7 Ways to Function With IBS & Fibromyalgia
There are multiple ways to manage living with IBS and Fibromylagia. Here are 7 tips for you or someone you know who is going through these conditions:
Find a support group
Whether it's online or in-person, connecting with a group of people who understand what you are going through can help heal the feelings of resentment that might live inside of you. They can answer your questions, give support, and have your back when you need to rant. And while having this group of people is good, try to help your friends, family and loved ones understand so that they can become part of your support group. Because nothing is like having the support of someone you love and care about.
A heating pad or cold packs
Find what works for you. Everyone is different in what their bodies prefer, and only you can know what your body needs. If you have more muscle pain than anything else, heating pads would be your best bet to pain relief. But if you suffer from inflamed joints, then cold packs would help to lessen the inflammation and pain in your joints. Remember, not everything is going to work on the first try. Sometimes you have to give solutions a longer trial time in order to see what works for you.
Even if you can’t do much... Before you get out of bed, try to give your body some stretches to prepare yourself for the day ahead. Stretching can allow your muscles time to loosen and let you get ready for the day ahead of you. Here are some useful ones to try in bed: Crossing one leg over the other (lower back stretch), knees to chest, and twisting your torso back and forth to loosen up your back after sleeping.
For my personal experience with IBS, I often experience nausea symptoms or an upset stomach. So, to help calm those feelings, ginger ale helps to provide relief. Other people chew on gum, take natural supplements or suck on peppermint candies.
Having that peace of mind that your IBS will not pop up unexpectedly is a godsend, and probiotics can help bring that peace of mind to you. If you take one every morning, it can allow you to go throughout your day without worry. From personal experience, taking a probiotic can reduce the possibility of having an IBS symptom by roughly 85 percent. But you may not get the same results as me since we all have different bodies that react well to different treatments.
Change your mindset
Focus on what you can control. Going through pain and nausea when you did not ask for it or even want it can be very draining on your mental health. By moving past the anger, I had at my body for betraying me, I found a much happier life waiting for me. I had a weight on my shoulders when I was holding onto the frustration inside of me, and it caused me more pain in the end. By understanding that even though I could not stop the pain, but that I could find ways to prevent it or treat it, I became the controller of my body instead of my body being the controller of me.
Find what foods cause you discomfort
I know for me; I have an issue with dairy. But I love all things dairy: milk, ice cream, milkshakes, cheese. Along my journey with IBS, I realized that the hardships I was causing myself by eating these things were not worth it in the long run. So, I started to slowly cut them out of my diet. To be fair, I do still keep some of them in as cheat treats, but I try to not eat more than one serving of dairy a week. That is the balance that my body and I can agree on, so that is what I do.
IBS is a journey that all of us are on together and the more you experiment with your own IBS, the more you can learn about your own body.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?