Symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders obviously make for uncomfortable living. Although everyone is different, there are some steps you could take to ease your condition. Hopefully the list below will help to provide relief.
1. Monitor your diet
Food choices may affect your condition and increase your symptoms and suffering. Are you aware of definite triggers? Some foods which may cause gastro pain include dairy products, chocolate, alcohol, coffee, fizzy drinks, beans, cabbage and cauliflower.
Avoiding food triggers is one method to reduce your symptoms, but there may be foods that will help your IBS and other gastrointestinal issues. Foods that contain probiotics such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and kefir may relief symptoms such as gas and bloating.
Fibre intake should be scrutinised as it gives mixed results: On the one hand, it will help to ease symptoms such as constipation, but on the other, fibre can also increase gas and bloating. It is worth including high-fibre foods for a couple of weeks and note any changes, both positive and negative.
You can replace dairy products with a range of alternatives, such as plant-based spreads instead of butter, and dairy-free yoghurts and milk (soy, rice, almond coconut and more).
Stress is a common trigger for IBS, we know that, and long term stress can have a negative effect on your mind and body. Managing stress if important for your overall wellbeing; try lowering stress levels by sitting in a quiet place every day to read, paint, do yoga, or be creative in some way – and put away the phone!
If you wanted to explore your creative side, there is a really good website that offers tutorials on both drawing and creative writing.
Going for a walk daily is something we can all do and will give you time to reset, collect your positive thoughts and recharge.
We mentioned above about smartphone usage; excessive use, especially on social media, could lead to anxiety. However, there are some clever mindfulness apps that may help you to find your inner calm.
3. Be Active
For some gastrointestinal disorder sufferers, the thought of exercise is alarming, but it is a proven way to beat stress, depression and anxiety, especially when taken regularly. By alleviating stress, you may stimulate regular intestinal contractions which will ease bowel discomfort.
If you currently do little or no exercise, start slow and gradual. This way, you will have a better chance of maintaining a regular exercise routine. Try and find something you enjoy doing, rather than something which may feel like punishment!
The NHS recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week.
4. Avoid Laxative use if possible
Over the counter laxative treatments are readily available and may help initially if you suffer from constipation, but it is recommended that you consult your GP before using laxatives as some may cause adverse effects..
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