As any anxious person can tell you, anxiety and stress go hand in hand. Anxiety causes stress, which causes more anxiety, which causes more stress. The whole thing creates a vicious feedback loop that cranks your tension up to unbearable levels. We all know stress makes everything worse. That can easily include your IBS symptoms. Let’s examine four simple ways you can wipe out IBS stress flare ups when life gets too heavy.
What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain accompanied by recurrent diarrhea, constipation, or both. The cause of IBS is unknown, but it’s incredibly common: up to 15% of the world’s population has it, including children. Two out of three sufferers are female. Astonishingly, research has also shown that up to 90% of people with a psychiatric disorder like anxiety or depression also have IBS. There is no known cure for IBS, but there are a number of simple steps you can take to wipe out the worst of your flare ups.
Wipe Out IBS Stress Flare Ups in These 4 Simple Ways
- Watch your diet – Nothing has controlled my IBS better than dietary changes. There’s no one diet that’s best for IBS sufferers. But most notice an improvement by adopting a diet that’s gluten-free, low sugar, high protein, low caffeine, and high fiber. I take a high-quality probiotic twice a day and try not to overeat. I’ve also opted to go wheat-free and cut dairy because it exacerbates my IBS.
- Stay in shape – Being in decent shape improves your overall health, including the health of your bowel. Your colon is basically a big muscle; keeping the rest of your body in shape will help your bowel perform better too.
- Calm your mind and body – Your brain and central nervous system control your bowels. Calming your mind and body helps regulate your digestive functions as well. Try some calming stress relief techniques or a short breathing meditation exercise to release tension and reduce overall stress levels.
- Get enough sleep – Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and overeating, both of which usually make your IBS symptoms worse. Healthy sleep is also and important part of “good” gut bacteria and a strong immune system.
Wiping out IBS stress flare ups is not an overnight process. It requires ongoing effort and a fair amount of trial and error. You have to find the right combination of factors that best control your type of IBS. I hope these simple (but not easy!) tips help.
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- 11 Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body. (2017, June 5). Retrieved March 12, 2018.