Living With IBS: 5 Ways to Manage Your Symptoms

Approximately 10 to 15% of people suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). That equates to about 70,000–100,000 people in the Nashville area alone. According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, many patients with this disorder suffer for more than six years before their condition is diagnosed.

As anyone with IBS can attest, the abdominal pain and symptoms can be unpredictable and completely disruptive to daily life. If you suffer from IBS, please know that gastroenterology providers at St. Thomas Medical Group in Nashville are here to come alongside you and work with you to develop a comprehensive management plan that supports your overall health and wellbeing.

For those who are new to IBS and would like to know more about managing symptoms, view some of the following recommendations from our gastroenterologists at St. Thomas Medical Group…

5 Ways to Manage IBS Symptoms

While there is no cure or guaranteed “fix” for IBS, many patients find symptoms improve through the use of some of these strategies…

  1. Identify and eliminate trigger foods. Many patients find that their IBS symptoms flare up when certain trigger foods are introduced into their diet. At St. Thomas Medical Group, your gastroenterologist will work with you to identify those trigger foods so that you can eliminate them from your diet. Common triggers include caffeine, alcohol, carbonated beverages, and raw fruit.
  2. Exercise routinely. Exercise has a number of health benefits, including the ability to help regulate stress, promote contractions in the intestines, and improve overall mood.
  3. Slowly increase fiber. Individuals with IBS who suffer from constipation may find their symptoms improve with a moderate increase of fiber. However, too much fiber can cause gas and cramping, so increase fiber intake slowly.
  4. Eat regularly. Regular meals at routine intervals can help reduce IBS symptoms. If constipated, eating larger fiber-based meals may improve regularity. For those experiencing diarrhea, eating smaller meals more frequently may help manage IBS symptoms.
  5. Develop good eating habits. It’s not just when and what you eat that matters. How you eat can also affect IBS. Drinking through a straw, for example, can cause you to swallow air, which may worsen IBS. Eating food on-the-go, overeating, chewing gum, and eating quickly can also worsen symptoms. Instead, eat slowly, regularly, and mindfully.

Gastroenterology in Nashville, TN | Schedule Now

Struggling with IBS or other issues of the digestive system? Find a gastroenterologist at St. Thomas Medical Group. Don’t delay in getting the care you need. Call +1 (615) 297-2700 or schedule your appointment online.