Coping With IBS – Harvard Health Blog
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be painful, embarrassing, and embarrassing. There is currently no cure for this complex disease, and managing its symptoms and flare-ups is tricky. Thus, coping mechanisms are a constant need.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder in which your gut becomes more sensitive and the muscles in your digestive system have abnormal contractions. People with IBS usually have abdominal pain accompanied by frequent changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of the two). Other common symptoms include
- bloating and gas
- wanting to move the bowels but not being able to do so
- incomplete bowel movements
- urgent need to move the intestines.
Because no one knows what causes IBS, it’s impossible to prevent it. Once you’ve been diagnosed, the goal is to focus on managing the condition. You can do this by identifying specific triggers for your IBS symptoms, and then adopting strategies to make them less severe and less frequent.
The most common approaches are dietary changes – eliminating or reducing problematic foods – and stress management techniques, such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Some over-the-counter and prescription supplements and medications can also help. Your doctor can help you implement these strategies and advise you on what medications to take.
Dealing with IBS on a daily basis
People often need extra help, especially when dealing with the embarrassment and emotional turmoil of living with IBS. Here are some ways to get the extra support you might need.
Join a support group. Talking with others who have IBS can help you cope with the stress and anxiety of your disorder. The online community Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self-Help and Support Group offers moral support and information, including news on recent studies on IBS.
Prepare for public outings. Don’t let IBS stop you from enjoying an active social life. Being aware of your IBS can help you avoid potential problems. For example, always write down the closest bathroom and try to sit nearby. When eating out, try to review the menu in advance. If there are no pleasant meals, you can eat ahead. Also, don’t be afraid to call her early at night if your IBS is having trouble. People will understand if you say that you are just not feeling well.
Share with someone. Not everyone needs to know about your IBS, but talk to a few friends and colleagues so they can cover you when symptoms appear.
Have an emergency kit handy. Always keep a change of underwear, clothes, toilet paper, wet wipes, and a large plastic bag handy just in case.
Do not rush the stool. It can help reduce the stress of having to use the bathroom all the time. Set aside a regular hour or times each day for a bowel movement. Give yourself the time you need to relax. When pushing, be careful to avoid excessive tension. It can help elevate your feet with the help of a footrest.
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