Inflammatory bowel disease prevention is a complicated topic. Mostly because scientists are still not quite sure what exactly causes or triggers a person to develop IBD. However, there are certainly ways to prevent IBD flare-ups to help patients keep their symptoms under control.
How to prevent IBD flare-ups
Here are 5 things to remember when it comes to preventing IBD flare-ups:
Watch what you eat
Because IBD affects your gastrointestinal or GI tract, the food that you eat can have an effect on your condition. This means that you need to avoid foods that can trigger flare-ups, or make your symptoms worse.
Here are some foods to avoid:
- Fatty or greasy foods
- Dairy products
- Sugary foods
Aside from avoiding these foods, it would be a good idea to prioritize eating healthy foods. This means eating more fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and eating less processed and salty foods. Eating healthy foods helps reduce the risk of flare-ups, and also helps mitigate the symptoms of IBD.
Another important thing to note is fiber. Fiber is essential for having a healthy bowel movement, but for people with IBD, it can sometimes be a trigger food. So it would be a good idea to see how your body reacts to fiber.
Eat smaller meals
Another thing that you can do to prevent IBD flare-ups would be to eat smaller meals. The reason behind this is that if you eat too much food at once, your body has a hard time digesting it. This could potentially trigger the symptoms of IBD. By eating smaller meals you also reduce the risk of stomach cramps, which is common among IBD patients.
One way of doing this is if you eat 3 meals per day, you can try breaking it up into 6 meals with a smaller serving. Ideally, each serving should be the size of your fist.
This should help reduce your symptoms, and not to mention, is also a great way to keep you fuller throughout the day.
Don’t forget your medication
Some people with IBD have been prescribed medication to help mitigate their symptoms. It would be best to follow your doctor’s orders and regularly take your medicine and in the right dosage. Missing doses can trigger flare-ups.
If you feel that your medication no longer works, or if you’re experiencing other side-effects, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.
Keep stress under control
Stress is also a possible trigger of IBD. While stress in itself doesn’t cause flare-ups, it can trigger them.
The best way to deal with stress would be to take a break, especially if you’ve been working too hard. Having a hobby to take your mind off things, or practicing meditation and mindfulness can also help with keeping your stress levels in check.
If you feel that you’re unable to do it on your own, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional. There’s nothing wrong with going to therapy for stress, and it can only improve your quality of life, not to mention lower your risk for IBD flare-ups.
Lastly, if you’re a smoker, it would be best to quit as soon as possible. Smoking can increase a person’s risk of Crohn’s disease, and it also increases the risk of flare-ups.
Aside from this, smoking is a known risk factor for illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.
If you find it difficult, don’t lose hope. Most people are unable to quit cold turkey. Take it slow, and don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from your friends and loved ones if you’re trying to quit.
When it comes to inflammatory bowel disease prevention, determining the cause of your condition and triggers can help in developing a more appropriate treatment plan for you. Consult your doctor regarding lifestyle changes, therapies, and medication that can be taken to improve your digestive health and overall quality of life.
Learn more about Inflammatory Bowel Disease here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.