Perhaps the only thing worse than having IBS is having to talk about it. If you ignore your IBS and hope it’ll go away on its own, you’re not alone. Most of the 45 million people who have IBS never seek treatment or guidance from a medical professional.
Dr. Michael Skardasis at Optimal Performance Medicine understands that there are some health issues that aren’t easy to discuss. That’s why he lends you his expertise as well as a sympathetic ear when it comes to dealing with IBS.
What is IBS?
IBS is not a disease in and of itself but a gastrointestinal disorder consisting of a collection of symptoms that typically occur together. It’s often the result of inflammation or an infection in your intestines or changes to the bacteria in your gut that help regulate digestion.
The most common symptoms include:
- Moderate to severe cramping or abdominal pain
Sometimes IBS causes you to experience both constipation and diarrhea. Severity and duration vary from person to person, so you may experience an IBS flare-up for three days up to three months.
While there’s no cure for IBS, there are plenty of ways to manage your symptoms and avoid a bout with your bowels. For example, Dr. Skardasis offers IV hydration therapy as a treatment for chronic conditions including gastrointestinal infections and irritations like IBS.
He uses a special formula called the Myer’s cocktail to flood your gastrointestinal system with vitamins, fluids, and antioxidants, which help regulate your digestion and address your symptoms.
Lifestyle modification for IBS
In addition to IV hydration therapy, Dr. Skardasis also wants to equip you with certain lifestyle modifications that will help you better manage your IBS. Here are a few of the small adjustments you can make that have a big impact on your health.
Adjust your diet
Everything you eat and drink has an impact on your health. You can avoid an IBS flare-up by cutting out the foods and beverages that trigger your symptoms.
To figure out which foods exacerbate your IBS, start a food diary. Take note of what you eat, when you eat, and how it makes you feel.
For example, you might find that your morning coffee or tea causes symptoms, or maybe your favorite spicy dish upsets your stomach.
Once you figure out what’s setting off your IBS, you can make better choices with your diet. Choose foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts that add fiber to your diet. Also, do your best to limit the amount of dairy products you eat.
Your gut will also be able to function better if you eat small meals instead of devouring large amounts at one time.
Drink lots of water
Water offers countless health benefits, and drinking lots of it every day is one of the best things you can do for your IBS. Water helps your irritated bowels by flushing out your digestive system.
It’s also a great alternative to other caffeinated, carbonated, and alcoholic beverages that can overstimulate your intestines.
Kick the habit
Smoking is a serious threat to your health and can aggravate your IBS, too. The chemicals in cigarettes overstimulate your bowels, aggravating your intestines and worsening your condition.
Manage your stress
Stress can impact your IBS by activating both a muscular and immune system response in your bowels.
As your body reacts to perceived stress, the muscles in your gastrointestinal tract contract unnaturally. These spasms in your colon can result in uncomfortable symptoms like diarrhea and constipation.
When you’re dealing with high levels of stress, your immune system kicks into overdrive, inflaming your bowels.
Try to manage your stress with breathing techniques, getting regular exercise, or engaging in a hobby you enjoy. Controlling your stress is a great way to calm your insides and avoid uncomfortable symptoms.
If you’re ready to kick your IBS to the curb, come see our expert for the treatment and guidance you need to get your gut — and life — moving normally again.
Have more questions? Ready to get started with a consultation? Call our Woodstock, Georgia office at (678) 224-5406 or schedule an appointment online.