So I’ve been experimenting with different ways to decrease my IBS-like symptoms the past week or so. So far, things are going really, really well. My belly hasn’t been in a constant ache and I feel better, more energized. This hasn’t decreased my number of trips to the potty, but I must be realistic about my goals here. If I can feel better during the day, bring on the bathroom trips.
Here are a few things I’ve noticed that have helped me feel better:
1. Sleep. I know, this was #1 on my last list. But it’s a biggie for me. The more rested I am, the better I feel. I know, it’s revolutionary. But for this gal who’s got a lot on her plate, it’s important for me to remember, and it’s really helped me the past week.
2. Calorie Counting. Most people attribute this to weight loss. And while it’s important for that, it’s also a big help for those who struggle with IBS. Overeating can be one of the worst triggers. I’ve found over the past few weeks though, when I manage my calories and don’t go over my recommended daily total – I don’t have hardly any food problems. Granted, I’ve been eating a lot better, too, but calorie counting has tremendously helped me.
3. Diet. I know, another shocker. But a diet full of fresh, healthy, non-processed foods has really helped me feel better. At first all of the fresh fruits & veggies can be a little rough on the colon, but after awhile I’ve gotten used to it. It’s somewhat like fiber – when you first starting eating more, hang on to your hat. But after awhile, your body adjusts and you handle it much better. I do recommend; however, that if you’re going for a salad, eat some crackers or bread before and after. It’s helped me digest it and cut down the gas and other problems.
I’ve also really cut down on my meat and dairy intake. I’ve not ruled it out completely, but I’ve noticed a big difference when I’m not consuming as much (especially red) meat and milk. Still go for string cheese and yogurt, though!
4. Not eating after 9pm. I don’t follow this every night, but I try to as much as I can. If I can tap myself off on food and most drinks by 9pm, it allows my system to rest throughout the night. I just feel better in the morning. Also, this is another recommended weight loss tip, so it’s a double-bonus for us IBS-ers.
So there it is! My Less-IBS plan continues and is finding much success! If you’re a fellow IBS-er and have any other helpful tips, do share!