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Tips For Managing Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) & Health

Member weighing his veggies on food scale

Did you know irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 5-10% of individuals worldwide? While there is no definite medical test to diagnose IBS, it is very common for people to experience the symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no cure for IBS, but there are ways to soothe your symptoms and find some relief through nutrition, diet, and overall healthy living. 

 

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition associated with gastrointestinal symptoms causing distress and discomfort. When the large and small intestines are affected by the symptoms associated with IBS, it is common for the stress to cause pain and discomfort in the GI tract. Although the cause of IBS is unknown, there are several factors that contribute to the condition, including food sensitivities or intolerances, certain mental health disorders, infections, and genetics. 

 

The symptoms of IBS typically include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating and gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Excess gas

 

Managing IBS Through a Healthy Lifestyle

Managing IBS symptoms is possible, but it’s important to understand what causes flare-ups, as this can vary from person to person. Then, work to eliminate or minimize the triggers that cause discomfort.

Changes in diet, managing stress, and pursuing an active and healthy lifestyle can alleviate and help manage symptoms associated with IBS. At Profile, we work with members to create a custom meal plan based on their goals, health conditions, and personal preferences. With our science-based knowledge, we even offer nutritionally balanced meals plans that can support those with IBS.

 

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Here are a few tips to help manage your symptoms:

 

  1. Regulate your bowels by eating regularly timed meals and snacks. If you are in need of some creative meal inspiration, check out our library of healthy recipes.

  2. Lessen the amount of food moving through your GI tract at once by eating small, frequent meals instead of fewer, large meals throughout the day.

  3. Eat more dietary fiber, but add it to your diet gradually. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests adults should get 22-34 grams of fiber each day. As your body adjusts to more fiber, be sure to focus on foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. These foods contain soluble fiber, which soaks up water as it passes through your GI system, helping bulk up your stools preventing constipation and diarrhea. Check out our 13 ways to add more veggies to your meals!

  4. If you’re upping your fiber intake, be sure to do the same with your fluid intake. Without enough water in your system, you can become constipated and exacerbate symptoms of IBS. However, be cautious about alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated beverages. Those types of fluids can cause diarrhea, bloating, gas, and cramping. If you struggle with hydrating, read our 4 tips to get in your daily H2O.

  5. Your doctor may recommend you avoid foods that contain certain carbohydrates that are harder to digest. This special diet is called the Low FODMAP diet, which stands for fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These types of carbohydrates are found naturally in foods and may worsen symptoms of IBS in some people. This isn’t a solution for everyone, so it’s important to talk with your doctor or registered dietitian for guidance and recommendations. And don't fear, low carb diets don't have to be boring! In the Profile Low-Carb Kitchen series, Profile member Chef Ray introduces a variety of healthy low-carb recipes that are simple to make & delicious too! Get these recipes here.

 

Get The Support You Need 

At Profile we aim to promote sustainable lifestyle changes by providing expert health and nutrition advice based on your goals, health conditions, personal preferences and genetics. With the support of one-on-one health coaching and our latest technology to track your success, you can manage your symptoms associated with IBS and see health results beyond weight loss.

 

Take control of your quality of life and get the support you need by scheduling a free consultation with a certified Profile coach.