Around 2 in 10 people in the UK have IBS and it can come in many different shapes and sizes. Since COVID-19 has had us in a lockdown my IBS has been almost unbearable. it has made me unproductive and feeling really low. here are some way to help you figure out what is going on.
Is it linked to your diet?
Keep a food diary of the things that you are eating throughout the day. This will help keep track of your diet and identify intolerances you might have. You also need to think about the things that you’re putting into your body. If you are eating poorly every day that is not going to help matters. Check out FODMAPs, this can give you an indication of foods that could be triggering your IBS.
Could it be linked to anxiety?
You may notice that your IBS is worse when you’re feeling low, anxious or stressed. All these negative feelings and thoughts can be a trigger for your IBS. Just like your food diary you could start a feelings diary. Use this diary to record any negative feelings/thoughts you have that correlate with your IBS. Try yoga, meditation and breathing exercises to help reduce your anxiety and see if it helps.
One thing that I use to help relieve symptoms of IBS is a hot water bottle. However, this is not a proven treatment for IBS and I don’t know if it actually relieves the symptoms, but for me I find it really comforting and helps me to relax. Give it a try.
Peppermint is your friend
I HATE PEPPERMINT TEA! It has though really helped with my bloating and discomfort. I also have peppermint tablets, peppermint oil is great too. Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family. It aids with the discomfort and I would highly recommend finding the peppermint product that can help reduce your symptoms.
Exercise is really important in helping to manage your IBS. I have noticed that when I have my worst flare ups of IBS it is linked to the fact I might not have exercised for a couple of days. Find some workouts online or go for a jog it just helps your digestive system to work properly. I aim to work out about 4 times a week during lockdown so I can help manage my anxiety and IBS.
You can get a few things from a pharmacy to help with your IBS. Products such as Buscopan can help reduce the stomach cramps that you might experience with IBS. Other products such as Senokot Senocalm are tablets that help IBS sufferers with bloating and spasms that you might have. Another product that you could try are wind relief medicines, these could help to reduce bloating and the pain of trapped wind.
I hope these ideas might help to manage your IBS while we are in lockdown. This is an opportunity to investigate and see what works for you. If symptoms persist and you are finding your symptoms unbearable, please contact your doctor. If you have any tips on how to help IBS, please leave them in the comments below.