Has your diet changed during lockdown?

Are you eating more because of boredom, loneliness or dislocation? Has your diet changed for the worst because of food shortages? Or have you been able to make any positive changes?

We know that many of our members are struggling to get their usual foods and, as a result, are experiencing IBS flare ups. Many of them are also developing different eating patterns, which is causing symptoms and feelings of anxiety.

In our latest blog post we explain how to make simple lifestyle and diet changes that can have a positive effect on your IBS during lockdown.

Dietary and lifestyle guidance

When it comes to treating IBS, making diet and lifestyle changes is always the first step. The key to living well with IBS is self-management.

Try one change at a time:

Easy changes to make during lockdown

  • drink up to 2 litres of (non-alcoholic) fluids per day;
  • reduce caffeine found in coffee, tea, chocolate and fizzy drinks;
  • avoid chewing gum which contains sorbitol which may contribute to extra wind/bloating and act as a laxative;
  • limit high fibre foods, such as wholemeal bread and whole-wheat cereals;
  • reduce gassy bloating foods such as cauliflower, onions, garlic and beans;
  • limit fruit to three portions a day; (do not eat fruit with stones)
  • make time to eat regular meals throughout the day;
  • include exercise in your week (following government guidance);
  • understand your stress triggers, (for example, consuming too much social media or news) take time to relax;
  • and talk to your family, friends and trusted work colleagues (using social media or phone if they’re in another household) about your IBS and how it may be affecting you during this difficult time.

The following changes may be more difficult, depending on supplies, but are not impossible.

Again, try one at a time:

  • reduce high fat, processed and reheated foods, such as chocolate, dairy, fried foods and cakes;
  • adding up to a tablespoon of linseed a day to your food may help to soften your stools;
  • and/or try probiotics for four to six weeks. Join or renew your membership to The IBS Network and receive two months’ of FREE Alflorex probiotic. Join here.

Once you have a better understanding of what is happening in your body you will be able to explore what works best for you.

We suggest you start by keeping a 12-week wellness diary where you record what you are eating, how you are feeling and what is happening in your life.

This may help you to better understand your symptoms and triggers and identify any patterns. Stress, anxiety and fear are understandably high at the moment, so now is a good time to focus on ways to cope with, and reduce, stress and improve your IBS. Order your diary here for just £7.25 including postage and packing.

If you need us, we are here.