Many IBS sufferers (and specialists!) focus only on diet and which FOODS trigger your IBS symptoms.
While food can certainly be part of your IBS triggers, there are other important factors that may be setting your IBS regularly in motion.
So get ahead. Here are 6 IBS triggers you must know about – and most people don’t…
You may well find that certain people are triggers for your IBS.
This may well include, family, friends, neighbours, an ex, a colleague, your boss.
It can be someone you see or hear from regularly, or not very often.
If you have a person that triggers you every day, you may not even have noticed the link.
Because you are constantly subject to that trigger. (This may be more apparent to a friend than to you, so do ask them).
If you do recognize someone as a trigger for you you may feel lost to know how to change things.
As a fast, temporary measure, you may find some deep breathing before and afterwards help to reduce the stress reaction.
Alternatively, you can choose to investigate that trigger pattern – and break free of it. Allowing you to durably reduce your IBS symptoms.
This is how I broke free of IBS. I no longer experience any IBS symptoms.
Situations and events
You may notice that certain situations or events set your IBS off.
These are easier to spot as they are less likely part of your routine.
Your job is to work out why, and see if you can find a way to counter that.
Travel is often a trigger for IBS sufferers. Although most of us LOVE the thrill of going somewhere, travel can trigger other emotions and set off a flare-up. Here’s how you can live travel better.
However any situation or event is a potential trigger. It depends on what you have lived, on your story, and the feelings you have associated with them.
Birthdays, for example, can be loaded situations for a variety of reasons – depending on your story and what associations YOU have made with them.
You can have lost a loved one around that date. You can have had your partner leave on your birthday.
Or just getting together with other people on birthdays, or the hassle of finding a birthday cake you can eat, can trigger your system.
The trick is noticing WHERE the triggers are, and figure out how to best get round them.
For example, I found that being invited round for drinks was a trigger for me because (in France) it starts late, goes on late, and everyone is hungry and tired. Plus I felt deprived and embarrassed turning up and just having water with ice and lemon, and not being able to have the nibbles:)
But I didn’t want to miss out! And looked into how I could turn this around.
So I decided to say that I wasn’t free in the evening, and would they like to come for coffee instead.
I found that situation suited me much better. I could control what I had to eat and drink (like substitute coffee)
Maybe you can you turn a situation or event that you feel you can’t deal with into a better alternative?
One that makes you feel good, instead of drained?
These can be anything from the weather, moon state, to products and substances or electro-magnetic fields in your environment that trigger you.
How the heck can you change that?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily the triggers themselves that are the problem.
It is that our mind interprets them as being dangerous – which sets off an emotional and nervous reaction.
These triggers can also be associated with past situations or bad memories that trigger your IBS, and they have become an integral part of a trigger loop. Check out this article on trigger loops to find out more.
Sounds and smells
This may sound trivial, but you may find yourself reacting to different sound levels, or different smells.
Do you wince when someone talks loudly? Or if there is loud music?
Do certain smells cause you revulsion? A food smell?
A particular perfume or aftershave?
I used to bloat up and feel nauseous around fresh paint, varnish, perfume.
When you notice an IBS trigger like this and you can avoid it, great. But it can be really complicated.
If you notice a trigger that is regularly setting off your IBS symptoms, know that it IS possible to sort this out.
Sun and heat (or cold)
One day I went to a restaurant, had lunch inside and digested it relatively well. A few weeks later I went back and had the same dish.
As it was a nice day I sat outside and ate it in the sun. I immediately felt very tired – usually a symptom that I wasn’t digesting, – and I had a flare-up later that afternoon. Same meal, same people.
I went back a few weeks later and ate the same meal inside in the shade. No problem that time.
I concluded that heat, and the sun, was a trigger for me – even though at the time I had no idea why.
Knowing this, and not really being able to do much about it at that time (that was before learning how to work on triggers and trigger loops), I avoided having lunch in the sun, and I felt much better for it.
But I actually went after that trigger, an decided to find out why it was there. Now I can eat in the sun if I want to – and I even enjoy being out in the sun.
You may find that the heat or cold afffects you in different ways.
You may even find that you digest warm foods and drinks better than cold ones – or vice versa.
Avoiding your triggers is a smart first choice. But the smart long-term choice is to release them, and the IBS symptoms they set off.
Many women find they have more flare-ups a certain times of the month and are sensitive to the hormonal changes in their bodies.
Of the 6 IBS triggers I’m presenting, this one has to be the one women feel the least able to change because periods are a natural part of life.
If you can relate, I would especially look into how you can take care of your liver. You liver collects all used hormones ready for elimination from the body.
If your liver is working under par, used hormones can accumulate here and start disrupting the levels of hormones present in your body.
Alternatively talk to your gynecologist. I personally tried this, but got no help there. At all!
If you’re in the same boat, grab this book Woman Code by Alisa Vitti, a Holistic health Counsellor. In it she examines hormone disruption and elimination in detail, and may give just give you some of the answers you have been looking for.
She also talks a little about IBS, the signs that elimination of waste in the body when they are compromised, and what you can do about them.
Why these 6 IBS triggers are useful indicators
Look out for these 6 IBS triggers in your life. You may have just one. Or you may have all six.
Finding triggers means that you start to look holistically at the cause and effect of your IBS. And take back some control over it.
Maybe you can avoid some triggers, and avoid an accumulation of them. And this can already improve your day-to-day living.
However I would urge you not to stop there.
To beat my IBS I went a step further. I traced these 6 IBS triggers back to their root causes – to the big why’s buried deep down in my story. And after many years of suffering with chronic IBS and food intolerance, I could then FULLY recover.
What if you could experience that too? What if you could break free of your IBS? I believe you can.8