YOUR IBS SURVIVAL KIT
It can be a stressful experience being out on the go or in a social situation and feel the symptoms of IBS come on. Having an IBS ‘emergency kit’ on hand, can be a literal LIFESAVER and help minimize those feelings of anxiety and allow you to be present and able to enjoy yourself.
Here are some of our essential items which we stock in our IBS survival kit….
One of the biggest causes of stress is feeling as though there are no ‘safe’ foods available for you. Luckily, there is an easy fix, and it comes from being prepared with some sneaky snacks up your sleeve. Some of our favourite go-to low FOD snacks include:
- Air-popped popcorn
- Tinned tuna
- Gluten free pretzels
- Low FODMAP approved snack bars
- Cheese and gluten free crackers
By having one or more of these options on hand, this can help ease some nerves. Our advice is to keep a surplus of shelf-stable options around.
Who doesn’t love a warm cup of tea? Having an herbal tea, like peppermint, ginger or lemon, can be a great choice when you’re starting to feel symptoms coming on. The first benefit is that they don’t contain any caffeine, which eliminates the risk of irritating the gut and two, have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm symptoms. They also add to your daily fluid total which is another plus. Just one note – green tea actually contains caffeine, so just be mindful of the amount you’re having.
A common trigger of IBS is lactose, found in products like milk, yoghurt, and ice-cream. It goes without saying that the easiest thing to do if you know lactose is a trigger is to avoid it all together, but this might not always be an option! Sometimes it can be difficult to find a suitable option on a menu and, it is completely understandable that if you’re out with friends or family and you want to be care-free. This is where a product like lactase (Lactaid) can be a great solution to the problem. Lactase is an enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose in our gut. By taking 1-2 tablets prior to eating a meal containing lactose, it will help your body to be able to break down that lactose naturally and it lasts up to an hour.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try to be prepared and minimise the risk of triggering your symptoms, they can still rear their ugly head. Usually at the most inconvenient of times. This is the perfect time to trial peppermint oil capsules. Many studies have found the benefits of peppermint oil on all IBS symptoms but especially abdominal pain and bloating. Not only has it been found to be completely safe and well-tolerated but also fast-acting, which is great when you’re out on the go and after relief fast.
The last thing in our IBS survival kit are pant extenders. Tight clothing can become VERY uncomfortable when you begin to have a flare up. Pant extenders are a simple, but ingenious invention. Originally designed for pregnant women, pant extenders can give you an extra size or two and take the pressure off!