Living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be challenging, especially for an athlete who needs to perform at optimal levels. If your IBS is beginning to interfere with your ability to enjoy the sport that you love, finding relief without resorting to drugs should be a top priority.
Here are three natural ways that you can help to treat your IBS in the future.
1. Manage your stress levels.
Chronic stress can cause IBS symptoms to flare up, so learning to manage your daily stress is essential when it comes to keeping your own IBS at bay. As an athlete, you will likely face many stressors.
Physical stress from training and emotions stress from the pressure to perform can both be managed through meditation and yoga. Strive to incorporate guided meditation or yoga into your daily routine, and you may see a decrease in your IBS symptoms in the future.
2. Maintain a healthy diet.
Professional athletes spend a significant amount of time traveling in order to face opponents throughout the season. Life on the road can be a challenge, especially for those who suffer from IBS. Maintaining a healthy diet while you are away from home is a great way to help reduce IBS flare-ups while you are traveling.
Fried foods are commonly found at gas stations and fast food chains, but the high fat content in these foods could agitate your IBS. Opt for healthier options like whole grains and lean meats instead, and you will be able to travel without worrying about your IBS during away games.
3. Drink peppermint tea.
IBS symptoms can sometimes include tightness in the gut and pain. As an athlete, you don't want to rely on pain killers to help you find relief, since these pharmaceuticals can alter your cognitive abilities and negatively affect your level of play. Drinking peppermint tea can be a natural, yet effective, way to help you manage your pain.
Menthol and methyl salicylate (the two main ingredients in peppermint oil) have been shown to have a calming and antispasmodic effect on the intestines, which can relieve some of the tightness you feel during an IBS flare-up. Additionally, peppermint oil has analgesic properties, so you can experience natural, soothing pain relief when drinking a cup of peppermint tea as well.
Treating your IBS naturally can help you perform better as an athlete. Manage your stress through yoga and meditation, eat healthy while on the road, and incorporate peppermint tea into your diet, and you will be on your way to treating your IBS with ease.