Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS affects millions of people. It causes extreme discomfort and researchers don’t even know what causes it. If you have it, your intestines don’t contract like normal. You may have more or less contractions than other people which leads to diarrhea or constipation.
You may also have gas and bloating. Many people can treat their IBS with lifestyle changes, though some may need medication. The key is to find out what your triggers are. For some people, this means onions, for other people stress plays a major factor in their IBS. Read on to learn more about IBS and the things that trigger it.
What Are The Symptoms of Irritable Bowl Syndrome?
IBS has many symptoms and these can vary greatly from person to person. The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, boating, gas, constipation or diarrhea and mucus in your feces. These symptoms can take a toll on your personal and social life.
Many people suffer from bouts of both constipation and diarrhea. IBS is chronic and there is no cure for it yet. The best way to get your IBS under control is to learn what triggers your symptoms.
What Are Some IBS Triggers?
There are many factors that trigger IBS. Foods are a common trigger. Some people develop symptoms after they eat chocolate or milk. They may develop cramps and diarrhea after they eat these foods. Alcohol and coffee can trigger symptoms in people as well. Even carbonated beverages can trigger IBS.
Stress is another major trigger of IBS. You will notice that your symptoms are worse when you are experiencing stressful times in your life. Hormones can also trigger IBS. Women often experience worse symptoms around their menstrual periods.
What Are The Main Foods That Trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
The best way to get a handle on the foods that trigger IBS is to keep a food diary. Record everything you eat and write down any symptoms you have and when they appear. In this way you can figure out the foods that cause IBS.
Some foods seem to create problems in people with IBS. White bread and processed cereal can trigger IBS in people. Junk food like chips, soda, cookies and fast food can trigger IBS symptoms. Dairy products can also be problematic for some people.
Do Onions Trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Onions may taste amazing, but for many IBS sufferers they are quite problematic. Onions cause gas which makes your IBS worse. If you are an onion lover and have IBS consider using herbs to flavor your food.
What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Treat IBS?
If you have IBS there are many lifestyle changes you can make to improve your symptoms. Start with your diet. Be sure to drink 8 glasses of water a day and get lots of fiber into your diet, especially if you suffer from constipation.
Taking a fiber supplement is an easy way to do this. Start with a low dose and gradually increase it.
Don’t eat any of your trigger foods no matter how tempting they may be. Eating smaller meals can also keep your symptoms under control. Try substituting yogurt or soy milk for dairy milk and take calcium supplements if you aren’t getting enough calcium in your diet. Regular exercise can also make you feel better. It relieves stress and promotes normal bowel function.
What Other IBS Treatments Are Available?
If the methods mentioned above don’t work for you, there are other things you can try. Anti-diarrheal medication can stop diarrhea. Your doctor can prescribe medication that stops bowel spasms.
You may also need antidepressants to control your stress. Counseling can also help. Discuss your concerns with your doctor and see if medications are appropriate for your symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome is chronic, but with the proper combination of self-care and possibly medication, you can get your symptoms under control and start enjoying normal activities again. There is no reason to let your IBS get the better of you when there are so many options for treating it. Watch what you eat, stay away from onions, and keep a positive attitude. Soon your IBS will be under control.