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What lifestyle changes can I make to help treat my IBS?

Here are some options to help you manage your irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with lifestyle changes:
  • Practice stress reduction. Physical, emotional and environmental stress may make your symptoms worse. Stress-reduction and relaxation strategies can help relieve or prevent IBS symptoms. You can try anything from personal meditation, yoga or tai chi to stress-management counseling or hypnosis. There are many apps available to guide relaxation and stress reduction.
  • Get to the root of the problem. If you have a history of abuse or trauma, getting care for the long-term psychiatric effects of the trauma may help your symptoms.
  • Physical activity and hydration go a long way toward soothing gastrointestinal issues. Both efforts promote good digestion. Additionally, exercise is known to lower stress levels, which can trigger IBS.
  • Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day can make the stools softer and relieve constipation. It is important to include enough fluid as you increase your fiber intake or you can make constipation worse.
  • The Mayo Clinic reports that some studies have shown that acupuncture may work for some people with IBS. It can reportedly help relax muscle spasms and promote a healthy bowel movement.
This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.