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    IBS Triggers and How to Avoid Them

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    3. Stress and Anxiety Triggers for IBS

    Stress and anxiety can make IBS symptoms worse. Worries can come from a lot of sources, including:

    • Work
    • Your commute
    • Problems at home
    • Money problems
    • A sense that things are out of your control

    How to Manage Stress:

    • Choose healthy habits. Eat a well-balanced diet that works for your IBS. Get regular exercise and enough sleep.
    • Do something fun as often as you can. Listen to music, read, shop, or take a walk.
    • Learn better ways to calm down with behavioral therapy. There are a few types: relaxation therapy, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy.
    • If you feel comfortable, talk to family members, close friends, your boss, or co-workers about your IBS. When they know what’s going on, they can support you and better understand how it affects you.

    4. Drugs That Can Trigger IBS

    Some drugs can trigger constipation or diarrhea. People with IBS may have trouble with:

    How to Choose Better Meds:

    • Talk with your doctor about switching to a drug that won't make your symptoms flare. But ask her before you stop taking your meds.
    • Choose antidepressants wisely. Older ones, called tricyclic antidepressants, can cause constipation. Standard ones, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, like fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and sertraline (Zoloft), can cause diarrhea. Work with your doctor to find the right one.

    5. Menstrual Triggers for IBS

    Women with IBS tend to have worse symptoms during their periods. There's not a lot you can do to prevent it, but you can ease pain and discomfort during that time of the month.

    How to Feel Better:

    • Think about taking birth control pills. They can make your periods more regular. But they can cause side effects, like upset stomach, vomiting, stomachcramps or bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Work with your doctor to find one that works without causing other problems.
    • Treat severe PMS. Some drugs that treat depression can help, such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft).
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