Monday, February 16, 2009

IBS Tips

A great many Fibro sufferers find they have IBS. It can also come and go just like Fibro flare-ups and be just as binding. (no pun intended)

If everything you eat makes you run to the lavatory, your social life is cut back to zero. No dinner, no movies, no driving long distances. Its very debilitating.

Now with that being said, like Fibro, it is manageable. I recommend the books by Heather Van Vorous. Eating for IBS and IBS the first year.

You'll learn more about your IBS and how to better manage it. Some people claim that they have gone off of all IBS pills and manage their IBS strictly through dieting. I think that's great! But it doesn't always work. Some of the finer points of Ms. Van Vorous' advice is usually skipped or taken too quickly.

So here's a few quick tips:

-Don't try to change your entire diet at once. An extreme diet change can have just as dire consequences as a poor diet. Start slow and introduce new things a little bit at a time.

- Keep a diary. Just because food says it is IBS "safe" doesn't mean it is. In Fibro, we develop reactions to things at the drop of a hat. Keep a daily diary about what you have eaten and whether you had an adverse reaction to it. You can rule out foods using the diary that have set your stomach into a frenzy. HOWEVER: It must be noted that some days IBS isn't about the food you eat or how fast you eat it. But instead...your nerves. So in the diary, keep track of your emotional state as well. Give foods a couple of chances.

-Eat slower. We're always in a rush aren't we? I remember sitting at the table at my cousins house and my peers were like "HURRY UP...we can't play until you're done. Eat faster." Now I can eat an entire plate of food in 15 minutes. It took me 40 minutes to eat my tuna melt yesterday and I was able to keep it in for normal digestion. Time to party.

-Eat Fiber. Ms. Van Vorous speaks about soluble and insoluble fiber. Things I never knew honestly. Fiber was fiber right? WRONG. lol. Boy do I feel uneducated. Get the books or do a little bit of online research to find out the list of differences. One thing I started to do was eat fiber cookies from Metamucil every morning with some peppermint tea. Which brings me to another quick tip taken from "Eating For IBS".

-Peppermint. It's a natural bowel soother. I had heard this before but needed it hammered into my head by Ms. Van Vorous. If you can't stand the taste of peppermint, try chamomile.

-Do Not be afraid to eat. Recently, someone in a group I belong to was so tired of nothing sitting well in her belly that she stopped eating. That's the worst thing you can do. Keep eating! Just eat softer, more easily digestible foods. If you're having a bad few days, take it down a notch or five. Broths, jello, clear liquids... then introduce rice and yogurt, then crackers and breads... etc. Give your stomach a break if you must but not too much.

-Take relaxing baths. I find that when I get really bad, I start worrying over what kind of life I'm going to have if I can't control my IBS! Part of the condition goes hand in hand with stress and worry. A cousin of mine had severe IBS because her husband was in Iraq, the poor thing. Now she gets it when she spends too much money. Which is almost funny if you knew her. Regardless...take a hot bath, remain positive. So today something didn't sit right with you. You'll fix it.

As with Fibro, so is IBS. Remain positive, fight for bathroom freedom! lol
We can do this and get back to the things that matter to us.
Be well my friends!


  1. This is great! Thank you. If you get a chance, could you list what foods (especially fruit and vege) that work for you. Am having a hard time getting that under control and am worried from a vitamin point of view, so have started taking a mulit. I have ordered some books, but they will be a while.

    This a great blog and I appreciate the support and information.

  2. Right now I have to be very particular about what I eat. The slightest misstep and I'm back to square one.

    These are the things that haven't given me any problems, most of which I got from Eating For IBS by Heather Von Vorous.

    Breakfast - Sourdough English Muffins with marmalade or strawberry jelly. Oatmeal plain or with raisins and dates. Egg white omlet with small pieces of ham and whole grain white toast. (I've even been able to add some butter)

    Snacks - Bananas, raspberries, blackberries, baked tostitos, rice crisps, (a few breads from the book that I bake every few days) yogurt with probiotics, trail mix with dried papya, raisins, dates, almonds and walnuts.

    -Lunch- Sara Lee chicken breast lunchmeat on whole grain white bread. Chicken Noodle soup (or clear broth soup) with oyster crackers or french bread.

    -Dinner- Baked chicken breast or pan fried in Canola oil and unbleached flour. Rice... a lot of rice of various kinds. (Jasmin, Rose, Basmati, and brown) For veggies it's also green beans or carrots and always cooked.

    It isn't much but these are the things that I eat that don't upset my belly. Its hard, as I like variety, and a lot of my cooking was tomato sauce oriented.

    I miss my spaghetti!!!

  3. Yep I hear ya! I can’t even do the string beans or nuts (at the moment). The vegies I have been ok with are carrots, peas, read capsicum (go figure) and mushrooms. I have not had any fruit yet, and am a bit unsure yet what to have, so am going to leave it for a bit longer. I was a big grape, watermelon/melon eater. I have been eating rice, but that has caused more IBS-D LOL so am staying off that for a bit. I am cooking myself a chicken soup for my dinner till I get everything back under control.