- ABDOMINAL PAIN
- IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
- DIET & LIFESTYLE
The most important thing to remember if you're suffering with abdominal pain or IBS, is that there absolutely are things that you can do to put yourself back in control.
This is the best way to identify what triggers your symptoms and help you decide what to try first.
Work out which foods trigger your symptoms. Once you have worked out what causes your IBS symptoms it empowers you because you can avoid eating or drinking the things that trigger them. The Abdominal Health Checker can help you to find yours.
Easier said than done, but this can upset your digestive system and cause flare-ups. Try to find some quiet time to relax and enjoy your food rather than rush your meal without thinking about it.
Eating too fast, eating big meals and skipping meals can all upset your digestive system, so try and keep things as regular as possible. Sometimes these small tweaks can really make the difference. You don’t have to avoid eating out, just be aware of how things might affect you and plan ahead. Just try things and see what works for you.
Swap fizzy drinks for water and/or other caffeine free fluids like herbal tea. Try to limit your caffeinated teas, coffees and colas to a total of three cups a day or less, and don’t go overboard on the alcohol, stick to one or two (or none) whenever you can. Caffeine and alcohol are both common triggers for abdominal pain and IBS symptoms. It’s not about saying no all the time, just knowing what triggers your symptoms and when.
OK, so that’s a lot easier said than done, but perhaps taking more time for yourself, meditation or other relaxation methods will ease some of your stress and have a positive effect on your symptoms. If it’s all getting too much and stress or anxiety are affecting you badly, visit your GP for advice.
Abdominal pain affects around 37% of people in the UK so you’re certainly not alone. Talk to your doctor if you need advice on how to deal with your specific symptoms, and certainly see your GP for a diagnosis if you haven’t already. Confide in friends, family and trusted workmates so that they understand if you’re having an ‘off-day’.
Exercise can be a great way to help manage your symptoms, so try and fit something into your daily routine. A yoga class is great or even gentle exercise like walking the dog can help.
Abdominal pain and IBS can be unpredictable so it can make having a full social life and getting out and about seem a bit daunting sometimes. You could get around this by preparing in advance.
If you’re eating out, you can find out in advance what’s on the menu so that you can reassure yourself there’s something there that won’t aggravate your symptoms.
There are over the counter treatments like Buscopan® Cramps or Buscopan® IBS Relief available from supermarkets and pharmacies that can help, so don’t feel you have to just ‘put up with it’.
Everyone's different and it's all about finding something that works for you...
We all have those days when prevention is not enough.
Fast, reliable relief from the pain and discomfort of IBS. Gentle on the stomach.