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5 Tips to Manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome at Christmas Time

ShyeAnne's job gives her a unique opportunity to observe humans as they learn to shed their addictions and become productive adults.


Holidays and Stress

Running the gauntlet of the Christmas season can be stress-inducing. Finding the right present, offering the perfect canape or navigating the family dynamic, are just a few of the challenges facing us during this busy time of the year.

The symptoms of IBS can be beastly at any time, but they are apt to really rear their ugly heads during the Christmas season if we don't pay attention to our diets and stress levels.

5 Tips to Help Manage IBS During the Holidays

Here is a list of 5 tips to help you maneuverer through the holiday season while respecting your bowels, body and soul.

Eat Healthy Foods


5. Mind What You Put in Your Mouth

Paying attention to what you ingest is a tip you will do well during the season. 'Tis the season to be jolly, not wasting time running to the toilet to poo or in extreme circumstances, puke. Belly cramps and embarrassing flatulence are often our unwelcome companions too.

When we allow ourselves to be tempted by all the seasonal delectables offered to us, we are taking a chance we may need to cancel our social or shopping plans due to a cranky gut.

  • Make sure to eat three well-balanced meals during the day. This will help you avoid random, unchecked grazing at the Christmas party buffet.
  • If you simply have to give in to temptation, pick and choose your dietary bombs with a bit of sense.
  • Avoid dairy (except for hard cheeses}, fatty foods and wheat/gluten, and go easy on the chocolate. Reach for the peanuts, hard cheeses, olives, rice crackers, cold meats and fresh seafood instead.

If you are unsure how certain finger foods are going to be welcomed by your gut, err on the side of caution and leave it for someone else to eat.

Avoid dairy (except for hard cheeses}, fatty foods and wheat/gluten and go easy on the chocolate. Reach for the peanuts, hard cheeses, olives, rice crackers, cold meats and fresh seafood instead.

Aim for 6-7 Hours of Quality Sleep a Night

Aim for 6-7 Hours of Quality Sleep a Night

4. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep needs to be a priority throughout the season to help keep us on an even keel and better able to face the challenges of busier schedules.

From attending our kid's concert to attending staff parties and fulfilling our personal obligations, to volunteering for one of the many causes that are active during the season, our days can be very busy.

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We want to be able to take part in these things with a song in our hearts and a smile on our faces, and when we don't get enough sleep, it affects the quality of everything we do. Adhere to your regular sleep routines if possible. Being well-rested is a powerful tool to have during one of the busiest times of the year.

Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands

Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands

3. Wash Your Hands

Wash, wash, wash your hands then wash your hands again. We touch many communal surfaces during the season. From doorknobs, shared utensils in holiday dishes to kissing under the mistletoe, our hands touch the same surfaces as many others.

We do not want to add flu or cold symptoms to our already compromised systems. Hand-washing is one of the most single effective ways to stop the transmission of germs and viruses. Wash, wash, wash your hands.

Does Holiday Stress Exacerbate Your IBS Symptoms?



2. Take Care of Your Own Spirit

Taking care of our own emotional health often gets tossed by the wayside during festive times.

It is common and easy to get caught up in being more concerned about the health, happiness and well being of our loved ones than taking the time to nourish our own continued well being.

  • Remember to sit down and take a load off.
  • Remember to take a break and listen to those traditional Christmas carols.
  • Remember to take the time to smell the Poinsettias!

1. Be Grateful!

It does a body, any body, good to be grateful. When we remember to be grateful and appreciate our many blessings, our overall sense of well-being increases. The mind/body connection plays a huge part in controlling IBS symptoms.

When our body is relaxed and our mind is calm, IBS symptoms don't stand a chance. Take control of managing your IBS symptoms by actively remembering to be grateful for the many blessings in your life. Be grateful for your home, your children, your mate, your animals, your job. Be grateful for the food you eat and the air you breathe.

The more grateful we are for what we already have, the less stress we feel and the easier it is for life's abundance to keep on abunding!

Remember to Enjoy the Holidays

Christmas and other festive occasions are meant to be filled with joy, love and peace—not numerous trips to the toilet or isolating oneself during a bout of flatulence.

If you pay attention to these 5 simple steps for self-care, your holiday season should go smoothly.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2018 ShyeAnne

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