7 years of experience - advice for IBS sufferers

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi all,

I have suffered from IBS for 7 years.  I have found that stress does cause flare ups but some recently discovered food intolerances cause my worst bouts. I noticed there have been a lot of posts about IBS. So rather than repeat the same info. for every discussion that is started, here is my advice for everyone who suffers from IBS. 

Here are some things I have found help listed by symptom:


For me, brown bread  only otherwise things just simply don't work.

Exercise can help keep things moving!!


Fruits and veg. - however watch out for certain ones which may cause food intolerance reactions! 


If you don't get enough fibre on a long-term basis, you can get this. Which is quite embarrassing. Basically constipation causes a blockage of faeces in the gut. The blockage can cause nausea and acid reflux. Nausea occurs especially in the mornings. You can also get "overflow" stools then, a large stools that has built up that comes out at once.  

This should  first be confirmed  by a doctor if she has it or not. (can do via physical examination/X-ray)!!!!!

You can counteract this by trying taking psyllium husks or a bulking agent such as Fybogel for example, regularly for a certain period of time. And you should only use laxatives or bulking agents on advice of your doctor. Need to be careful with dosage!!!!!

Stomach pain

Peppermint oil, available in health food shops is great for stomach pain. I find it works wonders. You can apply it directly to skin or you can add it to hot water. You can also buy peppermint tea.


I think ginger is supposed to be good for nausea. I found a ginger tea helped nausea but didn't have a lasting effect after I finished the tea. 

Prescription drug, buccastem is very good. You take it under the tongue and let it dissolve.


Foods to avoid

Caffeine, alcohol, greasy/fatty foods. Spicy foods can be upsetting too. 


I also found out recently I was lactose intolerant (just from testing out not  taking it.) Lactose intolerance has different specific symptoms. More severe than just upset tummy from IBS - for me, I get nausea, belching and very bloated for up to an hour (lately more) until I get rid of all the gas (by basically pressing on my stomach or rubbing my chest or back like you would a baby with wind. Sometimes hunching down, bending at the waist and leaning my head forward helps or rubbing my hand upwards above my oesophagus to help the air get out or rubbing my hand in a fist gently but firmly around in a circle on my tummy and then raising it up along the oesophagus as described). 

You can get lactose-free milks or soy milk etc. as an alternative. And other alternatives eg. soy ice-cream and that. I have yet to investigate these options. 

Check out the Fodmaps diet - it lists foods you can be intolerant to. Some people will be more intolerant to one group than another - for me it's polyols and lactose that really set me off. It's a scary diet with lots of things to eliminate when starting off but keeping a food diary can help. Once you identify which group affects you, it is much easier to identify other trigger foods as you can just look at the group and say well I ate that thing belonging to that group, so that must affect me too. Also, being aware of which symptoms are food intolerant specific is key to helping identify food intolerances. Be aware that some foods will cause a near-immediate reaction that is more obvious, but some foods will take longer to cause a reaction! Watch out for anatto - a natural food dye. It is in Cheerios and other foods.


I'm afraid I can't really help with diarrhoea as it was never a major thing for me - but if this happens I would imagine just lowering fibre intake should help and drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration.


An OGD/endoscopy/barium test can help check for haemhorrhoids/rule out Crohn's disease

Stool samples can be tested for infections

Hope all this helps! This is pretty much my 7 year's worth of knowledge on the topic!! 

Anonymousgirl xx


2 likes, 10 replies

10 Replies

  • Posted

    When I am Constipated, sometimes a hot drink or a hot water bottle rested on my stomach seems to help or a glass of buckfast. I know you are meant to stay away from alcohol but buckfast works for me more times than not.

    I seem to be more constipated when I eat more fibre, like porridge or bran flakes.

    Stomach pain - I have yet to find one thing that helps with my stomach pain. A roasting hot bath with water poured down my back can help a little but it doesnt take away my pain just relieves my pain levels sometimes. It doesn't always work but when it does feels great to be in a little less pain.

    • Posted

      Thanks Tonks. I never tried the hot drink/hot water bottle for constipation. . .or buckfast. I don't think I'll try the buckfast but I might try the other options smile


      "Firstly, it may help to clarify what exactly dietary fibre is and how it may affect symptoms. There are two types of fibre which work differently in the body. Generally, reducing insoluble fibre may help with symptoms but if an increase in fibre is necessary, this should be from soluble fibre."  . . . Bran is listed as an insoluble fibre. Perhaps that is why it worsens your symptoms. But porridge should help.

      Did you ever try peppermint oil/tea for stomach pain? 

    • Posted

      UR advice is wonderful.. If I ever need help UR the to to person I'd want on my side.

      thankx for all UR contributions

    • Posted

      Haha! Glad to hear it hope4cure! smile I am so glad to hear you appreciate my advice as I try to help as many people as I can from this! 

      You are welcome,

      Agirl xx

  • Posted

    Hats off to Anonymousgirl!!biggrin

    I am suffering from IBS from last few years.I was on homeopathic medicine which do helps but not for the long time.

    I never knew why i am having eating disorders but your writing has made it so clear and  everthing so easy.

    I was having intake of tea and spicy food.I'l make sure i get rid of it.

    I never knew exercise and fruits intake can help me.So once again thankx to you!

    I'm sure this advise will help me to regain my health.



    • Posted

      Thankyou healthcare! smile

      I have only just started going completely off caffeine since yesterday, so I'm hoping to see some good results! I always knew caffeine was supposed to be an IBS trigger as it says that on all the websites! smile

      I hope all the tips work for you cheesygrin I am so glad to have been of some help. 

      Love and blessings in return, 

      Agirl xxx


  • Posted

    I was diagnosed with IBS 23 years ago.....it's been a nightmare not knowing. Good bowel care is essential as 2 years ago l was also diagnosed with diverticular disease. My bowels are in a bad state and as a 40  year old it's not good.

    look after your bowels and keep them working xx

    • Posted

      Hi Kay, I just read up on diverticular disease. It sounds pretty horrible. I hope you are doing OK and thanks for the warning. Can I ask, how have you managed since your diagnosis? Has it gotten any better? 

      Best wishes, 

      Agirl xx

    • Posted

      I get on with it know my triggers foodwise and have an understanding that stress makes it worse.  had a lot of hospital admissions due to impaction but then had long periods of taking upto 80 imodium aday to stop the diarrhoea.  its swings and roundabouts. 

      the biggest difference I made was when I decided to loose weight and joined slimming world.  2 years on 6 stone lighter I have more control I'd say about 80-90% control whereabouts 5 years ago IBS stopped me going out and living.  gluten is a biggy for me, I limit it so l dont feel too much like I am missing out. but every bowel is difference and you find your way but a heathly diet has a huge impact and l dont mean loads of fruit and veg just making healthier choices lighter lunches kinda gives my bowel a break. be nice to your inners they can be very nasty if you don't play fair x

    • Posted

      Thanks Kay. Welldone on your weight loss and lifestyle changes. I wish I had been less stubborn and tried to manage my food triggers years ago when it was suggested I do a food diary. That said I did not know about fodmaps at the time which I have found really helps break it down. Now I am staying off alcohol, caffeine, lactose and polyols and it has helped so much smile 

      I agree about a healthy diet having a big impact. I actually prefer to have my dinner at lunchtime as I feel it gives me more time to digest it. Then I have a light meal in the evening smile I find it works for me smile 

      I wish you the best of luck Kay, 

      Agirl x

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