Written by Shaynie Ashkenazi ANutr. BSc. MHumNutr. Registered Associate Nutritionist, Founding Director, FodShop
With many of us self-isolating due to COVID-19, looking after your health while staying home continues to remain a priority for many.
Keep scrolling for some simple tips to keep your gut happy, improve your mood and boost your overall well-being while self-isolating with IBS.
Drink plenty of water. If you have IBS-D (diarrhoea predominant), it's important to keep fluids up. This, combined with excessive sweating and simply not drinking enough fluids increases the susceptibility of those with IBS, to dehydration.
Go for a 30-45 minute walk every day.
Light-to-moderate intensity exercise is great for relieving stress, boosts your metabolism, your mood, increases insulin sensitivity, and helps to keep your weight stable.
Exercise also helps to reduce bloating, and some research suggests that it can assist in restoring normal bowel function, particularly in those with IBS-C.
During an IBS flare, low-impact, gentle activities like yoga, walking, light cycling, swimming or tai chi can help reduce stress and improve fitness.
Get Nutrition Support
Book a telehealth appointment with a dietitian.
This is the first step when it starting out on your food for IBS journey. A low FODMAP diet may be appropriate in helping you pinpoint your dietary triggers.
Many FODMAP trained dietitians, in addition to remote consults, also offer online self-directed symptom management courses at cost-effective packages to follow at home.
These courses are safe and built in a step-wise fashion, enabling you to make your way through the various phases of the low FODMAP diet at your own pace.
To start a self-directed low FODMAP diet for IBS management course, click here: https://fodshopper.com.au/collections/low-fodmap-food-dietitian-support-bundles
Use Mindfulness Meditation
When applied daily consistently over a period of weeks or months, this activity assists in relieving anxiety, stress and pain brought on with feelings of uncertainty in such times.
Some research suggests that meditation can assist in reducing IBS symptom severity, so it is important to try to make this practice a part of your daily routine, and to practice it consistently in order to get the best results.
To make this process easier to access, download a mindfulness meditation app, such as Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer or Aura.
Follow a Low FODMAP Diet
If you are in the midst of an IBS flare, or still continue to experience symptoms on a daily basis, try a low FODMAP diet. Use the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet Smartphone App to keep your portions in check.
Remember that a low FODMAP diet should only be carried out under the supervision of a FODMAP trained Accredited Practising Dietitian, so to find a practitioner near you, search our Gut Health Expert Finder.
Stock Up On Dietitian-approved Low FODMAP Food Products
FodShop offers a range of low FODMAP dietitian-approved convenience foods, including frozen, ready-to-eat, pre-packaged and refrigerated food products.
Many meal delivery outlets registered with Apps like Door Dash, Deliveroo etc.. cannot cater to onion & garlic free specifications.
FodShop's range of low FODMAP, gluten & dairy free cooking sauces, curries and condiments are very easy to prepare with your choice of protein and low FODMAP vegetables.
Use Soluble Fibre
Dietary prebiotic fibres are important for gut health as they nourish the resident good bacteria, naturally present in the gut.
Prebiotics promote the growth of, and boost increased numbers of, friendly bacteria i.e. they are "bifidogenic".
With IBS, choosing the right fibre can be challenging as most contain inulin and wheat dextrin. The quick fermentation of these fibres in the gut can cause gas & bloating.
When fermented in the gut, prebiotic fibres produce “short chain fatty acids” (SCFA). The rate of production of SCFAs is very important, because if fermentation occurs rapidly i.e. in the case of inulin, chicory root and other high FODMAP soluble fibres, the result is excess flatulence & bloating.
Sunfiber is a soluble prebiotic fibre that is unique compared to other non-galactomannan based fibres (locust bean gum, fenugreek, guar gum etc..).
The fermentation process that Sunfiber undergoes in the gut is extremely slow, resulting in a higher total amount of SCFAs that are produced over a longer period of time, leading to much less bloating, gas, and discomfort.
Balancing mental health, mood, nutrition, and gut symptoms is challenging for anybody with IBS. There are many factors involved in IBS symptom management, but the good news is that most of these are within your immediate control.
Always involve a FODMAP trained Accredited Practising Dietitian in your support network, as he/she is qualified in the safe execution of the low FODMAP diet as a therapeutic tool.
If you are stuck or not sure which step to take next, please contact us below to speak to our company Nutritionist for further support.
Contact our Nutritionist
Daley et al. (2008). The Effects of Exercise upon Symptoms and Quality of Life in Patients Diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Int J Sports Med 2008; 29(9): 778-782. DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1038600
Zernicke et al. (2012). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Randomized Wait-list Controlled Trial. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine volume 20, 385–396