Christmas should be a magical time, but for those with IBS, the festive season can be a nightmare. Many patients find their symptoms worsen during Christmas, putting a real dampener on celebrations.
If you suffer from IBS and you want to avoid being in pain and discomfort this Christmas, there are tips you can follow. Here, you’ll discover why the symptoms of IBS worsen over Christmas and how you can avoid uncomfortable flare-ups.
Why does Christmas cause IBS pain to worsen?
The main reason patients often experience worsening IBS symptoms over Christmas is dietary changes. Most of us overindulge during the festive season, devouring delicious Christmas treats and drinking increased levels of alcohol. Both of these things can trigger an IBS flare-up.
You will also likely change when you eat and drink. There is a tendency to graze throughout the day and indulge more during the evenings. The change from your usual eating and drinking habits can greatly exacerbate the symptoms of IBS.
How can I avoid IBS pain?
The good news is there are ways to avoid an IBS flare-up over Christmas. These include:
- Avoiding certain foods
- Don’t eat late in the evening
- Increase your water intake
- Stock up on medication
- Avoid any triggers
Certain foods are known to trigger IBS flare-ups. These include broccoli, garlic, carbonated drinks, dairy foods, and alcohol. By avoiding these foods it’s going to prevent a flare-up from occurring. Likewise, you should avoid any triggers that you know of.
You’ll also want to ensure you don’t eat too late in the evening. If you are drinking alcohol, make sure you increase your water intake. Alcohol is well known to dehydrate the body, which can trigger the symptoms of IBS. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume.
If you want to eliminate any symptoms you experience over Christmas, make sure you stock up on IBS medications. These include Antispasmodics and Antacids. The latter is great for treating indigestion and heartburn. Meanwhile, Antispasmodics help to ease tummy cramping and discomfort.
Seeking help for pain
Of course, the best way to avoid IBS pain this Christmas is to get the condition under control. Seeking professional help for IBS symptoms will reduce the risk of flare-ups. Your GP can determine what is causing the symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment to get them under control.
Mr Alan Woodward diagnoses and treats a range of Colorectal diseases. If you are struggling with IBS, book a consultation today. After an initial assessment, a diagnosis and treatment plan will be created to get your symptoms under control.