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How can I eliminate IBS for good?

There's no single diet or medicine that works for everyone with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But there are lots of things that can help if you have IBS. With all of the avenues that you've tried, you may be wondering- how can I eliminate IBS for good?


Organs of the body
 

IBS isn't a one-size-fits-all condition.


I think the one thing that current social media outlets have got wrong about IBS is that every episode of stomach upset indicates that you've got IBS. Spoiler alert: it isn't necessarily as transparent as that.


If you head to your Google search bar and type in "symptoms of IBS" you'll find symptoms for a range of conditions such as diverticulitis, stomach cancer, Crohn's disease, and IBS included! These conditions range from soul-crushing to totally manageable.



Your IBS doesn't define you, and one of the most equally frustrating aspects of IBS for clients in the Empowered Nutrition clinic is that there is no definitive test to diagnose IBS. Of course, I'll run routine blood work and suggest other diagnostic testing to rule out potential allergies or autoimmune conditions; however, I know that ruling out certain things still doesn't leave you totally at ease with your symptoms and condition!


So, if you haven't booked into the Empowered Nutrition clinic, done the necessary tests to rule out any other detrimental conditions that resemble IBS (like coeliac or IBD), and are still frustrated about your lethargy and painful gas/ bloating/ cramping...what are you waiting for?



In the meantime, keep reading to discover a few tips which can be helpful in decreasing the severity of your IBS symptoms and help improve the quality of life you're living.

 

Eliminate obvious triggers

This does slightly go without saying, but eliminating trigger foods can be really helpful for reducing the pain and discomfort associated with any type of IBS. The most common food groups to look at cutting back on would be wheat, gluten, dairy and dairy products, refined sugar and refined sugar products, alcohol, and coffee.


The elimination period for these foods doesn't have to be for forever- so if an influencer is telling you otherwise...run! When I work with clients in the Empowered Nutrition clinic, or Empowered Elite, we typically start with an elimination period of four weeks before re- evaluating how to reintroduce foods back onto the individual's food diary. Once you have completed an initial elimination, starting to reintroduce foods slowly and one at a time allows for you to monitor for potential reaction and understand what foods (if any) are causing pain and discomfort.


Support mechanical digestion

The painful cramping and bloating that can accompany certain types of IBS (namely IBS-C and IBS-D) is often a snowball effect from one common theme: not chewing food thoroughly enough and not having the right amount of fluid balance to break down the food in your digestive tract. I am a big fan of advocating that my clients drink plenty of water, but also stimulate the digestive juices of the upper gastrointestinal tract through incorporating two things: chewing food thoroughly, and a digestive enzyme.


Whilst you're trying to eliminate trigger foods, supporting a rundown digestive system through appropriate fluid balance and incorporating a digestive enzyme accommodate for better food breakdown in the stomach and start of the small intestine. In certain conditions, such as IBS, that food breakdown doesn't happen optimally and leads to partially digested food particles trying to cross the barrier between your digestive system and bloodstream. It's like an eighteen wheel truck trying to fit under a tunnel whose clearance is too low! A backup is caused, creating chaos (and a potential headache hehe).


Mindfully manage stress

This isn't the most obvious one, because we often underrate the impact of stress on the body. However, from a holistic point of view, adequately judging and handling stress can help your body to relax more and allow for food to pass through the digestive tract seamlessly!


I'm not talking about quitting your job and moving to a remote island where no one can bother you (I mean...don't we all wish that were a possibility on any given day when work is getting the better of us). I'm talking about consistent habits that you can commit to on a daily basis like deep belly breathing, meditation, therapy, exercise, and/ or journaling. Any combination of the aforementioned tactics can help lower stress levels and encourage your body to operate from a system of "rest and digest" instead of "fight, flight, or freeze" all of the time. I recommend this to all clients, regardless of their health concerns, because I am a firm believer that we are all too stressed.


If you're thinking of starting an exercise routine to help with your IBS, check out the post I did here on the best forms of exercise for better digestion!


Speak with a nutritionist, nutritional therapist, or your GP

A rather obvious one, but I think that conventional medicine practitioners are getting a bad rap due to their lack of empathy and compromised quality of care. Traditional medicine practitioners (like your GP, consultants, nurse practitioners) are all SO busy and inundated with the demands that are placed on them from the large volume of people they need to serve. It's not their fault; yet, you can't help but be angry with the situation can you?


That's why I recommend speaking with a nutritionist or nutritional therapist. Traditionally less over- burdened (because we aren't always the first line of call), yet still trained to hear your concerns and either assist where we can or refer when we can't. Even speaking about your symptoms can help air out any concerns or confusion around what you're going through!


I wouldn't recommend going to social media as a first line of call. There are influencers out there who are recommending what worked for them in "healing their digestion," "losing weight," and "clearing up your skin and gut." Some of the protocols that work for these individuals may not work for you/ may leave you worse off than when you started. This is another reason why I always offer complimentary pre- consultations for anyone to take advantage of.


 

While you can't eliminate IBS for good, you can improve the way your body responds to stress and potentially inflammatory foods in order to decrease the severity of your IBS symptoms.


If you're still not convinced, book in to the Empowered Nutrition clinic above, or request a complimentary pre- consultation so that we can discuss your symptoms and goals to help you start living a more pain-free life today.



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