Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Posted Nov 20, 2009
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I have IBS and like you it comes and goes. My IB flares if my IC flares, if I get stressed or if I eat the wrong diet. I control it by doing the following:
I used to take Buscopan but I was taken off it as a side effect was pain of unrination and it keep making me flare. (bear this in mind with your IC)
I take 'Colafac' (Mebeverine) but it is not 100% effective for me
I stay away from starch such as potatoe
I stay away from pastry (like on pies - this is a big no-no, its almost instant tummy swelling)
I try not to drink a lot of tea or sugary drinks.
I keep an 'IBS' diary of when I flare to work out whether its been something I have eaten or if its stress related
I try to relax as much as possible, espcially if I have had a stressful day, because again its instant tunny swelling
I have relflexology (this is brill!)
I also use cream for when I'm constimpated and sebseqently then get piles
I try not to eat a lot of sweet food like biscuits, crisps, cake etc.
I have been given fibregel but I near enough vomit everytime I try to drink it
I personally find that if I control all of the above it negates the need to take the medicines. Becuase I am already on treatments it frustrates me having to keep taking more so I try to self-help instead.
I have included some self-help advise and some useful websites.
For most people with IBS, a healthy lifestyle is the best way to improve symptoms. This can include the following.
- If your main symptom is diarrhoea, you should try not to have tea, coffee, alcohol, spicy food and the artificial sweetener sorbitol, as these can increase your symptoms.
- If you have constipation, you should try gradually introducing more fibre-rich foods, such as bran, fruit and vegetables, into your diet.
- If bloating or wind is a problem, cutting out gas-producing foods, such as beans and green vegetables (eg cabbage and broccoli), may help.
- Some people find that certain foods regularly bring on symptoms, but this isn't always easy to discover. It's best not to miss out one food after another from your diet to see if it's causing your symptoms, as you may not be getting all the nutrients you need in your diet. Advice from a dietitian can be useful.
- If stress triggers your IBS, learning stress management or relaxation techniques may be useful. You may also find keeping a diary to compare your symptoms with life events helpful. If certain events are identified as triggers, it may be easier to deal with the stress of them.
- Taking regular exercise helps to keep your bowel movements regular and reduce stress.
- Soluble fiber helps both diarrhea and constipation. It dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material. Many foods contain soluble fiber such as apples, beans and citrus fruits. Psyllium, a natural vegetable fiber, is a also a soluble fiber. You can buy psyllium supplements (some brand names: Fiberall, Metamucil, Perdiem) to drink and you can add it to other foods.
- Insoluble fiber helps constipation by moving material through your digestive system and adding bulk to your stool. Insoluble fiber is in whole grain breads, wheat bran and many vegetables.
- If milk and other dairy products bother you, you may have lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance means that your body can't digest lactose (the sugar in milk).
Stress may trigger symptoms in people with IBS. Talk to your family doctor about ways to deal with stress, such as exercise, relaxation training or meditation. He or she may have some suggestions or may refer you to someone who can give you some ideas. Your doctor may also suggest that you talk to a counselor about things that are bothering you.
- Heating pads and hot baths can also be comforting.
Food intolerance is gaining ground as a possible cause for IBS symptoms in many people. Sufferers find that by cutting out particular types of food such as dairy or gluten they reduce their symptoms, or they may find that they have certain 'trigger' foods that always set off symptoms.
There are also various food intolerance tests available, which offer to identify what foods affect you by testing your blood, your skin or sometimes even your hair.
IBS trigger foods (not all of these will be affecting you so please don't read this list and cut everything out!)
Anything battered and deep-fried
Anything skillet-fried in fat of any kind
All oils, fats, spreads, etc.
Solid chocolate (baking cocoa powder is fine)
Solid carob (carob powder is fine)
Nuts and nut butters
Croissants, pastries, biscuits, scones, and doughnuts
Potato chips (unless they're baked)
Corn chips and nachos (unless they're baked)
Store-bought dried bananas (they're almost always deep fried)
Coffee ~ both regular AND decaf contain an enzyme that's an extremely powerful GI tract irritant. Go cold turkey today and drink herbal teas instead.
Caffeine is a GI stimulant and should be avoided, especially in higher doses.
Alcohol is a GI irritant and often triggers IBS attacks, especially on an empty stomach (though small amounts of alcohol used in cooking are fine).
Carbonation in soda pop and mineral water can cause bloating and cramps.
Artificial sweeteners, particularly sorbitol, can trigger pain, cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Artificial fats, namely Olestra, can cause abdominal cramping and diarrhea in people who don't even have IBS – imagine what it can do to you.
MSG has acquired lots of ugly anecdotal evidence against it regarding all sorts of digestive upsets. It can simply be avoided, so why take a chance?
Top Twenty Most Avoided Foods
|1. Spicy foods||11. Pulses (beans, lentils etc) |
|2. Fried and fatty foods||12. Vegetables (non green)|
|3. Greens||13. Brown bread|
|4. Citrus fruit||14. Salad|
|5. Cheese||15. Nuts|
|6. Onions and leeks||16. Sweets & desserts|
|7. Cereals||17. Beef|
|8. Non citrus fruit||18. White bread|
|9. Chocolate||19. Eggs|
|10. Bran||20. Dairy products|
IBS Foods that may help!
Top Twenty Helpful Foods
|1. Fish||11. Bran|
|2. Green vegetables||12. Bananas|
|3. Other vegetables||13. Chicken|
|4. Non-citrus fruit||14. Bland foods|
|5. Rice||15. Salad|
|6. Citrus fruit||16. Potatoes|
|7. Brown bread||17. White bread|
|8. Yoghurt||18. Porridge|
|9. Cereals||19. Apricots, dates, figs & prunes|
IBS most avoided drinks
Top Twenty Most Avoided Drinks
|1. Coffee||11. Spirits|
|2. Alcohol||12. Soft drinks (sugary)|
|3. Fruit juice||13. Milky drinks in general|
|4. Milk||14. Horlicks|
|5. None||15. Drinks containing Sorbitol|
|6. Tea||16. Cocoa|
|7. Fizzy drinks (general)||17. Very cold drinks|
|8. Red wine||18. Ovaltine|
|9. Beer ||19. Anything|
|10. White wine||20. Tomato juice|
IBS drinks that may help!
Top Twenty Helpful Drinks
|1. Water||11. Decaffeinated coffee/tea|
|2. Weak Tea||12. Drinks containing ginger |
|3. Herbal Tea||13. Slippery elm|
|4. Fruit juice||14. Semi-skimmed milk|
|5. Alcohol (general)||15. Ribena|
|6. Milk||16. Soya milk|
|7. Chocolate, cocoa, malted milk drinks||17. Carbonated drinks (general)|
|8. Tonic and soda water||18. Aqua Libra|
|9. Wine||19. Vegetable juice|
|10. Peppermint Tea||20. Lemonade|
Useful websites:http://www.ibsresearchupdate.org/IBS/homeie4.html (info from above)
http://www.ibstales.com/ibs_treatment.htm (info from above)
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/irritablecolon.htm (IBS info)
http://symptomchecker.about.com/od/symptom-checker.htm (symptom checker)
http://www.ibstales.com/food-diary.htm (you can download a food diary)
Hope this helps!
Suffered since November 2002, finally diagnosed with IC in Summer 2004.