Okay let’s cut the shit, if you’re here reading this then chances are you either have IBS or you’ve been researching your symptoms and it’s led you here. I wrote this post because I’ve suffered with IBS for years and I wanted to get rid of it naturally, and for good.
After implementing a few lifestyle changes, I was able to completely eliminate my IBS and I wanted to show other people suffering with IBS how to do same and solve this painful problem forever!
So let me show you how I did it…
What is IBS?
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a common condition that affects the digestive system. The exact cause of IBS is unknown and dependant on the person, their diet, their lifestyle. There is no “cure” but slight lifestyle changes can eliminate your symptoms for good, because I did exactly that myself.
- IBS affects one in five of us, and 50% of people are undiagnosed.
- 10-15% worldwide population suffer from IBS.
- 2/3 of people affected by IBS are women.
How do you know if you have IBS symptoms?
Symptoms include: cramping & stomach pain, change in bowel habits – diarrhoea to constipation, bloating, gassiness, urgent need to go to the bathroom, the need to pee often, sudden urges to pee, and feeling like you can’t fully empty your bladder.
What are common IBS triggers?
Coffee, processed foods, dairy, gluten, fried foods, alcohol, artificial sugars, excess sugar, spicy foods, caffeine & meat. Nobody ever wants to hear that their favourite foods aren’t healthy for your gut, but it’s the truth, if you want to get rid of your IBS, then you’ll have to cut back on some of the things you eat & drink.
Steps I used to cure IBS naturally:
1. Take Probiotics
I can’t stress enough how much taking probiotics has changed my life! They’re basically capsules which have active bacterial cultures in them to support your digestive health. When the bacteria in your gut become imbalanced, you can experience health + digestive issues.
And for such a small capsule, they have a crazy amount of benefits to help relieve your IBS symptoms. I’ve now been taking probiotics for 5 years, I can 100% say that these are the best thing you can take if you have IBS.
What I would say, is if you aren’t convinced about probiotics, I would definitely recommend to spend the $20 to try it out for yourself. $20 to “cure” myself of something that I struggled with daily really was the best investment I made for my health.
- NewRhythm Probiotics, 120 Billion CFU, 36 Strains – AMAZING VALUE FOR MONEY, with 5 star reviews and one of the highest strength probiotic on the market. Plus, it has added digestive enzymes which will help if you suffer from bloating! Read the reviews – they speak for themselves!
- Renew Life Probiotics for Women, 50 Billion CFU, 12 Strains – High CFU probiotics, with added strains for vaginal health – this one is perfect if you also suffer from UTI’s and bacterial vaginosis. Again, read the reviews!
Common benefits of probiotics:
- Reduce stomach pains (the most common IBS symptom)
- Heal your gut
- Maintain healthy immune function
- Improve iron & B12 levels
- Balance intestinal flora
- Provide natural defence against yeast and harmful bacteria
- Improve digestive function
Maintain vaginal health for those who are prone to thrush & UTI’s
I’ve tried a few probiotic brands over the past few years as you can imagine. Here’s my advice:
- Look for probiotics with a high potency (between 30-60 billion CFU). Probiotics are measured in colony forming units (CFU), which indicate the number of viable cells, so the higher the better!
- See how many “strains” of bacterial cultures each product offers (6-10 strains is what I look out for).
- Look at the reviews for each product.
- Make sure the capsule is vegan/vegetarian as there might be the odd one which is made with gelatin.
- Don’t buy any second hand probiotics + don’t buy from eBay. In my experience, a lot of the probiotic products I’ve found on eBay have a recent expiry date which is why they’re slightly cheaper. If the probiotics are due to expire soon, it means the active bacterial cultures will be less effective. Don’t waste your money!
- And lastly, don’t take probiotics with hot drinks as it kills the bacteria.
2. Eat prebiotic foods
Prebiotic foods help probiotics thrive, so if you take probiotics & eat prebiotic food, your digestion is bound to improve. Some of the health benefits of prebiotic foods include – stronger immune system, better nutrient absorption, weight loss, natural detoxification, stress support & of course improved digestion.
Not sure what prebiotic foods are? Here are a few: mushrooms, garlic, onion, artichoke, beetroot, leeks, asparagus, radishes, carrots, mango, cucumbers, bell peppers, cabbage, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, berries, tomatoes, // oatmeal, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, dark chocolate (can’t live without it), quinoa, couscous // lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, white beans, black beans.
3. Drink plenty of water
I usually drink a lot of water in the day without any effort & I always drink around 1 or 2 bottles of water throughout the night, so this wasn’t a big change for me. But I did make an effort to start filling up around 3/4 bottles of water in the morning & leaving them in the fridge so they’re cold + I can physically see how much I’m drinking. And if you’re like me & you like a bit of flavour in your water, I put the tiniest drop of no added sugar fruit squash into my water.
4. Follow a gut healthy meal plan
My diet was the first thing I changed I realised how bad my IBS has got. I quickly realised that cutting out meat & dairy was doing wonders for my bloating. Then I started experimenting with eating more plant-based foods and limiting my oil intake, which again I noticed a big difference when eating more plant-based foods rather than processed vegan food.
Check out my ebook “The Oil-Free Plant-Based Cookbook” for 30+ healthy, oil-free, low-calorie, plant-based recipes for only $5.60! It also includes 114 pages of materials, a 4-week (and beyond) meal plan, menus, shopping lists, step-by-step checklists and reheating tips to help you successfully begin to eat plant-based consistently and easily. All the recipes are perfect for anyone struggling with IBS!
6. Take turmeric supplements
When you’ve got IBS, your digestive and immune system can be really badly damaged, which means your body finds it difficult to get all the vitamins & minerals it needs. I take turmeric tablets along side my probiotics everyday and I have definitely noticed a difference after taking them consistently for around a month. Members of my family also take turmeric for other health issues (hip pain & back pain) and they have also noticed a difference so I definitely recommend this! I like the New Leaf Turmeric Tablets because they are high strength (2000mg) and they have added black pepper and ginger which helps your body to absorb the turmeric.
7. Drink raw apple cider vinegar
There are lots of claims that drinking raw apple cider vinegar can do wonders to your body because of its antimicrobial properties due to its acid content. Many of the claims suggest drinking raw apple cider vinegar can help with constipation, heart burn, cure vaginal candida infection & has anti-inflammatory properties, however many of these claims are not backed by scientific proof. But if you want to add raw apple cider vinegar to your diet, try mixing 1 or 2 tablespoons into a glass of water and drink it before your meals. Or you can try Apple Cider Vinegar Vegan Capsules with your daily vitamins if that’s easier for you.
8. Note down what foods/drinks triggers your IBS symptoms
You can easily keep a “food diary” on your iPhone in your notes so that you can easily notice what foods trigger certain IBS symptoms. Everyone is different, so foods that trigger my IBS, may not trigger yours.
I have gradually eliminated a few things from my diet after I noticed they trigger my IBS symptoms. Dairy is the biggest thing that caused my IBS, so going vegan helped reduce my IBS nearly completely, along with taking probiotics. Then I noticed a few other things caused my IBS, like caffeine, mushrooms and alcohol. I now drink decaf coffee and have completely given up alcohol which has helped massively.
Any type of exercise is good for your body. If you don’t have a gym membership or a home gym then try some YouTube videos or follow your favourite fitness influencer for home workouts.
10. Manage stress
Everyone deals with stress differently & we all have our own ways of managing stress. So whether that’s meditating, reading a book, having a nice hot bath or going for a walk in the park, do what you need to de-stress yourself.
11. Listen to your body
Make an effort to notice how your body feels and reacts after eating certain foods/drinks and make changes to figure out what causes your IBS symptoms. I know for some people, cutting out gluten has made a massive difference to their IBS symptoms. So maybe start by having a few days where you cut out gluten all together & see if you notice any changes. If not, take the next few days to cut out alcoholic beverages, coffee or energy drinks.
12. Do your best to eliminate sugar
I said “do your best” because there’s genuinely no way I could go a day without some form of chocolate, don’t judge me! Sugar can really set your IBS symptoms off, but in my experience, “healthy” natural sugars don’t have the same affect, so I wouldn’t worry about how much sugar is in a banana! I’ve also started using sugar alternatives that use Stevia (a healthy sugar alternative) in my hot drinks and baking. Stevia doesn’t affect your blood sugar levels the way normal sugar does, and I can always tell when someone has put sugar in my tea instead of Stevia because I will instantly start bloating, so in my experience it does work!
thanks for the anti-bloat meal plan! loads of of good recipes
Thank you so much for checking it out 🙂
Thanks for this informative post.I normally suffer from bloating and will try to include these in my routine.
Thanks for sharing all the tips and advice. I turned 40 this past summer and I started to notice my IBS (pretty sure that’s what it is because I’ve had stomach issues for as long as I can remember) getting worse. I’m in the process of getting my gut healthy and learning how to do it, so thanks again!
Hi Daniela, I’m glad you liked the post! Thanks for commenting 🙂
This is great – thanks for sharing!
I was hoping to get a copy of your meal plan. Is this still possible?
Hey. Appreciate the post! Thankyou!
Thanks so much for the tips! Some of this I am already doing but I did learn something new stuff!
Hi Krystal! Thanks for the kind words and I’m so glad it helped you even a little!
I started to have IBS a year ago and I was totally wrecked after the long process at the hospital led to nothing and they basically told me to go home and figure it out myself. This post helped me a whole lot to start things on my own and what a relief to finally lower this constant stomach pain! Thank you so much for sharing, it really helped someone out of a tough situation.
Thank you for such a lovely comment! I’m so glad this helped you out and made it easier to deal with IBS. 🙂
Pingback: How To Restore Your Gut Bacteria - the vegan afterglow