Practical lifestyle tools and approaches to support Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Practical lifestyle tools and approaches to support Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a long-term, recurrent systemic disorder impacting the gastrointestinal tract. It is characterized by persistent inflammation, mandating continuous treatment throughout the individual's lifetime. Managing the symptoms and adapting to a lifestyle that supports overall well-being is crucial. Here are some practical lifestyle tools and tips for individuals with IBD:

Reduce tobacco consumption: Observational studies have consistently associated cigarette smoking with an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease. 

Mindfulness and relaxation tools: ​​Integrate emotional/nervous system support into your routine; examples of this may include participating in meditation, engaging in deep breathing exercises, using a weighted blanket, spending time in nature, doing less, and using mindfulness apps in your daily routine. Additionally, take the time to identify and effectively manage stress triggers, as heightened stress levels can intensify symptoms associated with IBD.

Regular physical activity: Choose activities that suit your fitness level and preferences, considering potential energy limitations during flare-ups. Movement offers essential advantages such as supporting lymphatic drainage, improving sleep quality, strengthening the immune system, and lowering stress levels.

Meal planning: Meal planning can be a valuable tool for developing IBD-friendly meal plans that consider dietary restrictions and personal preferences. Opting for meals suitable for individuals with IBD involves choosing easily digestible fiber options, incorporating protein-rich foods, opting for well-cooked vegetables, selecting peeled fruits such as melons, applesauce, and bananas, incorporating healthy fats, and consuming smaller, more frequent meals.

Restorative rest: Prioritize good sleep hygiene, aiming for a consistent sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleep environment. Fatigue is common in IBD, so getting enough rest is crucial for overall health.

Social support: Forge a solid support system involving friends, family, and support groups. Educate your loved ones about IBD to cultivate understanding and empathy. Communicate openly with healthcare providers, family, and friends about emotional well-being. Sharing concerns and feelings can help build a strong support network.

IBD not only affects the physical health of individuals but also has emotional implications. Incorporating a holistic approach that addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of the condition can contribute to overall well-being. If you require individualized guidance and support, consider collaborating with one of our healthcare practitioners. 

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

Back to blog