Our expert says:
Two of the most important factors in are a lack of dietary fibre and stress. To increase your dietary fibre intake and obtain tips about this condition, click on ‘Diet', ‘You are what you eat' and "Healthy GI tract'. If you suffer from flatulence and bloating, you will have to experiment with the foods you eat that may cause problems with a spastic colon (raw onions, garlic, cucumber, green peppers, very spicy foods and condiments, gas-cold drinks, fruits that contain pips such as guavas, figs, etc). This is often an individual reaction and you will have to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If you find that this is a problem for you, please consult a clinical dietitian who will work out a specific diet for your condition. (Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). Your doctor will also be able to prescribe medicines which can relieve the flatulence such as Bevispas, so chat to your doctor about such medications. Click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and do a search with 'IBS' to find the article I wrote this year on 'NEW LIGHT SHED ON IBS' which will provide information about this condition.
To relieve stress I would recommend that you should learn relaxing techniques, how to do deep breathing exercises and some form of physical exercise which is also relaxing, such as yoga. Going for brisk walks in the fresh air also helps to relieve tension.
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