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The New Diet in Town – Intermittent Fasting

The New Diet in Town – Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent Fasting

You: Why aren’t you eating lunch?

Co-worker: Oh I’m skipping lunch,  it’s just this new diet I started. It worked so well for my cousin. She lost 10 kilos! It’s called intermittent fasting.

Sounds familiar? In recent years, we’ve heard chatter about intermittent fasting on social media, our social media circles and health blogs. 

What is intermittent fasting? Is it healthy? Will it lead to other health problems? Whether it’s intermittent fasting for weight loss, overall health or lowering your blood sugar, keep reading to find out all the details about intermittent fasting. 

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles  between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t necessarily involve omitting certain food types to achieve your weight loss goals but focuses more on when you should eat vs what you should eat (that means you don’t have to say goodbye to cake forever, yay!)  AKA, in a typical intermittent fast, you will eat for a certain period of time and you will fast for a certain period of time. During fasting, you eat very little or nothing at all. 

Let’s look at some popular intermittent fasting methods: 

  1. The 16/8 method (popular with beginners)

With this, people generally skip breakfast but maintain their regular eating period for  8 hours. For example, you could only eat between 12 pm – 8 pm. After 8pm, you will be fasting for 16 hours until you can eat next.

         2. The 5:2 diet 

This dietary plan involves only consuming 500-600 calories during two non-consecutive days of the week. You can eat as you usually do on the other five days. 

         3. Eat-Stop-Eat (best for advanced/experienced fasters)

Eat-Stop-Eat requires fasting for 24 hours, usually once or twice every week. For instance, you would not eat anything between lunch on one day and lunch the next day. 

Please consult with a nutritionist before you begin the above diets.

 

Intermittent Fasting Balanced Diet

So, does it really work? 

40 studies found that subjects lost 3-5 kilos over ten weeks after an intermittent fasting period. Another study with 30 participants, including obese individuals, who practised intermittent fasting over 12 weeks achieved a 6.5% reduction in weight. That’s a sweet deal, isn’t it?

How often should you practise intermittent fasting?

Usually, the intermittent fasting period is for 16 or 24 hours daily, twice a week. It is recommended that you start slow if you are a beginner. For example, you can start with the 16/8 method (scroll up for more details). Refer to the FAQs below to find out if intermittent fasting is right for you.

How does it impact your body?

During this fasting process, your body adapts your hormone levels to make stored body fat more usable. In a nutshell, this is what happens:

  • Your growth hormone increases significantly. This helps in fat loss and even muscle gain.
  • Insulin sensitivity improves, decreasing your insulin levels (so, this is beneficial for diabetic patients) . Again, this causes your stored body fat to be more accessible. 
  • Hence, a fat-burning hormone, norepinephrine, is released, resulting in weight loss.
  • Whenever you fast, your cells begin a repairing process called autophagy where your cells digests and removes old and dysfunctional proteins building up in cells.
  • Your metabolic rate will also rise by 3.6-14%! 
How intermittent fasting works

Is it unhealthy for women?

Intermittent fasting involves hormonal changes to occur. Since hormones play a huge role in fertility and reproduction it is important to be cautious.  The hormonal changes that occur during the fast may impact your oestrogen, thyroid and cortisol hormones, resulting in low energy, reduced skin and hair health, etc. 

However, intermittent fasting can be practised by women in a healthy manner to avoid hormonal imbalances from happening. As per Flo Living, here are some tips you can follow.

  • Avoid fasting on consecutive days
  • Do not fast for over 12-13 hours at a time
  • Hold off intense workouts on fasting days
  • Do not fast when you’re menstruating 
  • Choose the best diet for your hormonal health

Now, onto some of the most common question everyone has about intermittent fasting

The most important one of the lot: Is intermittent fasting healthy?

As mentioned above, intermittent fasting has a range of health benefits. However, here are some common questions people have related to intermittent fasting plans;

Does intermittent fasting cause digestive issues?

The reduction in food intake may cause constipation, bloating and diarrhoea in some cases. However, a sufficient fibre intake will alleviate this.

What are the side effects?

Hunger, mood changes and dehydration are some side effects of intermittent fasting. However, carefully sticking to the necessary fasting periods, not exceeding them and ensuring water intake throughout the day will help you successfully practise intermittent fasting.

Please do consult a doctor before practising intermittent fasting if you are 

  • Underweight
  • Having a history of eating disorders
  • Having diabetes
  • Having low blood pressure
  • Taking medications
  • A woman who is trying to conceive
  • A woman having a history of amenorrhea
  • Pregnant / Breastfeeding

Finally, after prolonged intermittent fasting, if you are experiencing extreme hunger, headaches, fatigue, and faintness, it is recommended to stop this eating pattern.

If you have a particular weight loss goal or any doubts about your diet for your intermittent fasting plan, you can consult dieticians from the comfort of your home via oDoc

References

  1. Intermittent Fasting 101 – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide, Healthline (2022)
  2. Do intermittent diets provide physiological benefits over continuous diets for weight loss? A systematic review of clinical trials, RV Seimon, JA Roekenes, Jessica Zibellin, Benjamin Zhu, AA Gibson, AP Hills, RE Wood, NA King, NM Byrne, Amanda Sainsbury (2015)
  3. Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial, KA Varady, Surabhi Bhutani, MC Klempel, CM Kroeger, JF Trepanowski, JM Haus, KK Hoddy and Yolian Calvo (2013)
  4. 9 Potential Intermittent Fasting Side Effects, Healthline (2021)
  5. Intermittent Fasting and Hormonal Health: What You Need to Know, Flo Living (2021)
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Pedal Power: Health Benefits of Cycling

Pedal Power: Health Benefits of Cycling

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Fuel shortage in Sri Lanka leads to more cycling

In a state where public transport has also been limited, and bus ticket prices have risen exponentially, the lack of transport options has made daily commuting and travelling during emergency situations increasingly difficult. As a result, walking and cycling have become almost the only choice for many Sri Lankans.

Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that offers a wealth of benefits. It is a great exercise that keeps you moving and helps establish a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.

1. Cycling can help you lose weight

Cycling is a great aerobic workout that burns calories and helps people lose weight and belly fat. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you take in. Depending on your intensity and weight, cycling can burn between 400 and 1000 calories each hour.

Body parts that are exercised, targeted, toned, and used while cycling

  • Foot: Ankle dorsiflexion and plantar flexors
  • Arms: Triceps and biceps 
  • Shoulders: Deltoids
  • Calf: Gastrocnemius and soleus
  • Buttocks or Gluts: Gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus, and gluteus medius
  • Thigh: Quadriceps and hamstrings

2. Cycling boosts mental health and brain power

Cycling can ease feelings of stress, depression, or anxiety as it may help take your focus away from the mental chatter of your day.  When cycling, concentrating on the road or your cadence might help you improve your attention span and awareness of the present moment. Here are a few ways cycling could boost your positive mental health.

  • It improves your mood. Cycling increases blood flow throughout your body, allowing endorphins and other feel-good chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin to spread quickly.
  • It promotes positive mental health. Exercise is known to have significant effects on self-esteem, sadness, anxiety, and stress. Still, cycling has been identified as one of the most beneficial exercises for the head and heart.
  • It helps you sleep better. Regular riding helps synchronise your circadian rhythm and can help to reduce levels of stress hormones that can make proper regenerative, deep sleep difficult.
  • Improves your memory. Riding a bike helps build new brain cells responsible for memory. 
  • Improves creative thinking. The regular, uniform movement of cycling relaxes the brain, stabilising both physical and mental functions.
  • Cycling promotes new thought patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. You can use it as a type of meditation and a great way to “zone out.”
benefits of cycling

3. Cycling improves balance, posture, and coordination

As you stabilise your body and keep your bike upright, you’ll improve your overall balance, coordination, and gait.

Maintaining balance is important because it tends to deteriorate with age and inactivity. Therefore, enhancing your balance can help lower your risk of injury and keep you off the sidelines by preventing falls and fractures.

correct posture of cycling

4. Cycling can reduce the risk of heart diseases

Regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as strokes, high blood pressure and heart attacks.

Cycling also helps your cardiac muscles become more robust and lowers your resting pulse and blood fat levels.Additionally, research shows that people who cycle to work have a lung function that is two to three times better than those who commute by car.

Drawbacks of cycling and safety

Cycling has a few disadvantages to consider, and these primarily relate to cycling outside, which involves factors beyond your control.

There could always be a risk of an accident, whether in an urban or rural area. Hence, 

  • Obey the law at all times. Even if you have the right of way, exercise caution when passing through crossroads and crowded locations. Invest in a good helmet and any other necessary safety equipment.
  • Avoid wearing any loose clothing that could get caught in your bike chains.
  • Unfavourable weather might also be a barrier. So, invest in rain and cold weather gear and have a backup transportation plan for when conditions are unsafe for riding.
  • For extended daytime rides, use sunscreen on all exposed skin.
  • Take a break if you experience pain, fatigue, or muscle soreness.
  • If you have any cycling-related injuries, staying off the bike is best until you fully recover.
tips for cycling safely

The bottom line

Given the current situation in Sri Lanka, cycling to your destination may seem like the only option. However, just play it safe and use caution when necessary, especially on busy roads or during unfavourable weather.

If you have any injuries or need clarification regarding conditions that cycling may affect, speak to a general practitioner or a physician via the oDoc app.

Sources

  1. 15 benefits of cycling: why cycling is great for fitness, legs and mind, Cycling Weekly (2022).
  2. 12 Benefits of Cycling, Plus Safety Tips, Healthline (2021).
  3. Cycling – health benefits, Better Health (2021).
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“Good” and “Bad” Cholesterol – What you need to know

“Good” and “Bad” Cholesterol - What you need to know

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Cholesterol is the misunderstood, problem child of wellness and good health. It gets a bad rap, but no one really tells you why it’s there, what it does, or why it isn’t just all bad. In this week’s blog, we break down the what’s what of cholesterol so you will have a greater appreciation of its benefits and why it’s important to keep tabs on its status. 

What is cholesterol? 

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all the cells of your body. It’s not inherently bad; it has an important function: your body needs it to build cells and make vitamins and hormones. Your liver produces about three-quarters of the cholesterol in your body, and the rest comes from animal foods such as egg yolks, meat, and cheese. However, too much cholesterol can cause problems. 

Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream on proteins called “lipoproteins.” There are 2 types of lipoproteins:

LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or “bad” cholesterol

LDL makes up most of your body’s cholesterol. It’s a larger molecule, so high levels of LDL mean there can eventually be a build-up within the walls of your blood vessels, causing narrowing of the passageways and inhibiting the free flow of oxygen-rich blood. Further, there are possibilities for clots to form and get stuck in a narrowed space, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol

HDL is the good guy: helping clean up the mess! It travels through your blood, picks up excess cholesterol, and takes it back to your liver, where it is broken down and removed from your body. HDL helps you lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Triglyceride

The HDL cholesterol is closely related to triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood that is stored in your fat cells and later released by your hormones for energy between meals. However, suppose you regularly consume more calories than you burn, especially from high-carbohydrate foods, it may result in high levels of triglycerides​​, which increases the risk of strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.

Usually, those with high triglycerides have a propensity to have low HDL cholesterol levels. The triglyceride/HDL ratio should be below 2 (divide your triglyceride levels by your HDL). If the triglyceride/HDL level is above 4, it is considered a risk, and therefore it is advisable to have a lower ratio by changing diet and taking up exercise. 

Increased triglycerides can be a reliable sign of biliary function, fat metabolism, liver function, and genetic factors. Problems with sugar typically accompany elevated triglycerides (sweet tooth) or adult-onset diabetes. Therefore, maintaining a triglyceride level between 70 and 100 mg/dl is advisable. 

Reduced triglycerides indicate inadequate fatty acid release, hormonal hyperactivity, and perhaps immunological issues.As opposed to simply high cholesterol and LDL/HDL ratios, keep in mind that the triglyceride to HDL ratio is a significantly better predictor of heart disease. It’s crucial to realise that additional factors besides high cholesterol also point to possible issues.

Risk factors that can impact your cholesterol levels

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Diet high in saturated and trans fats
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Genes
  • Old age

What are optimal levels of HDL cholesterol?

 

Risk levels

Desirable level

Men

Less than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L)

60 mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L) or above

Women

Less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L)

60 mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L) or above

Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood or millimoles (mmol) per liter (L).

How could you keep these numbers in check?

Things outside of your control can also affect cholesterol levels.

Age and Sex – The older you get, your cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After the age of menopause, women’s LDL levels begin to rise.

Heredity – Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can be genetic.

Race – Certain races may have an increased risk of high blood cholesterol. For instance, African Americans typically have higher HDL and LDL cholesterol levels than whites.

Many things influence your cholesterol levels, which you have control over.

Physical activity – Though genes and weight may play an important role, your lifestyle choices around diet and exercise also influences your overall numbers.

Eat healthily – Add more fibre (whole grains) to your diet and include healthy fats like olive oil, Avacado and certain nuts. 

Limit your alcohol intake –  Drinking too much alcohol can raise levels of triglyceride fats in the bloodstream and lead to conditions such as high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation.

Consider quitting smoking – Smoking decreases HDL cholesterol.

Check your cholesterol levels – Knowing your cholesterol status can help you control your health.

  • If you are an adult under 45, it is advisable to get your cholesterol checked every 4 to 6 years.
  • If you have heart disease, diabetes or a family history of high cholesterol, it is advisable to check your cholesterol more often.
  • Children and adolescents should check their cholesterol at least once between ages 9 and 11 and again between ages 17 and 21.

Men between 45 to 65 and women between 55 to 65 should check for cholesterol every 1 to 2 years.

Are you unable to go to the hospital to get a test done?

oLabs provides a hassle-free process for checking your calendar and booking mobile lab tests via the oDoc app according to your flexibility. 

  • Convenience – You can simply stay at home and wait for your scheduled appointment time without worrying about traffic or parking. 
  • Safety – You can avoid crowded and potentially germ-filled waiting rooms. Instead of feeling awkward while your test samples are being collected, you can just relax in the comfort and safety of your own home. 
  • Efficiency – If more than one person in your household needs a test sample, we can gather both samples simultaneously. This omits the need for multiple appointments or trips to the collection clinic. 

However, if you wish to discuss more or gain advice on maintaining your cholesterol levels, speak to a general practitioner via the oDoc app from the comfort of your home.

Reference

  1. The Recommended Cholesterol Levels by Age, Healthline (2021).
  2. Nutrition and healthy eating, Mayo Clinic (2021)
  3. Cholesterol, Healthdirect (2020).
  4. Cholesterol ,Mediline plus (2020).
  5. What is Cholesterol? Heart attack and strong symptoms (2020).
  6. HDL cholesterol: How to boost your ‘good’ cholesterol, Mayo Clinic (2020).
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All you need to know about Gestational Diabetes

All you need to know about Gestational Diabetes

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Did you know that gestational diabetes mellitus, also known as GMD, is one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy?

What is GMD? Why does it happen? Can you prevent it? Keep scrolling for answers.

So, let’s start with the basics. What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. Many hormones are involved in maintaining the blood sugar level. As the hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy, they prevent the body from using insulin effectively, leading to insulin resistance. This causes  glucose  build-up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells. Typically, the pancreas can make additional insulin to overcome insulin resistance, but when insulin production is not enough to overcome the effect of the placental hormones, gestational diabetes results.

A study conducted by Kai Wei Lee et., found the prevalence of GDM in Asia was 11.5%. GMD can happen at any stage of pregnancy but is more common in the second or third trimester.

But why is that?

Scientists have not been able to identify the exact hormone that causes GDM in pregnant women. But, many scientific theories suggest that as the placenta grows, more and more hormones are released, which increases risk of  insulin resistance. Thus, symptoms of GMD are seen more often in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. 

What are the symptoms of GMD?

Many women who have GMD do not show symptoms, but the most common ones are: 

  • Increased thirst
  • Urgency to pee more often
  • Dry mouth
  • Tiredness
Gestational Diabetes Causes

These symptoms are relatively common during pregnancy and not necessarily a sign of GMD. If you are pregnant and have noticed these symptoms, you should speak to a VOG doctor or a general physician, via oDoc who will provide a prescription for a lab test. You can carry out the lab tests from the comfort of you home via oLabs too. 

Who is at risk?

GMD can affect any woman, but a list of risk factors identified by scientists increases the chances of developing GMD. 

The risk factors include

  • Being overweight before pregnancy
  • Having a family  history of diabetes 
  • Being Prediabetic (if you have a blood glucose level higher than normal but not high enough to be classed as diabetic.
  • Having PCOS 
  • Being older than 25 as they are at a greater risk for developing gestational diabetes than younger women
  • Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or other medical complications
  • Having  given birth to a large baby (weighing more than 9 pounds)
  • Having had a miscarriage

How does GMD affect the mother and the baby?

More often than not, women who have GMD go on to have normal pregnancies and deliver healthy babies. However, in other circumstances, GMD can lead to:

  • Macrosomia. This is where the baby grows very large as they absorb the excess glucose in the mother’s blood and convert it into fat and are deposited. This leads to difficulties during labour, causing doctors to opt for induced labour and c-section. 
  • Too much amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the baby) in the womb can cause premature labour or problems at delivery, known as polyhydramnios.
  • Premature birth
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in the baby after delivery. This happens because the mum’s high blood sugar level also causes the baby to have a high blood sugar level, and after birth, it no longer has the high level of sugar from its mother, resulting in the newborn’s blood sugar level becoming very low.
  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life for babies. Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Stillbirth. Untreated, gestational diabetes can result in a baby’s death before or shortly after birth.
  • Future diabetes for the mother. If you have gestational diabetes, you’re more likely to get it again during a future pregnancy. You also have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes as you get older.

What are the treatment options?

The American Diabetes Association recommends screening for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes at the first prenatal visit in women with diabetes risk factors. In pregnant women not known to have diabetes, GDM testing should be performed at 24 to 28 weeks of gestation. 

If you are found to have GMD, don’t worry, as it can be treated, and complications can be reduced. The doctor may ask you to monitor your blood sugar level often, exercise often, eat healthily and maybe give insulin injections if necessary. 

How is it prevented?

There are no guarantees for preventing gestational diabetes — but the more healthy habits you can adopt before pregnancy, the better.

So don’t forget to 

  • Eat healthy – Choose foods high in fibre and low in fat and calories.
  • Exercise often – Exercising before and safely during pregnancy can help protect you from developing gestational diabetes.
  • Start pregnancy at a healthy weight. If you’re planning to get pregnant, losing extra weight beforehand may help you have a healthier pregnancy.
Preventing Gestational Diabetes

If you are pregnant and experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above or have any questions, you can speak to one of the Obstetricians, Gynaecologists or GPs on the oDoc app. Click here to download the app.

Sources 

  1. Alfadhli, E., 2015. Gestational diabetes mellitus. Saudi Medical Journal, 36(4), pp.399-406.
  2. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). (n.d.). Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved April 6, 2022, from 
  3. Gestational diabetes – Symptoms and causes. (2020, August 26). Mayo Clinic. 
  4. NHS website. (2021, November 29). Gestational diabetes. Nhs.Uk. 
  5. Lee, K.W., Ching, S.M., Ramachandran, V. et al. Prevalence and risk factors of gestational diabetes mellitus in Asia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 18, 494 (2018).
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Endometriosis

Endometriosis No woman looks forward to “that time of the month.” Dealing with nausea, stomach cramps, mood swings, back pains and fatigue, all whilst facing

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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You’re going about your day as usual but all of a sudden you get abdominal cramping! You brush it off as nothing too serious and chalk it up to maybe being constipated. But you swear you’ve been eating enough veggies and hitting that fiber intake.  And then you remember, “Wasn’t I just having diarrhea a few days ago” ? Maybe it’s that delicious koththu takeout you had that’s giving you stomach discomfort. But you’ve been experiencing these symptoms in and out for quite a few months now. What if I said all these symptoms of stomach discomfort and irregular bowel movements point to a larger underlying illness at hand?

What Is IBS?

IBS, short for irritable bowel syndrome, is rather a common disorder that targets the large intestine which affects 10-15% of the global population. Common signs and symptoms include stomach cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea or constipation, or both. These tend to come and go over time, and can last for days, weeks or months at a time. Unfortunately, IBS is a chronic condition, so you need to manage it long term. It can be frustrating to live with and may impact your day-to-day life but there are IBS treatments that can alleviate and control your symptoms!

You must be wondering how exactly one gets IBS, however, the exact cause is unknown – it has been linked to food passing through your gut too quickly or too slowly, oversensitive nerves in your gut, stress and a family history of IBS. IBS triggers don’t follow any hard and fast rules. Different people have different triggers, such as certain foods, poor mental health, poor sleep, infections, hormonal changes and changes in gut bacteria.

IBS is a functional disorder which means tests would prove inconclusive as there aren’t structural changes in the large intestine or bowel tissue to identify. This means that it can only be diagnosed by your doctor, who is conveniently only three taps away from being consulted on oDoc!

But try not to stress too much about it because stress can worsen or trigger symptoms because of the brain-gut connection, which we covered in our previous blog. Only a small number of IBS sufferers have severe symptoms and pain.

How IBS Affects The Body

  1. Abdominal cramping. Lower abdominal pain which tends to decrease after a bowel movement. Whilst there are certain medications that ease the pain, you can also try modifying your diet to include less FODMAPs. FODMAPs are small carbs that many people with IBS cannot digest well which may cause hydrogen gas build up leading to bloating and cramps. If you find yourself being sensitive to FODMAP rich foods like legumes, dairy products and high fructose foods (including honey and processed foods with high fructose corn syrup), try cutting them down and see if your symptoms alleviate. Since your sensitivity to FODMAPs may differ to others it’s always best to speak to a gastroenterologist to seek the best course of action. 

2. Changes in bowel movements. Around 1/3 of patients experience diarrhea but others experience  constipation-predominant IBS.. However, unlike diarrhea, if you have constipation the abdominal pain usually eases after the bowel movement and often leaves you with a sensation of an incomplete bowel movement. Having both alternating diarrhea and constipation is one type of IBS that affects about 20% of IBS sufferers. 

3. Gas and Bloating. One of the more frustrating symptoms is bloating. If you have IBS your gut has an altered digestion process, which results in more gas being produced leaving your stomach in an uncomfortable state of fullness and tightness.

Stress Influences IBS

The gut is often referred to as the ‘second brain’ so it’s not surprising that IBS is a stress-sensitive disorder. Clinical studies show that the amount of stress you are under is an important factor for the development of IBS symptoms. Your anxiety and stress induces several hormonal changes which affect your gut and cause that diarrhea and stomach churning that you sadly know all too well!

Try to identify the stressors in your life and develop healthy habits to cope with it like mentioned below! You can also check out our blog on how to reduce anxiety as well!

  1. Deep breathing exercises such as in meditation or yoga send messages to your brain to calm down and relax.
  2. You can also seek mental health services to learn better coping mechanisms and other cognitive-behavioral techniques to identify and combat your stress. Whilst mental health may be a stigmatized topic in Sri Lanka, oDoc offers you a private, quick and easy way to consult qualified mental health professionals from the comfort of your own home who are simply three taps away!

3. You need to make sure you get adequate sleep. At least seven to eight hours per night. Getting plenty of sleep will reassure your body it’s not in a state of distress!

4. Exercise the stress away! Exercise releases feel-good chemicals in the brain called endorphins. These are natural painkillers which elevate your mood. This probably explains why going to the gym even on days you don’t feel like dragging yourself there, is bound to lift your spirits!

When To See A Doctor

Since symptoms differ from person to person it’s important to consult either your GP or a gastroenterologist so they can provide you with a proper diagnosis and rule out other diseases.  However, if you notice a change in the pattern of your symptoms or new symptoms (such as changes in bowel movement or a different type of pain that significantly interferes with your daily activities) consult with your doctor straight away on oDoc.

Download oDoc today on the App Store or Play store.

References

  1. What Is IBS?, NHS (2021)
  2. 9 Signs And Symptoms Of IBS, Healthline (2019)
  3. Impact Of Psychological Stress On Irritable Bowel Syndrome, NCBI (2014)
  4. How Stress and Anxiety Can Aggravate IBS Symptoms, Healthline (2017)

  

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How To Manage Stress

With the cost of living rising rapidly by the day, the currency devaluing, and the country falling into economic decline, it is no surprise that

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