Is It Time To Try A New Strategy?
You’ve probably heard of a saying that goes something like this… “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” What this means is that if we want things to turn out differently, we have to start doing things a different way. And this is something that applies to managing your IBS.
Everyone can get stuck in a rut
The human body doesn’t like to waste energy. Because of that, it prefers sticking to tried and tested options that it knows how to do, rather than trying something new where the outcome isn’t known. This is why it’s really easy for us to get stuck in a rut where we keep doing the same things over and over again. It’s not necessarily because we believe that the way we’re doing things is the best way, we’re simply following the path of least resistance.
This is why getting yourself out of a rut takes effort. First, you need to decide on a new plan of action, but then you need to get past your body’s desire to keep things constant. You have to force your body and your mind to try new things so that you can see if there is a better way.
You won’t know what works best for your IBS unless you try new things
Because IBS can be triggered by many things, it’s important to keep trying new ways of doing things to see if it helps you and stops your symptoms from being triggered. It’s like a big science experiment – done on your own body – where you’re testing different variables to see what works best for you.
The thing you have to remember is that IBS works a bit differently in everyone. IBS is a syndrome, which means that it’s a collection of symptoms that can vary a little from person to person, rather than being a particular disease state where there’s a specific thing wrong with everyone. That’s why there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution because everyone’s IBS is different.
So the only way you’re going to be able to work out how to manage your IBS the best is by trying out different things and seeing whether it helps you or not.
Some strategies you could consider trying:
- Make healthier food choices. This will mean choosing more vegetables and whole grains, and limiting sugary and fatty processed foods.
- Drink an extra glass or two of water each day, which could be particularly helpful if you’re prone to constipation.
- Do more exercise, even if it’s only gentle exercise such as walking.
- Go to bed 30 minutes earlier so that you’re less tired and stressed in the morning.
- Try a new way to help calm your mind and body, such as a breathing exercise.
- See if you have any food intolerances that are aggravating your IBS, such as FODMAPs.
- Consider cutting out one of the potential gut irritants, such as alcohol or caffeine.
But do keep in mind that if your IBS is currently well under control, you may not want to change anything for now. If however you’re looking for some improvement, that’s when you should consider whether it’s time to try a new strategy.
Have you checked out our free IBS food journal?