New to IBS

Sufferers new to IBS will be faced with a mountain of material and options when they first begin to address their condition.  While there is far more salient information than ever, finding the right source for you can be difficult.  You may be told that you need to cut out stress (not an easy thing to do), change your diet or take a pill, frankly you will be told a lot lot of things often with great certainty.

This article aims to cut through some of those issues and provide sufferers new to IBS with some great places to start.  There are few things which run identically through IBS, however there are a number of things which are common.  It is the common features of IBS which offer a jump off point for you to begin the management of your condition.

IBS-Health generally aims to provide support rather than recommend treatment as IBS is so unique to each sufferer that we would never state that there is one thing or one way to to go. The following therefore represents some of the best ways to get started, however it is by no means definitive.  Always bear in mind that you are unique and follow what feels right for you.

IBS - The First Steps


We bring up stress first as for many sufferers who develop stress later in life, IBS can be one of the many symptoms.  Stress is also very personal, and can develop for any number of reasons.  It is also near impossible to say to someone that you need to reduce your stress.  For most it is simply not that easy, bills do not pay themselves, work can not suddenly become less stressful, we all have to live.

Not only will stress and anxiety effect your digestive system directly, it will also indirectly have implications. When under pressure, good diet and healthy exercise can often take a back seat.  We are also surrounded by things which make us feel better, but do not help our health.  Alcohol, caffeine, certain medicines, fatty foods can all offer a ‘lift’ but they will also disrupt you digestion.

There is no single answer the issue of stress.  Having had positions which involved very long hours and managing lots of staff, personal experience suggests that when under that kind of pressure being to to ‘reduce stress’ seems impossible.  However, it is vital if you are to tackle IBS.  While it is most certainly not the cause for all IBS it is often lurking.


If you have time, or are at the point where something really needs to be done there are many wonderful groups and organizations doing wonderful work, we would highly recommend.  There are also many professionals now specializing in this field, who will be worth looking up.

If time is an issue, we would heartily recommend ‘Stress Management for Dummies’ by Allen Elkin.  There are hundreds of books on the subject, however this one does a great job of offering practical ways with which to tackle stress.

Known triggers

There are a number of products which sadly are not good for IBS.  We go into this in far greater deal on our main website (we also explain why they are so bad), we do so knowing that many items listed are much loved, and cherished.  It is also apparent that there is a growing backlash against being told what we can and can not do, a position we understand and respect.

Our advice on this is purely that reducing or removing the items of the list of known triggers will give you a better chance of dealing with IBS, they are unlikely to cure you in isolation, but they will help manage your IBS.




Fatty Foods





Best Avoided

Spicey food

High fructose foods

Sugary foods

Fiber***  Click here for more detail

*  We are not recommending that anyone stop taking important medicine.  We are simply pointing out that some medicine taken over a period of time may have a detrimental effect on your digestion.  You may be able to arrange an alternative if you develop problems.

** Not all anti-inflammatory medicine is a problem, however some medicines such as ‘Ibruprofen’ may cause some issues.

*** Fiber can be the both the best and worst thing for IBS depending on the nature of your symptoms.  In general, IBS-D sufferers may need to avoid insoluable fibre, IBS-C sufferers will need plenty of fiber.

General health

A simple piece of advice, often omitted relates to simply living a wholesome life.  We do not mean morally as that is way beyond our philosophical remit.  We simply mean that by getting plenty of exercise, fresh air and by eating good natural food, you will give yourself the best chance of managing your IBS.   Whatever treatments or diets you many be recommended down the line, the chance that they will work will be greatly increased by simply looking after yourself.

Again personal experience tells us that good health alone will not fix IBS.  To all the many sufferers who are in top shape, yet still suffer with IBS we acknowledge that good health is not the only answer, however it is an important part of dealing with IBS in a more general sense.

Make Notes

A very useful tool in the treatment of IBS is personal knowledge.  If you can make notes of when your IBS is at its worst, and what you have eaten, you will be assisting your own ability to treat your condition, as well as assisting any professional you may choose to engage with your battle against IBS.   This may seem like a minor thing, but a few notes each day can help tremendously.

Good reads

We have recommended the following books as they do provide a great insight into IBS, and provide a great deal more information than we have been able to provide here.

““Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”  Aristotle IBS Shop Everything you need  to tackle IBS in one place Mobile
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Please note:  All blogs and IBS Health articles have been written by IBS sufferers for fellow IBS sufferers.

We respect and appreciate all other opinions and write with the sole aim of providing empathy, support and ideas for others who live IBS everyday. We do not write cause offence.

While we have the shop and other sites, we have always ensured that we are ferociously independent and that our sites are free to use.

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