- IBS Symptoms Will Differ for Everyone
- Are You At a Higher Risk of IBS?
- What Causes IBS?
- Managing IBS: Start with Your Diet
IBS is a group of uncomfortable, sometimes-painful symptoms that occur together in your small and large intestines.1 Gut health plays a significant role in managing IBS and its symptoms.2
Along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, the specific nutrients in Max Living Gut Renew can help restore gut health.
IBS Symptoms Will Differ for Everyone
IBS is different for everyone. What triggers symptoms and how you will react can be dramatically different for every person. To complicate matters, many symptoms of IBS are similar to other conditions.3
In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for IBS.4
At the same time, IBS carries some very specific symptoms. Abdominal pain is the most common.5 Others include diarrhea or constipation. You might feel cramps, bloated, and gassy. Running to the bathroom becomes a regular thing.6
These and other symptoms aren’t predictable. They come and go. They can last for days, weeks, or even months. Many symptoms come back repeatedly.7 For most people, IBS is a lifelong problem.8
More serious symptoms of IBS may include weight loss, diarrhea at night, difficulty swallowing, and persistent pain.
Regardless of how serious these symptoms are, always address them with your healthcare professional. Sometimes, they could be a sign of a more serious condition.9
About 20 percent of people of IBS get alternating diarrhea and constipation.10 Some of these symptoms go away after you have a bowel movement. At some times, symptoms will get worse. At others, they will get better or completely disappear.11
Based on different patterns of changes in bowel movements, researchers have identified three specific types of IBS:
- IBS with constipation
- IBS with diarrhea
- IBS with mixed bowel habits
Noting what symptoms accompany IBS can help your healthcare practitioner find ways to better manage your condition.12
- Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other conditions with chronic pain
- Digestive issues
- Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders13
Are You At a Higher Risk of IBS?
About 12 percent of Americans have IBS.14 For some, these symptoms are minor. For others, they can be painful and frustrating.15 To classify them as IBS, these symptoms will last at least three months, for at least three days every month.16
Women are twice as likely to have IBS. Imbalances in hormones such as estrogen can trigger IBS symptoms,17 and you might find IBS symptoms are worse around your period.18 Men, on the other hand, are less likely to report symptoms and address IBS.19
- You’re under 50
- You have a family history of IBS
- You have mood disorders including anxiety and depression
- You have a history of sexual, physical or emotional abuse20
What Causes IBS?
We aren’t entirely sure what causes IBS. A number of factors can contribute to this condition, including:
- Weak or inconsistent muscle contractions in your stomach, which can impact how you digest food.
- Abnormalities in the nerves within your digestive system.
- Gut inflammation.
- If you’ve recently had a severe bout of diarrhea caused by bacteria or a virus.
- Bacterial overgrowth in your intestines.
- An imbalance in your healthy gut flora.21
The key is to figure out what triggers your symptoms. The more often symptoms occur, the more sensitive your gut can become to these triggers.22
Stress, depression, and anxiety often accompany IBS. Experts believe over 60 percent of people with IBS have a type of anxiety called generalized anxiety disorder, characterized by persistent, excessive worry about several things.23 Another 20 percent struggle with depression.24
Pay attention to these mood disorders and when they occur. Your symptoms will determine how your healthcare practitioner addresses IBS.25
We don’t have definitive tests for IBS. Your healthcare practitioner might use other factors to rule out other conditions including a complete medical history and physical exam.26
Managing IBS: Start with Your Diet
What you eat can make a big difference in how you experience IBS. About two-thirds of people with IBS notice that certain foods can trigger or worsen these symptoms.27
Dairy, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine are among the foods that can trigger IBS symptoms.28 Fried foods, pizza, and hot spices are also frequent IBS offenders.29 You’ll want to eliminate these and other trouble foods.
For some people, even healthy foods such as Brussels sprouts can be a problem.30 Everyone will react differently to specific foods. Keeping a food journal can help you pinpoint and eliminate potentially problematic foods and drinks.31
- What symptoms you have
- What foods you suspect might trigger them
- How often you have them
- If they come and go
- When you get them32
With this journal, you can be your own food detective. Tracking what you eat can also help your healthcare practitioner better customize a plan for you.
You’ll also want to incorporate plenty of the right foods to manage IBS. They include:
- Anti-inflammatory foods. Some people with IBS have an increased number of inflammatory cells in their guts.33 To manage inflammation, you’ll want to eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids found in wild-caught seafood or take a supplement. Spices including turmeric can also help manage inflammation and ease IBS symptoms.34
- High-fiber foods. Fiber-rich foods such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds can help prevent constipation and support a healthy gut.35 Slowly increase your fiber intake. Too much at once can worsen some IBS symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids as you eat more fiber, too.36
- Probiotics. The probiotics or healthy gut bugs in fermented and cultured foods including sauerkraut can support gut health and minimize IBS symptoms.37
Everyone with IBS will react differently to particular foods. Work with your healthcare practitioner to customize this plan to address specific foods and drinks that could trigger or worsen your symptoms.
Some people with IBS might need a more restrictive plan to manage IBS symptoms. One option is a low-FODMAP diet. This diet restricts specific carbohydrates that can trigger symptoms including bloating, gas, and stomach pain.
Research shows this plan can have tremendous benefits for people with IBS: A low-FODMAP diet can potentially improve stomach pain 81 percent and bloating by 75 percent.
But it isn’t for everyone: About 30 percent of people don’t respond to a low-FODMAP diet. It can be difficult to follow.38
Our Advanced Plan makes a more flexible alternative to a low-FODMAP diet for managing IBS. This focuses on foods that support digestive issues, lower inflammation, and provides the nutrients you need to support a healthy gut.
10 More Ways to Take Control of IBS
While you can’t prevent IBS, you have many tools to manage this condition.39 A healthy diet and nutrients along with these 10 lifestyle strategies can help you better manage IBS.40
1. Try peppermint oil. Studies show peppermint oil can minimize gas, bloating, and other symptoms of IBS.41 The oil comes from peppermint stems, leaves, and flowers. Look for enteric-coated capsules, which protects the oil from breaking down until it arrives in your intestines.42
2. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated can help soothe stomach symptoms,43 which helps you better manage IBS. Drinking sufficient amounts of clean, filtered water can curb your hunger and lots more, too.44 Keep a canteen filled throughout the day and sip liberally.
3. Cook your own food. Eating out can be fun, but you never know what ingredients in restaurant foods might trigger IBS. Whenever you can, create fresh, homemade meals.45 You’ll save money, and you know exactly what’s going into your meals.
4. Eat fermented foods. The health of your gut plays a big role in how you experience IBS symptoms.46 The probiotics, or healthy gut bugs, in fermented foods can help keep your gut healthy. If you aren’t regularly eating foods like sauerkraut, take Probiotic 50B to replenish the good gut bugs that help you fight IBS.47
5. Create a plan. Thinking ahead can help you feel more confident. For many people with IBS, socializing can feel scary because they never know when symptoms could flare-up. Having strategies in place can minimize anxiety and worry. Consider locating the bathroom before you visit a new place.48 Likewise, once you know what foods set off your symptoms, you can avoid them whenever possible.
6. Be consistent and slow with meals. Skipping or delaying meals can create IBS symptoms. So can eating your food too quickly.49 Instead, find a consistent food routine. Be mindful and really savor your food. Along with tracking foods, you might note specific practices such as how slowing down at a meal impacted your symptoms.
7. Exercise consistently. Consistent physical activity can improve your mood, lower stress, and support healthy digestion.50 Find a workout plan that works for you. Be aware that some types of exercise can potentially worsen symptoms51. Talk with your healthcare practitioner to find a workout plan that works for your specific condition.
8. Get good sleep. Having IBS can impact your sleep quality. Poor sleep can sometimes increase symptoms of IBS.42 In one study, women ages 18 to 45 with IBS reported that sleep quality significantly predicted higher amounts of some symptoms including abdominal pain, anxiety, and fatigue the next day.53 If you have problems falling or staying asleep, Sleep + Mood Formula can help you better meet your sleep quota.
9. Manage stress levels. Chronic stress is all-around bad news for IBS. Being constantly stressed out or anxious can stimulate your digestive system, putting your colon in overdrive. Stress can also impact your immune system, which has an effect on IBS.54 What’s more, abdominal pain and other stress-related symptoms occur more often and more intensely in people with IBS.55 Research shows that yoga and meditation are good relaxation techniques to manage IBS symptoms,56 but what matters most is what works for you.
10. Support gut health. Problems like chronic inflammation can impair gut health.57 Getting the right nutrients that lower inflammation and support the gut can help. MaxLiving Gut Renew combines a powerful blend of effective nutrients that can help:
- Supporting the mucus layer of your gut
- Maintaining the right balance of gut bacteria
- Keeping your gut wall strong to prevent leaky gut
- Healing gut inflammation
- Reducing ulcers
- Promoting healthy regular bowel movements
Gut Renew comes in easy-to-take capsules or a great-tasting peach flavor that mixes well in liquids.
When you’re proactive about your health, you feel more in control of your situation. IBS doesn’t increase your risk of cancer. Usually, it doesn’t create intestinal damage.58 And symptoms don’t usually get worse over time.59
At the same time, everyone responds differently. Work closely with your healthcare practitioner to incorporate these strategies to help you most effectively manage IBS symptoms. Be aware that finding solutions that work for you can take some time, patience, and trial and error.60