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What can I do to manage my IBS?

I’m having a hard time controlling my symptoms when they come on. Makes it hard to go anywhere. 😢

  1. Hi , I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. I have IBS-D and it can be so hard to control. 🙁
    What helps me personally is
    1 - diet. This doesn't help as much when symptoms are already happening, but avoiding my triggers and eating balanced and safe meals does help me feel a lot better overall, and experience fewer flares.
    2 - stress management. I personally have anxiety and it's by far my biggest trigger, so addressing that (with things like hypnotherapy, EFT, meditation...) helps a lot. I still struggle with stressful situations, but I'm doing a lot better on normal days when I do these things.
    3 - lifestyle. I personally had to stop living the way I did before (working a lot, going out after work, not sleeping enough, traveling constantly) due to IBS, but having a calmer life helps me so much. For me, having a more peaceful everyday life that allows me to rest when I'm flaring helps so much overall and makes it easier to then deal with specific, more stressful situations.
    4 - herbs and supplements. I've recently found that herbal supplements and teas can help with certain symptoms. It's not like medication, but it does help ease my symptoms. This depends a lot on your specific symptoms and reaction though. Some people also find probiotics to be very helpful, but that's very individual and they don't work for everyone.
    5 - medication is always an option, too. We have an article about it here: I don't personally take any because nothing has ever helped me, but I know that it works well for other people.
    I hope this helps.
    Karina (team member)

    1. Hello tkurt. With ibs d, I keep a simple daily food diary for breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks. This helps to see what might be causing the flare ups and I also keep a simple daily bowel movement log based on the Bristol Stool Chart. eg. 1st/bm / "time of day"/ #3.

      If dealing with a flare up, my first choice is to have a serving of steel cut oats/some honey/little cinnamon,1/4 cup lactaid milk and 4 - 8 walnut halves. Sometimes I'll add frozen blueberries to the oatmeal (1/4 cup) There is something about oatmeal that really helps for me with flareups. Can't take juices at this time but am gradually adding canned 2 or 3 sliced peaches. Just starting to add very well cooked broccoli serving and alternate it with every other bite of whatever food I'm having with the meal.

      The daily food diary and the daily bowel movement log is very revealing and helps out tremendously to avoid foods or cut back on them to a minimum. eg. I can tolerate pasta and minimal sauce (1/4 cup) & parmesan cheese as opposed to having it with lots of sauce. Hope this helps. Elizabeth A

      1. Thank you so much for sharing what works for you! It's so interesting how different we all are. Most of the foods that help you are triggers for me, but they sound so much nicer than my safe foods (white rice, bananas, chicken, steamed carrots).
        As for the food diary, if anyone is interested, we do have a free one that can be dowloaded here:
        Wishing you all the best, Karina (team member)

    2. All the above advice is also what I'd reccomend. I've dealt with IBS since 2010. For me, my saviour was an antidepressant medication called Cymbalta, which alleviated around 80-90% of my symptoms (as a guess). I finally decided to go off them just over a year ago now and I've been pretty well, aside from bloating, and I've unfortunately cut down on the amount of food to eat daily to compensate for that. Still on my journey but doing much better ^,^

      1. Thank you so much for sharing what has worked for you! It's amazing that the antidepressant helped you so much and you were even able to stop taking it now. I hope you'll continue to feel better and better.
        Wishing you all the best, Karina (team member)

    3. I have had extreme IBS-D for 20 years. I went to Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic to seek help without success. I finally went to a doctor in Raleigh connected to NCS that has done extensive research on IBS and has publish professional papers on the subject for other research doctors. He prescribed Desiparmine
      for me which gave me back my life again. It is a anti- depressant that has the side effect of slowing down the motility in the colon hence reducing diarrhea. I started on 125mg daily but now am on 100mg.
      It has a side effect of making you drowsy but nothing else. My life was fairly miserable before but thanks to Desiparmine I can work, have a social life and even travel. My journey took me to 12 different doctors but finally my persistence paid off ! I highly recommend trying Desiparmine as there are no negative side effects and it stops the diarrhea. Good luck.

      1. Thank you so much for sharing, It's amazing that Desiparmine finally worked for you and has given you your life back. We've heard from other community members who also had success with it, as described here:, for example. It might be worth discussion with a doctor for sure!
        Karina (team member)

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