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When an IBS Attack Strikes, These Solutions May Just Save Your Gut


As someone who personally suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I can tell you life is not a bed of roses. Most of my days are hit-and-miss if I wake up with IBS symptoms or eat something my body doesn’t tolerate. If I’m stressed or eat too much, it can be a literal pain in the gut!

I know there are a lot of you out there who wonder how to cope day-to-day with the symptoms of IBS. So here are some of my symptom-specific tips to help you handle this irritable condition:

Symptom 1: Bloated Gassy Tummy
These tricks usually help me when I’ve eaten something by mistake and as a result have a swollen, bloated stomach:

  • Peppermint tea (no sugar; just hot water and tea)
  • Peppermint capsules (pure 100% peppermint oil)
  • Hot water to drink
  • Lying down with your legs flat: This technique helps stretch your abdomen and get things moving.
  • Exercise: I sometimes find gentle exercise (such as a brisk walk or jog) helps with my symptoms. I know the last thing you want to do is move, but give it a try!
  • A warm bath: Try adding in some lavender oil or bath salts.
  • Clean, simple, non-irritating food: Avoid coffee, spice, sugar, garlic, onion and heavy starches.
  • Flaxseed: Ground flaxseed can be sprinkled on cereal or added to a variety of different dishes.
  • Collagen: adding collagen into your diet can provide lots of benefits to the gut, including helping to heal the lining of the gut and improve digestion

Symptom 2: Constipation

  • Ginger tea
  • Coffee: This usually helps me, but for some, it could be too irritating. Proceed with caution.
  • Turmeric Detox Tea

For constipation it’s helpful to try to strike a balance between soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber absorbs water in the bowel and combines with fatty acids to create a gel-like substance, which, in turn, makes the stool soft and easy to pass. Here are some examples:

*Suitable for low FODMAPs

Insoluble fiber adds bulk and moisture to the stool, enabling it to move through the colon faster and more easily. Here are some examples:

*Suitable for low FODMAP

Symptom 3: Diarrhea
When you have diarrhea, you need to slow down the digestive system (the opposite of constipation). Here are some of my dietary suggestions:

  • Bananas: Contain pectin, an insoluble fiber that absorbs moisture; also contain inulin, a prebiotic which promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. Additionally, bananas contain potassium and an important electrolyte that can diminish with chronic diarrhea.
  • White toast
  • Crackers
  • Blueberries (anti-inflammatory)
  • Yogurt
  • Peppermint tea
  • Steamed chicken
  • White rice

Symptom 4: Anxiety
We all have good days and bad days, but sometimes the bad can outnumber the good. If you know you have IBS, the best thing you can do is ask yourself, “What am I anxious about?” or “Why do I feel this way?” If the answer is “I don’t know, I’m happy with my life and I have people who care about me,” then this might be a sign your symptoms are hormonal and IBS-related. It’s OK! It is perfectly normal to feel like this, but there are ways to pull yourself out of this mindset. When I feel this way, here’s what helps me:

  • Exercise: This will release endorphins, the “happy” hormones. You may feel much better after a gentle jog or walk.
  • Talk to a close friend or family member, preferably optimistic conversation. Remember you want to lighten your mood not dwell on your current emotions.
  • Go outside, walk your dog or go to a coffee shop with a friend and relax.
  • Pets: This is a big one. They calm people, and when I’m feeling blue I know my dog will always get me on my feet and demand a walk. Afterwards, I always feel much better.
  • If you have anxiety, take a deep breath and drink some lavender tea or smell lavender. It will automatically relax you.
  • Overall, the worst thing you can do is stay home and slip deeper and deeper into your thoughts and feelings. GET MOVING!

Symptom 5: Sugar Cravings
I always get hungry and crave sugar when I have an IBS attack. Unfortunately, no one knows why, but it is regularly reported that IBS sufferers get hungrier and have a tendency to crave sugar. My best advice is don’t cave in, as this can cause weight gain. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try a piece of fruit.

Managing your IBS symptoms by being prepared with these tips will help you avoid those uncomfortably painful days we inevitably experience from time to time. What are your tips and tricks for relieving IBS symptoms? Everyone is different, so remember to listen to your body!


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Note: PLEASE consult with  your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


hazelnut collagen peptides
Further Food Contributor
Helping you eat better, feel better, naturally.

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19 thoughts on “When an IBS Attack Strikes, These Solutions May Just Save Your Gut

  1. Pingback: How Long Does Ibs Pain Last - Healthy Gut Club

  2. Pingback: How Long Do Ibs Symptoms Last – Aaron Easton's Blog

  3. Pingback: How Long Do Ibs Symptoms Last – Ellie Matthew's Blog

  4. Pingback: How Long Do Ibs Symptoms Last – Healthy Gut Club

  5. Tonya M Brown

    I too start having auger cravings but I didn’t cave in .I had a slice of fruit and took some cinnamon tablets to calm it down it worked

  6. Jo

    Is it only me when having an attack , the spasm pain is worse than labour , it knocks me sick , the swear pours from my body , I drain white , and feel like I’m going to faint and I have on occasions , trust me there is no way I could drink or do anything when this is happening , I can’t even stand up because I would faint plus the pain dsnt allow me to , I had one of the worst persistent attacks last ngt and it lasted for an hour , then I’m left drained with no energy ., I’ve been in meds for this most of my life but nothing helps when having an attack

  7. Lynn

    IBS. Ugh!! I’ve had IBS for many years couples with Diverticulosis. A double whammy. I’ve found when my symptoms flare up dinking hot peppermint tea hot chicken broth and easy to digest foods. I stay away from salads and most fresh food for a few days. Time is your best friend, even though a flare up really causes your life to slow down. Just rest and give your colon a rest.

  8. Frida

    Sorry ! Misread the comment section meanwhile having a full on attack. I’ve been diagnosed with gastritis and GERD, but never IBS. Now i realize i’ve been misguided by doctors and it is indeed IBS. this is about the 7th flare up i have in the past year that completely leaves me screaming for help. After throwing up my insides i run to the shower to get heat from the hot water. Burning hot showers don’t phase me when i’m in that much stomach pain. Its so unfortunate to experience such a pain with no cure. I’m in discomfort 24/7. Somedays i can’t get outta bed. I know my day is pretty much over now cuz of this attack. I’ll be layed out the rest of the day with no appetite and a very bloated stomach. Sending positive and healing vibes to everyone in this situation. Thank you for hearing me out after such a horrible flare up. Take care everyone.

  9. Sunny

    I’m afraid only very small quantities of blueberries, raspberries, ripe bananas, and other items on your list are low FODMAP, even though they are indicated here as okay for low FODMAP diets. The way it is shown here is misleading.

  10. Sara

    I’ve pretty much just learned to carefully watch what I eat and just live with the suffering as it seems nothing helps one symptom without aggrivating others. I would relly love a way to ease the sugar cravings though, as it becomes obsessive and almost lime a drug addiction in how I cant get my mind off it amd the amount of satisfaction I get from lettig some candy dissolve in my mouth.

  11. George

    Hello my name is George, I’m suffering with IBS from the last 5 years and is horrible, with no cure!, changing my way to eat it wasn’t the best for me, my symptoms are always the same like vomiting, nausea with any odors of food, anxiety, stomach inflammation and others… my doctor gave me Dicyclomine 10 mg it works during the time than I’m taking this medication after that still the same, I visit different kind of doctors but nothing good, I decided to put my life in hands of a scientists for free to investigate this condition, if there’s is something than I missing let me know in this page thank you.

  12. Mary Rochelle

    i have had contapation and started to take mira lax that helped, now i am having upset stomach and lots of gas Have taken Bental and omeprazole but nothing seems to help.I just feel bad all over. dr said to take pepto bismol for gas that i have done. I dont know what else to do.I have had this flair up for two days and i need to travel back home about a three hour trip tomorrow .any quick fix?

  13. Mary Sanders

    have I. has I>B.S for 7 years. At first it did not bother men soon I always have bad adominal pain, and worst of all is the awful feeling of pressure. It pushes on my gut so hard some times it feels like a huge heavy weight on my gut. Ale I have difficutly eating. I don’t have any appatite .I wish I could take some thing to give me back to feeling hungury.Well, thank you I guess that’s it.

  14. Jerome

    Great advice! I’m glad you shared this information. I’ve been looking on the internet for exactly what you took time to write. Thank you.

  15. Bobbye

    My Dr. Gave me a muscle relaxer and an antibiotic. Is this common. I have a date for lunch and a stupid episode! At a pizza place! How can I slow the flow?

  16. Debra Madden

    I was told when you are hurting just have fluids for a few days. then slowly go back to soft food then little by little add fiber. its so hard to know what to do because every one is different.


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