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Top 10 Mistakes That Make Your IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) Flare Up

Top 10 Mistakes That Make Your IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) Flare Up

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by Dr. Kotb

It can feel like a full-time job to deal with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Yes, that’s why! People with IBS need to make a lot of changes to their lives, like cutting out foods that make their symptoms worse and adding ways to deal with stress to their daily routine. However, these changes can help you stay away from possible problems, which may then help you avoid an IBS flare-up that causes diarrhea or constipation. But not everyone knows what could make IBS worse, especially when they are first trying to figure out a treatment plan. Are some of these things making your IBS worse?


Hipster is smoking a cigarette in a sidewalk cafe
Cigarette smoking has effects on the whole body, not just the lungs and breathing system. When someone breathes in smoke, it goes into their stomach and bowels. It is known that tobacco can irritate the digestive system and lead to gas, bloating, and stomach pain. Of course, this wouldn’t help with IBS problems.

Don’t Drink Water

Water jug and glass on a wooden outdoor table
Bodies that only drink coffee and diet soda all day won’t be able to handle food as well as they could. Getting enough water is important for everyone’s health. Good water drinking habits will not only help keep you from getting constipated, but they will also help you replace the fluids you lose when you have diarrhea.

Don’t Exercise

Fitness Equipment
Many people don’t do something that would be good for their health if they did it every day for 30 minutes. This is what work out can do. The Surgeon General of the United States says that you should work out for 30 minutes most days of the week. A 30-minute block doesn’t have to be a single show; it can be 3 10-minute episodes or 2 15-minute episodes. Exercise can help with a lot of things, like stress, and it might also help if you’re having trouble going to the bathroom.

Ignore Stress

IBS is not caused by stress, but it will make symptoms worse. Stress comes in many forms, but how you deal with it is what matters. It can help to turn worry into something good. You can use worry to spark your creativity and get you to solve problems. To deal with IBS, it’s important not to let worry build up until it starts to hurt your health.

Eat Large Meals

Cheeseburger with French Fries
Even though we all love to eat, it’s not good for your gut health to eat three big meals a day. Instead, try having five or six smaller meals during the day. If you have IBS, you might feel full after eating big meals. Eating smaller meals can help you avoid that. The body will also get a steady flow of food all day, instead of frequent highs and lows that can make energy levels drop.

Skip Sleep

Pulling an all nighter
For the best health, most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Adding this much sleep time to your daily schedule is hard, but it’s necessary to keep your IBS from getting worse. Some people find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you want to get more and better sleep, try improving your sleep habits. If you are having serious sleep troubles, you should see a doctor to get help.

Eat Your Trigger Foods

Baskets of Onion Rings, Curly Fries and Cheese Sticks
For most people with IBS, foods that make them feel bad are fatty foods, fried foods, fizzy drinks, and insoluble fiber. It takes time and effort to figure out which foods cause flare-ups. Once they’re known, they can be ignored, which may help reduce the number of flare-ups.

Drink Alcoholic Beverages

Close-Up Of Alcohol In Shot Glasses Arranged On Wooden Table
beer (which tends to cause gas), wine, and mixed drinks (which often contain other triggers such as caffeinated beverages) can be hard on the gastrointestinal tract. it is better to avoid drinking in order to prevent causing a flare-up.

Eat Processed Foods

Hot Diggity Dog
A lot of processed foods have extras in them, like sugar or fat replacements. It is known that many of these fake flavorings can make your stomach hurt. People who don’t have a known stomach problem may still get gas, diarrhea, bloating, and pain after eating additives. Try to find fresh, whole foods with as few chemicals as possible.

Don’t Seek Helpย 

Help can come from friends, family, coworkers, and a health-care team. Seek help in sticking to an IBS-friendly diet and in reducing stress. Don’t be afraid to accept help and good advice when it is offered from a trusted source.

Reviewed by Dr. kotb and his team

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