Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Triggers and Prevention
5. Menstrual Triggers for IBS
Studies show that women with IBS tend to have worse symptoms during their periods. There's not a lot of information about preventing this type of trigger, but doctors may recommend certain strategies to ease pain and discomfort during your period.
- Oral contraceptives. Some brand names are Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Lo/Ovral, and Alesse. These drugs can regularize periods. Side effects may include upset stomach, vomiting, stomach cramps or bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Work with your doctor to find a pill that works without causing side effects.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) drugs. These include drugs also used to treat depression, such as Sarafem, Paxil CR, and Zoloft. PMDD is a severe form of PMS. These drugs adjust levels of serotonin, a brain chemical thought to be out of balance during certain phases of a woman's cycle.
6. Other Triggers
- Eating while working or driving
- Eating too quickly
- Chewing gum
- Lack of exercise
- Performing different activities while eating may cause you to swallow more air, eat more quickly, and feel bloated. Take time out from other activities while you enjoy your food.
- Not enough exercise can also cause constipation. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Take a long walk to help your bowels and ease tension.
Also, be sure to talk to your doctor about all your treatment options for IBS with constipation and IBS with diarrhea.