Wednesday, 4 April 2012

IBS Newbie

Since having my lap and adhesions removed from my bowel I have still been experiencing stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating. This has now been put down to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). It feels as soon as I'm starting to get over one thing, another blocks my way! Grr... Anyway, I called out to my followers on twitter for help and advice regarding IBS and I got floods of replies. (BIG THANKS to all!) I thought I'd share some tips I was given on here as IBS is closely linked with Endometriosis and if it may help one person scrolling through my blog then great! Im still an IBS Newbie so have also done a bit of my own research.. If anyone has any other tips please feel free to add to comments below!

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition of your digestive system which can cause bouts of stomach cramps, abdominal pain, bloating, urgency to go to the toilet, excessive wind, diarrhoea and constipation. It can affect 1 in 3 people. Women are more prone to get IBS which is probably related to hormones. It cannot be cured but changes to your diet, stress levels and fitness levels can help.

Tips from Tweeters & my own research

  • Keep a food diary to see what foods trigger your symptoms and what doesn't
  • Take a daily fibre supplement
  • Drink Peppermint Tea -- this was suggested in nearly every tweet! Peppermint helps aid digestion which in turn will help to balance your stomach
  • Wheat, gluten and dairy may trigger bloating
  • Increase fruit intake, possibly in a smoothie form to help incorporate it into your daily diet
  • Medications such as Buscopan or Mebeverine - both of which I have received from my Doctor
  • Black pepper can help to soothe cramps, relieve wind and stimulate a sluggish digestive system.
  • Eat your biggest meals earlier in the day, keep evening meals light
  • Herbs/Supplements - Calcium can help diarrhoea. Linseed can help constipation. Artichoke can help digestive trouble

Foods to EAT
  • Fish, Green veg, Rice, Porridge, Yoghurt, Bananas, Chicken, Bran, Potatoes, Brown bread

Foods to AVOID
  • Spicy foods, Crisps, Biscuits, Fried and fatty foods, Onions and Leeks, Fizzy drinks, Caffeine, Cheese, Chocolate, Pulses (beans and lentils), Eggs, Alcohol, White bread, Sweets and desserts. Sauces - ketchup, pickle relish, soy sauce, chutney, and barbecue sauce.

I understand there may be some variations in the food list above as everyone is different, but this was a standard guide in a recent newspaper article.

To start off with I have made a food diary and cut out all caffeine, drinking peppermint tea by the bucketful instead! I have also cut out wheat and chocolate from my diet. Will see how this goes then will move on to the next. I think it's going to take a while to find out all my triggers but hoping it will be all worth it in the end!

Websites that list triggers and further information on IBS