Effective Home Remedies for IBS: Lifestyle and Diet Tips

Effective Home Remedies for IBS: Lifestyle and Diet Tips

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. Home remedies such as diet and stress reduction may help.

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be uncomfortable and potentially bothersome. Abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea are never fun. However, there are several lifestyle changes and home remedies you can try that may provide some relief.

Everyone’s body is different, but once you find medications, you can try using them to prevent discomfort.

Exercise can improve IBS symptoms. A small 2019 study found that 6 weeks of treadmill exercise reduced symptoms and improved quality of life in women with mild to moderate IBS.

ONE Research review 2018 also showed that exercise likely benefited people with IBS, but noted that more studies are needed.

If you’re new to exercise, try starting slow and building up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends exercising for at least 150 minutes a week, which can be 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Research from 2019 has linked stressful life events to an increased risk of IBS and worsening symptoms.

Incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can benefit everyone, especially if you suffer from IBS. ONE study from 2020 found that participation in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction course was associated with improved gastrointestinal symptoms in people with IBS.

You can try practicing mindfulness with:

  • the meditation
  • using a mindfulness app
  • go for a walk and pay attention to your surroundings
  • take some time to think about your current physical state, thoughts and feelings
  • imagine you are somewhere you enjoy and create a mental image of what you see, hear and smell

Fiber is a bit of a mixed bag for people with IBS. It can help relieve some symptoms, including constipation, but it can worsen other symptoms such as gas and bloating.

However, it is important to eat foods high in fiber. Try to increase your fiber intake by 2 to 3 grams daily to help prevent symptoms. Focus mostly on soluble fiber, which may be better for people with IBS. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as beans, oats and fruit. The other type, insoluble fiber, is found in whole grains and vegetables.

In some cases, your doctor may also recommend that you take a fiber supplement such as Metamucil.

Dairy products tend to be high in FODMAPs, which are carbohydrates that are difficult to digest. The low-FODMAP diet, often recommended for people with IBS, it involves avoiding foods high in these carbohydrates at least until you understand your triggers.

If your doctor recommends avoiding dairy products, it’s essential to ensure you’re getting enough protein and calcium from other sources. Talk to a dietitian if you have questions about how to do this.

Certain foods can make gastrointestinal (GI) pain worse. Watch out for foods that make your symptoms worse and do your best to avoid them. Some common foods and drinks that trigger symptoms include:

  • beans
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • garlic
  • alcohol
  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • dairy products

On the other hand, certain foods may help IBS. Foods that are low in FODMAPs may be less likely to cause symptoms, including:

  • vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers and spinach
  • fruits such as bananas, grapefruit and blueberries
  • maple syrup
  • artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame

Eating probiotics, the types of “good” bacteria and other beneficial microorganisms found in your gut, can help with IBS.

A research review from 2019 suggested that taking probiotics, especially those containing multiple strains of microorganisms, may improve IBS symptoms. However, more long-term studies are needed.

You can take probiotics in supplements or through foods like:

  • yoghurt
  • kimchi
  • sauerkraut
  • miso

As with any supplement, it is essential to speak with your doctor before trying a probiotic.

Managing IBS symptoms can be a challenge, so it’s important to take care of yourself.

Several of the above strategies, such as exercise and reducing your stress, may help reduce your IBS symptoms with the added benefit of boosting your well-being. Talking to someone who understands what you’re going through can also help. Consider talking to a therapist or joining an IBS support group to meet others on a similar journey.

Can irritable bowel syndrome be cured?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition that may require lifelong treatment. There is currently no cure, however, certain medications and diet and lifestyle changes may help manage your symptoms.

How is IBS usually treated?

A treatment plan for IBS may include a combination of treatment options, such as medication and diet and lifestyle changes. Some of these changes may include exercising, eliminating foods that cause symptoms, reducing stress, keeping an IBS food diary, and taking probiotic supplements.

What foods cause IBS?

Food triggers differ for each person. However, some common IBS food triggers include fiber, gluten, highly processed and fried foods, dairy, beans and legumes, alcohol, and caffeine.

What is the main cause of irritable bowel syndrome?

The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is unknown, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. That said, researchers think it may have something to do with the relationship between your brain and your gut. Some factors that cause a flare-up may include, but are not limited to, stress, eating certain foods, and bacterial infections.

IBS can be a pain in the stomach, but you can take steps to prevent or reduce symptoms. Managing your stress and watching your diet are good ways to relieve IBS symptoms at home.

Talk to your doctor if you’re not sure which lifestyle techniques to try or the best way to start.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *