5 Lifestyle Changes to Balance Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a complex functional gut disorder.  Besides changing your diet, you really need to change many of your lifestyle habits in order to go without any attacks.  Here are five main ways to ensure your gut stays healthy.

1. Eat Slowly and Frequently

  • Chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing.  This prevents eating too fast and forcing air into the stomach.
  • Never allow your stomach to get too empty, make sure you have small portions of food every 3 hours, the emptier your stomach is the more likely you are for an attack.

2. Drink Water Consistently

  • Drinking sips of water throughout the day to banish hunger pains.
  • Do not gulp the water, it takes in too much air and contributes to bloating.
  • Make sure water is room temperature.  Ice cold water contributes to stomach spasms and you want to keep your GI tract as calm as possible.
  • Essential oils can assist in drinking more water by adding flavors such as Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, or Wild Orange to increase the chance that you will want to drink the water.

3. Exercise

My motto is “A body at rest, is a body in distress”.  Exercise keeps the digestive system flowing and balances the microorganisms in your gut.

  • Get moving after each meal.  Take a walk or do the dishes, the point is to not become immobile on a full stomach.  Steer clear of sitting or lying down after a meal, you want to be slightly active.
  • 30-60 minutes of exercise daily ensure your body is functioning properly.
  • Exercise will significantly reduce your risk for stress-related attacks.

4. Reduce Stress

Daily maintenance of the digestive system is necessary to stay healthy.  During a stress response, blood flow to the digestive tract decreases and the blood is sent to the large muscles like the legs (to fight or flight).  This decreases the nutrients and oxygen that are normally present in the digestive system and used for energy.

  • Make sleep a priority – Your body cannot function properly when you are tired.  This will also increase your ability to handle stress.  Set an earlier bedtime to ensure you are getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
  • Add mindful movement, yoga, or meditation to your daily routine.

5. Ditch the Toxins

  • Processed foods contain so many chemical additives and preservatives that build up in your body and damage the stomach lining.  Eliminating these triggers and eating a clean diet will decrease your risk for attacks.
  • Ditch the soda, alcohol, and artificially sweetened drinks to keep attacks from destroying your fun when you are out.

About the Author

Amy Wiggins is an active mother, wellness coach, and physical fitness instructor. Known to her online community as “MamaWigs” she thrives on teaching an all-around healthy lifestyle and has been in the health field for over 15 years. While pregnant with her second daughter, she became more infatuated with the healing properties of essential oils. This enthusiasm has stemmed into an ever growing home based career in the field of health and wellness, aromatherapy, and healing with essential oils. Amy currently resides in her dream home with her husband Tommy and their two spunky girls Alani and Jorja.

Amy’s website: http://mamawigswellness.com

Amy’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/mamawigswellness/

Take the ‘How Do I Know I Have IBS Quiz’ here: https://quiz.tryinteract.com/#/5937f7d1c837910011419177