Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an umbrella term for a number of symptoms: bloating, gripe, constipation, diarrhoea, wind, nausea, or a bad taste in the mouth, to name the most common. Although any serious symptom should be checked with a doctor, more often than not these sorts of digestive symptoms are signs that something in your lifestyle needs to be tweaked. This may not just be what you do or don’t eat.
Anxiety and stress can increase acid secretion in the stomach, which can change the way that food is dealt with. For example, anxiety can make us swallow more air, which can exacerbate gut bloating. It can make us more tense and less able to go to the toilet, so we can get into a cycle of constipation or the opposite, having to rush to the toilet when we’re worried. Emotional upset can make us skip meals, eat things on the run and crave foods that aren’t the best to eat, causing IBS. Menstruation can also trigger IBS-type symptoms.Tackling IBS symptoms
• Cut down on alcohol and nicotine•
Make sure you are drinking enough water or calming herbal infusions•
Eat small, well-balanced, nourishing meals three times a day•
Don’t eat on the run•
Increase your level of prebiotics and probiotics (healthy gut bacteria) in your diet. •
Good sources include live natural or Greek-style yoghurt.
To discover more on how to cope with your symptoms, including foods to soothe your digestion, see Constipation, Diarrhoea, Nausea, Bloating and Taste Changes.