While Ronnie has experienced significant symptom relief by removing or decreasing the FODMAP triggers from his diet, there are still times when he experiences flare-ups. Thankfully the flare-ups are no where nearly as frequent as they used to be, but they’re still debilitating, inconvenient and unwelcome.
They also serve as a reminder that IBS management isn’t just about a single approach - rather, the management strategy needs to include a combination of lifestyle changes including; regular exercise, stress reduction, eating at regular times, finding the right level of fibre intake, drinking plenty of water and of course removing known trigger foods from your diet.
Two main lifestyle triggers for Ronnie are stress and skipping meals.
Exercise not only stimulates the normal contractions of your intestines, it also improves overall well-being and helps with stress management. Exercising during a flare-up isn’t realistic, but trying to put a regular exercise regime in place for other times should help reduce their occurrence.
Eating regularly and at about the same time each day helps to regulate bowel function. Skipping meals increases the production of gas and watery stools, as well as having a negative effect on metabolic and hormone levels.
These recommended lifestyle changes aren’t just important for IBS sufferers, they’ll benefit everyone. Give them a try and see how much better you feel overall.