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Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly referred to as IBS, is a condition that affects one in five people. Those suffering from IBS experience chronic abdominal discomfort, including moderate to severe pain, bloating and swelling, cramps, constipation, and diarrhea. While physicians can most definitely suggest a treatment, incorporating a mixture of medications and lifestyle changes, it can often be difficult to easily discover which methods work best for you, as that Irritable Bowel Syndrome tends to affect individuals quite differently. To decide what works best for you and your body, it often requires a lot of trial and error. If one suggestion doesn’t produce optimal results, then patients often move on to the next, until they find the mixture that works best, providing the most relief.

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Try Not to Eat Too Much During One Meal

When you eat a very large meal, it can be extremely difficult on the digestive system, which is working away to distribute the food where it needs to go. Under normal conditions, this can cause strain on the body, often leading to an upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. However, when a person has Irritable Bowel System, it compounds an already negative situation. It is advised that, rather than eating three large meals a day, that patients suffering from IBS eat five to six times during the day, enjoying smaller, more frequent meals. This gives the digestive system ample time to process the food before trying to force more in.

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Chew Your Food Slowly and Completely

When you are eating a meal, you should eat each bite slowly and chew it thoroughly. The reason for this is simple. The smaller the pieces of food are that enter the body, the easier it will be for the body to digest the food. Cramming large pieces of food down your throat will take longer for the digestion process to finish, often leading to stomach pain. Eating too quickly can also be just as detrimental as not chewing properly. Again, the body needs time for digestion, so a fast, steady flow of incoming food is a lot harder to digest than occasional, small pieces at regular intervals.

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Avoid Foods That Are High in Fat

Of course, we have heard all of our adult lives that we should try our best to stay away from foods that are high in fat, as some physicians believe that it can lead to weight gain and other unhealthy conditions. But if you experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you will quickly find that high-fat foods can also often lead to stomach cramps, diarrhea and other unpleasant side effects. It is often more difficult for the body to digest these foods, so try to stay away from the fried chicken, the hamburgers and candy bars. Your stomach will be sure to thank you.

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Be Sure to Have a Full Breakfast

It has always been said that breakfast is the absolute most important meal of the day. For patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, having a good breakfast full of healthy options is even more important. Look at breakfast as the meal that awakens the colon for the day, getting it ready to work to keep the body healthy. This ensures that digestion should run on track throughout the rest of the day. Plus, eating breakfast has been known to cause people to drop a few pounds, as that the body doesn’t go into starvation mode, causing you to eat more at other meals to make up for missing breakfast.

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Watch Foods High in Fiber

Most of us have heard that foods high in fiber are extremely healthy for each and everybody, especially high in positive impacts for the digestive tract. However, as we have already learned so far, many people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome do not respond in the same way for all suggested treatments for the condition. People with IBS often find it difficult to digest foods that are very high in fiber, which will typically lead to stomach discomfort. Some fiber in moderation is great for the body, but overdoing it can lead to trouble for patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

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Try Not to Avoid Having a Bowel Movement

Keep in mind that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome have extremely sensitive bowels, as well as colons and digestive tracts. Something like holding the urge for a bowel movement may not be that big of a deal for others, but it can lead to severe discomfort for those with IBS. Holding in a bowel movement until you get home or can make it to a cleaner restroom at a shopping mall can lead to constipation, which can be a severe threat for a person suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Laxatives do not always work for those with IBS, so constipation is not always so easily relieved.

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Do Not Strain Excessively During a Bowel Movement

When you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, using the restroom can often be painful and even complicated, because you often have to go when you don’t think that you do, or you can be terribly constipated quite often when you can’t really find a reason or an explanation for it. When having a bowel movement, it is important not to overly strain, as that this can lead to other health problems, and it can sometimes lead to an even longer bout of constipation. While one of the most common symptoms of IBS is sensitive bowels, it is important not to do anything that could further flare up the problems related to this.

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Get Plenty of Exercise

Exercise is not only good for building a strong body, having a happy mind and maintaining the effects of a super healthy lifestyle, but it is also good for the entire digestive system. Keeping your weight down can also be very important for a person suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, so a proper regimen can be extremely vital when attempting to manage the symptoms of this uncomfortable condition. While a healthy amount of varied exercise is important for absolutely everyone regardless of their condition, anything that can assist with digestion should be at the top of anyone’s list when they have IBS.

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Keep a Diary of the Foods That You Eat

When a person has Irritable Bowel Syndrome, they will quickly start to learn the types of foods that will wreak havoc on their digestive system and lead to a long night without sleep and an upset stomach. This is why it is imperative to keep track of the foods that produce problems in digestion. Chances are that if a special sandwich sauce leads to diarrhea twice, that the third attempt will produce the same results. By keeping a journal, you won’t have to try to remember if your aunt’s lasagna is a bad dinner choice. Instead, you’ll be able to easily look it up in your food diary.

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Make Regular Visits to Your Physician

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition that can cause a lot of health problems for a person suffering from its effects on the body. However, your doctor will be able to keep track of the particular problems that you experience with IBS, especially after developing a history. Be sure to always explain all of your symptoms in as full detail as possible. This isn’t the time to be shy, but to be sure to experience as much relief as possible. Be sure to follow all instructions that are given, and be ready and willing to participate in any tests that your doctor should find are necessary in your course of treatment.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.