A few stuffed animals and 5 microwaves

How to Instantly Feel Better When You Have a Flare-Up

When you have IBS, flare-ups are most likely a part of your life. For me, avoiding trigger foods, minimizing stress and following a routine that works for my body help immensely, but I still have bad flare-ups from time to time.

I noticed, however, that the way I deal with these flare-ups has a huge impact on their duration, how anxious I get and my general well-being during and after the flare-up. If I do nothing to make it better, I will feel bad for a longer period of time, get stressed because it won’t pass, and my anxiety in the following days increases drastically because I don’t want to go through that again.

But if I take a couple of steps to make myself feel as good as possible, I manage to deal with my flare-ups far better.

Get into comfortable clothes

For me, clothes that are tight on my belly cause symptoms like discomfort or bloating all by themselves, even if I’m not having a flare-up. But if I’m already having a flare-up, I always make sure to wear clothes that don’t restrict my belly in any way. This alone can make me feel so much better!

Since I’m not always home and able to change when I need to, I avoid tight clothes and high-waisted bottoms altogether, unless they have an elastic waist that is really soft.

It also helps not to wear tight tops that will make you feel uncomfortable if you get bloated. The last thing you need when you get symptoms is another thing to feel self-conscious about.

Use a heating pad

Heat really helps when you’re having a flare-up. It relaxes your belly, and it also feels really comforting. I personally love using stuffed animals that can be heated up in the microwave as they are easy to use, don’t get too hot and make me feel like I’m 5 again.

If you’re not at home and don’t have a heating pad, you can always use a pillow, a sweater or even your hands to bring some warmth to your belly.

Lie down and cover yourself with a blanket

A blanket provides some additional warmth that helps relax your belly, but most importantly, it’s comforting. Whenever I get a flare-up at home, I always get a blanket to make myself feel better.

Don’t try to do anything

When you’re having a flare-up, you’re most likely in pain and/or have to go to the bathroom way too often. So I find that no matter what I’m trying to do, whether it’s watching TV, talking to someone or even working, it just doesn’t make sense. I can’t concentrate and I am constantly interrupted by my flare-up. So I prefer not doing anything at all in these situations. I just close my eyes, focus on my breathing and try to relax as much as I can.

If you’re not at home, you might just sit down and close your eyes. You could also listen to music that will help you relax.

Make yourself some tea

Just like a heating pad and a blanket, tea is warm and comforting. Yet I also find that it helps reduce symptoms.

I personally prefer ginger and chamomile tea when I have a flare-up since they are particularly soothing. But I suppose that any herbal tea could work.

The last tip I have is to not stress about anything. Don’t think about your to-do list, or worry that your flare-up lasts for too long. Just focus on being kind to yourself and your symptoms will subside much quicker.

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