(NewsUSA) – As many as 50 million Americans suffer from the cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea that go along with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, the digestive disorder mainly targets women: Between 60 and 65 percent of sufferers are female.
Despite the overwhelming number of Americans affected, there is no cure for IBS. But while no magic pill exists, the best way to treat IBS symptoms is through tried-and-true methods of healthy eating, exercise, and stress management. Here are five simple ways to ease your suffering:
Keep a food diary. Many people find that their signs and symptoms worsen when they eat certain foods. For instance, chocolate, milk and alcohol might cause constipation or diarrhea. Keeping a food diary for a few weeks may be a good way to find out if a food bothers you. Record what you eat and what your symptoms are. If you notice a pattern or think a food makes you feel worse, don’t eat it.
Fiber up. Increasing fiber into your diet may help improve how your intestines work. The key is to do it slowly: Some people feel bloated and have gas if they increase their fiber intake too quickly. The best way to increase your fiber intake is to eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods like beans, oatmeal, popcorn and whole-wheat bread.
Manage your stress. Many IBS sufferers feel that stress seems to trigger IBS episodes. Identify certain events or situations that bring on symptoms, and develop ways of dealing with these situations. An activity like yoga or hypnosis can provide a break from stressful situations, and psychiatrists and psychologists can provide additional methods for coping with stress.
Get moving. A recent report in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that IBS sufferers who did moderate activity three to five times per week for 20 to 30 minutes a session experienced greater symptom relief.
Add a supplement. For most patients, the best therapy for IBS is the most simple. A recent study in the British Medical Journal found that peppermint oil was the most effective therapy for IBS, providing relief for 40 percent of patients. The dietary supplement Complete Relief has harnessed the power of peppermint, creating softgels that effectively relieve discomfort. Complete Relief stands out from other peppermint products because of its “controlled-release” coating that ensures the full dose is not released until the softgel has entered your digestive tract. This is where gas and bloating occur and where Complete Relief begins to work.
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