Living with IBS means you face a daily battle to make sure you keep your gut as happy as possible. I’ve got this down to 11 things I do daily that definitely make all the difference.
1. Take a Shot of Symprove
First thing, every single day. I’m on a 30ml maintainance dose and every morning I like to shot it like I would a tequila. This gets the good guys, aka the friendly bacteria, to my gut to prepare themselves and my digestive system for the day ahead.
2. Drink a Cuppa Peppermint Tea
As soon as I get into work I make myself a cup of peppermint tea. I still hate the taste but I do love how it soothes the gut as it goes down. Anytime my tummy feels sensitive or bloated, I force myself to drink this and I swear it helps.
3. Wear Comfortable Clothes
I am a firm fan of an elasticated waist band. I harp on a lot about how I never wear completely fitted clothing as I know my tummy needs space to bloat. If I’m wearing jeans I’m likely to either have the top button undone or be wearing my besties maternity jeans which she kindly gave me. And no, I’m not preggers, just trying to disguise my constantly bloated belly because it’s always there.
4. Avoid Dairy
Honestly, it’s not worth the risk. This, for years, had been my biggest trigger and the one I swerve the most. I happily drink lactose-free milk and use dairy-free butter and I’ve replaced my craving for milk chocolate with the dark stuff which now, I actually prefer.
5. Avoid Gluten, Onions, Garlic and Anything Acidic
Yep, that list of triggers just keeps on getting longer.
Gluten = extreme bloat.
Onions = cramps and the shits.
Garlic = painful bloat.
Anything acidic = the shizzles.
Dairy = all of the bloody above.
6. Eat 3 Meals a Day
My body and my IBS need a routine and this involves eating three times a day, at regular times. If I divert from this, my body tells me it’s not happy.
7. Plus Snacks
Gotta keep the machine well fed. I snack on FODMAP friendly fruits; bananas, grapes, melon and a handful of nuts throughout the day. I sometimes have biscuits depending on whether I’m feeling brave enough to take my stomach on.
At the weekend I’m partial (imagine a rabid dog who’s super hungry and just seen food for the first time in weeks) to homemade guacamole and chips. I don’t know if consuming a whole avocado is the right thing for my delicate tummy but I can’t bloody help myself. I am avo-obsessed.
8. Clear My Head
Now while my fiancée may disagree with this statement, I like to walk home from the station in the evening after my commute. I use those 15 minutes to freshen up, clear away the cobwebs, dissolve any work stress and to chat to my mum on the phone. It means by the time I walk through the door, I have a smile on my face and am ready to unwind for the evening.
9. Take it Easy on Myself
Stress is one of the worst contenders and one that I find I have the least control over. I’m a natural-born worrier you see, I just can’t help myself. In a bid to combat this I mediate, listen to Headspace’s 10 minutes practices, attempt yoga every now and then, and try to switch off.
10. Prioritise Pyjama Time
As soon as I’m through my front door I’m in a race to whip on my PJs and cosy sweater – has to be one of Al’s and has to be oversize. I am my most happiest when I’m in my pjs. I’m relaxed, I’m comfortable and I’m one step closer to bed.
11. Cuddle a Hot Water Bottle in Bed
Always. I once cuddled a hot water bottle so much that I woke up with broken blood cells on my tummy. Yep, I burnt myself so badly it had burst them. Let that be a lesson learnt people.
Got any of your own tips, drop ’em below.
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