Coping with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) While at College

Adjusting to a college or university is not always the easiest thing. College is a whole lot different from high school. Whether you have a scholarship or you are paying for your education, you will often experience a good amount of pressure as a college student. If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, chances are that you may be feeling even worse. Luckily, there are a number of different things that you can do in order to cope with Irritable Bowel Syndrome while you are away at college.

Avoid Foods That May Trigger Your IBS Symptoms

There are certain foods that many Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients cannot eat. Some of the most common “trigger foods” include dairy food products such as cheese or ice cream, foods which are very or even mildly spicy such as salsa or certain seasonings and highly acidic foods such as certain vegetables and fruits. This typically includes acidic fruit and vegetable products, such as orange juice and tomato sauce. Many people who have IBS also experience symptoms when they eat very greasy foods, such as fast food French Fries. If you know that there is a certain food which may trigger your IBS symptoms, the best thing that you can do while you are at college is avoid it.

Eat Foods You Need to Not Experience IBS Symptoms

There are certain foods that are known to minimize IBS symptoms. In fact, if you do not include them in your diet on a regular basis, you may find that your IBS symptoms will be a whole lot worse. The most important thing to do when you have IBS is to maintain a regularly healthy colon. What this means is that you should be sure to eat foods which are high in fiber. If you do not eat a regular amount of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, adding a fiber supplement to your daily diet may help provide relief to IBS-related symptoms.

Avoid Eating Hefty Meals to Prevent IBS Symptoms

The more that you eat, the more likely you will be to experience symptoms due to IBS. Though there is not a whole lot of medical evidence to support this, it only makes common sense that the heavier food sits in your stomach, the more likely you will be to experience discomfort – and ultimately IBS symptoms. One of the best ways to reduce the amount of symptoms that you experience due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome is to only eat very light meals while you are away at college. When it comes to IBS, it is best to eat several light meals rather than one large meal – which is often what most college students end up doing without even realizing it.

Eliminate as Much Stress as Possible to Reduce IBS Symptoms

Stress is known to cause IBS symptoms to feel a lot more uncomfortable. The best way to prevent this from happening to you is to eliminate as much stress as you possibly can. While it might not sound very significant, the truth in the matter is that it can be. Since college is a place where many people experience a lot of unwanted stress, you may find that you experience more frequent boughts of symptoms due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Don’t Be Afraid to Visit Your School’s Medical Center For Your IBS

Many students are often afraid to visit their school’s medical center for their IBS problems. However, going to the medical center that your school has provided for you is there for a reason – to help with any type of illness. You may find your school’s medical center to be a very resourceful place. Chances are that you aren’t the first person that has attended your college who has had to deal with IBS. You may be able to learn some tips on how to minimize the amount of symptoms that you are experiencing due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Find Out What Bathroom Facilities the College You Plan to Attend Offers

Chances are that, no matter what you due in order to prevent or minimize symptoms due to irritable bowel syndrome, you are still going to need to visit the bathroom from time to time. Certain colleges do offer suites which will allow you to have your own bathroom. If you have major IBS problems, this is something that you may want to consider for yourself. Others may offer you bathrooms that only need to be shared with, for example, three other people – as opposed to ten to twelve other people. You do the math. Finding out what type of bathroom facilities are offered at any college that you may be interested in attending is probably a good idea before making your final decision.

These are just some of the many things that you should be sure to take into consideration if you have IBS and plan to attend college. Coping with IBS while you are at college can be difficult, but it is important to keep in mind that it is not impossible. Doing all of these things, and anything else that you know may help you minimize your own symptoms related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is the best option for anyone who suffers from IBS.

Vikram Tarugu

Dr. Vikram Tarugu is an award-winning Gastroenterologist with board certification earned from both the “American Board of Internal Medicine” and the “American Board of Internal Medicine Sub-Specialty in Gastroenterology“. Currently practicing in West Palm Beach & Okeechobee, FL. Dr. Vikram Tarugu is a proficient medical professional specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of digestive health complications. With over 20 years of in-the-field experience, 2,000+ procedures conducted, and 4,000 patients treated; Dr. Vikram Tarugu has been recognized as one of the best GI doctors, not only in the state of Florida in which he practices, but nationwide.

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