Minimise the effect of IBS! The exact cause of IBS is difficult to identify, but it is thought to be an over activity of parts or just a part of the gut. This could be due to over activity of the nerves of the gut, intolerance to foods, bacteria or infection in the gut, and it can also be made worse after a course of antibiotics.
The following tips may help minimise the effects of IBS:
-Have regular meals and take time to eat at a leisurely pace.
-Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between eating.
-Drink at least eight cups of fluid per day, especially water or other non-caffeinated drinks such as herbal teas. This helps to keep the faeces (stools) soft and easy to pass along the gut.
-Restrict tea and coffee to three cups per day (as caffeine may be a factor in some people).
-Restrict the amount of fizzy drinks that you have to a minimum.
-Don’t drink too much alcohol. (Some people report an improvement in symptoms when they cut down from drinking a lot of alcohol, or stop smoking if they smoke.)
-Consider limiting intake of high-fibre food (but see the section above where an increase may help in some cases).
-Limit fresh fruit to three portions (of 80 g each) per day.
-If you have diarrhoea, avoid sorbitol, an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free sweets (including chewing gum) and in drinks, and in some diabetic and slimming products.
-If you have a lot of wind and bloating, consider increasing your intake of oats (for example, oat-based breakfast cereal or porridge) and linseeds (up to one tablespoon per day). You can buy linseeds from health food shops