5 Ways to manage IBS Flare-Ups

Published on: 09/14/2021

What Helps Managing IBS Flare-Ups

IBS is a chronic, relapsing disorder – this means its symptoms can fluctuate over time. It is common for people to find improvement for an extended period of time (perhaps having followed the FODMAP diet) and then experience a bout of symptoms. You may wonder what helps manage these IBS flare-ups.

Sometimes the cause is obvious – such as overindulging in food or alcohol, or eating hidden FODMAPs you are sensitive to. Other times, there is no reason at all: it’s the nature of IBS.

What is important when that happens is to have a toolbox of strategies to use to alleviate symptoms.

What Helps IBS Flare-Ups? Here are 5 Ways:

Tip # 1 – Rest and practice self-care

It’s easy to beat yourself up and be frustrated when a flare-up happens. Did I do something wrong? Why is this happening? Know that this is part of how IBS and be gentle with yourself. This is the time to take extra care of yourself. Sleep in, relax on the couch, and watch a movie. Take the day off work if needed!⁠⁠

Tip # 2 – Try a heat pack

As you are relaxing, try placing a heat pack on your abdomen. Heat can help to loosen up the muscles and alleviate some of the pain; it also allows more blood to flow and helps relieve cramping.⁠⁠

Tip # 3 – Use peppermint tea or enteric-coated peppermint capsules

Peppermint is a natural muscle relaxant that has been shown to be beneficial for abdominal pain, cramps, and bloating. Try sipping on peppermint tea or take peppermint oil capsules (available over the counter).

Be sure the package says “enteric-coated”. This ensures they will not be broken down by stomach acid and reach the intestines, where they are needed. Exception: skip peppermint if you suffer from acid reflux/heartburn, as it can make it worse.

Tip # 4 – Try gentle exercise and yoga

Gentle exercise like walking can help to let the excess gas out, which in turn helps relieve bloating and pain.⁠⁠ And some yoga poses, in particular, can help to relieve some of the built-up gas in the GI tract and reduce the pressure and pain.⁠⁠

Tip # 5 – Perform abdominal massage

Rubbing the abdomen can also relieve some of the pressure built up due to excess trapped gas and reduce pain.⁠⁠ Lie down on your back and rub your tummy ins small circular motions. Start on the bottom right of the abdomen and move your way up to your ribs, then across and down to the left side. Try doing this for 10 minutes or until you feel better.

Bonus Tip

Focus on stress management! Stress has a great impact on IBS symptoms.

 If you are suffering from IBS symptoms and want a clear roadmap to break free from IBS once and for all, let me help you!

Let’s work together

Book a free IBS Clarity Call today!


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I’m a registered dietitian with a passion for helping women with IBS find their way back to eating without fear of painful gut symptoms and without unnecessary diet restrictions.

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