as well if you are struggling with IBS. I know IBS is not just a hype or people that complain about a little bit of stomach pain. IBS can really ruin your life. Here are my top tips to help you get your life back!

Probiotics

If you take a supplement make it a probiotic, they are packed full with good bacteria which restore the good bacteria in your gut. But to be very honest I prefer to eat probiotics the natural way, my favorite is sauerkraut.

Hydrate

Water nourishes the digestive tract and helps remove waste and toxins. When I was a kid (my IBS started at the age of 10!), the doctor never told me this. I got medicine, but would never drink water during the day. Water is very very very important. Get a big bottle and take it with you wherever you go!

Move

I never really liked to move. As a kid I was in a bad shape and exercise was something terrible for me. I remember I watched a documentary on IBS and the idea of moving your body (and as such also your gut) made so much sense to me. Even now I notice, when I don’t go out for a walk and sit still too long my bowels get lazy. Just a walk a day will be enough. I spoke (and wrote) about my 10.000 steps regime already here.

Fibers

Fibers are important. But I’m not talking about the ”flakes” that your doctor will probably get you. I’m talking about fibers from real whole foods, fruits and veggies. Some people may find it hard to digest raw vegetables (I don’t have issues with that), but steaming is your solution then. Water and fibers are very important.

Triggers

After all these years with and without IBS I believe one can not really ”cure” IBS. Even though I’m completely free of any IBS symptoms, I still have my triggers. I noticed too much orange juice is not a good plan, so I will have it at home (in a smoothie), but when I travel I will avoid orange juice. For others this can be bread, a fruit, coffee or something completely different. Know your trigger(s) and life will be so much more easier.

Portion size

Instead of having large meals at one time I enjoy smaller meals over the day much more. It basically means you are easy on your gut, you’re not giving it too much work at once.

Raw food

If you have terrible IBS, then raw food might not be the way to go for you. Don’t munch on raw carrots all day, since raw veggies are hard to breakdown. Have steamed, sautéed or roasted veggies instead and not first thing in the morning.

Sit down

Try not to eat fast. Try not to eat and talk, text, check your emails….chew your food and sit down to eat. It helps your body to relax and gets into the state of rest, so your body can absorb the food more easily. More on chewing here.

Stress

Last but not least, the stress factor. This one is huge. It has a huge impact on your body, but it is also difficult to avoid sometimes. I remember the days I had a job I really hated and I literally had bowel issues almost non stop. Change your job! It is not worth it. Oh my, what a torture that was. Anyway, try to get rid of stress factors that you can get rid of. A relaxed mind and body are very important. If prayer/meditation is not your cup of tea, do something that makes you mindful. It might be walking, cooking or reading. Don’t spend so much time worrying and stressing, relax. Our gut is very much interconnected with our feelings so focus on reducing stress to heal your digestion.

I hope these tips help you and please share your experiences on IBS below with me. I know there are many of us out there struggling with IBS.

 

photos by the green creator (c) (copyright)

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Betty
    September 30, 2015 at 8:54 am

    hoe weet ik wat voor mij een trigger is? direct na het eten van jou trigger? of na enkele uren, of de dag erna? ik heb veel last van heel erg opgeblazen buik, maar kan maar niet ontdekken wat de oorzaak is ….

    • Reply
      Bianca
      September 30, 2015 at 9:19 am

      Hi Betty, dit voel je al heel snel. Ik zou zeggen binnen enkele uren al….Drink je toevallig frisdrank of eet je snel? Dat zou een oorzaak kunnen zijn.

      • Reply
        betty
        September 30, 2015 at 9:33 am

        hoi, neen drink nooit frisdrank. eet volgens voedselzandloper van chris deburg en zoals pascale naessens, veel groenten, heel weinig brood en pasta. misschien is bier of koffie mijn trigger….

        • Reply
          Bianca
          September 30, 2015 at 9:47 am

          Dat zou heel goed kunnen, met name bier 🙂

  • Reply
    ElineW
    September 30, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Goed lijstje! Ik slik nu ook probiotica, maar wil ook wat meer échte probiotica eten. Maak jij zuurkool zelf of waar koop je dit?

    • Reply
      Bianca
      September 30, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Hi Eline, ik koop de bio zuurkool 🙂 en ik slik geen probiotica op dit moment.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    September 30, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Interessant artikel! Ik heb er zelf gelukkig geen last van maar doe de diëtisten opleiding en herken wel veel van je punten! 🙂

    • Reply
      Bianca
      September 30, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Wat leuk! 😀

  • Reply
    Georg Klapwijk
    September 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Helaas wordt in bovenstaande opsomming hypnotherapie niet venoemd. Hypnotherapie is onderandere door Professor Dr. P. Whorwell evidend based aanbevolen als enige goed wekende therapie tegen het Prikkelbare Darm Syndroom.Het door Whorwell ontwikkelde Darmmanagement hypnotherapie programma wordt in Nederland met zijn toestemming door circa 50 gespecialiseerde gediplomeerde hypnotherapeuten aan PDS patiënten aangeboden. Meer informatie http://www.pds-therapeuten.nl

    • Reply
      Bianca
      October 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Georg, ik heb zelf goede resultaten met bovenstaande, maar dank voor het delen! Bianca

      • Reply
        Georg
        October 1, 2015 at 3:47 pm

        Graag gedaan en het werk, …. het werk door …. en door!

  • Reply
    Suzzy Sibo
    April 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    I think one should not underestimate the power of changes in diet when trying to cope with IBS . When I changed up my diet and started eating at smaller more regular intervals I found a vast improvement in the pain levels I was experience and the frequency I needed to visit the bathroom

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