Healthsheet

Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Your healthcare professional may suggest some lifestyle changes to help control your IBS. Changing your diet and managing stress are two of the most important. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions and try some of the suggestions below.

Change your diet

Your diet may be an important cause of IBS symptoms. You may want to try the following:

  • Pay attention to what foods bother you, and avoid them. For example, dairy products are hard for some people to digest.
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Avoid caffeine and tobacco. These are muscle stimulants and can affect the working of your digestive tract.
  • Avoid alcohol, which can irritate your digestive tract and make your symptoms worse.
  • Eat more fiber if constipation is a problem. Fiber makes the stool softer and easier to pass through the colon.

Reduce stress

If stress or anxiety makes your IBS symptoms worse, learning how to manage stress may help you feel better. Try these tips:

  • Identify the causes of stress in your life.
  • Learn new ways to cope with them.
  • Regular exercise is a great way to relieve stress. It can also help ease constipation.