7 Must-Have Items for Managing Upset Tummies, Dodgy Guts and Flare-Ups
My own story of living with dodgy guts was really not making daily life much fun at times. I'd try to ignore them, and at other times I'd be trying everything I could think of.
Here's my Survival Kit suggestions to help you navigate through flare-ups more comfortably.
This is my guide to assembling a collection of essential items that can provide relief and support during IBS episodes.
1. Bottle of Water
I can't say this enough... hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Hydration is vital in managing your digestion. Carrying a bottle of water at all times is a no brainer.
Staying hydrated can help regulate digestion, prevent constipation, and can replace lost fluids from urgent diarrhoea.
And you don't need me to tell you that choose a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day, keeping yourself hydrated wherever you go - but also not causing extra plastic bottles to damage our beaut of a planet.
2. Hot Water Bottles in Different Shapes and Sizes
Abdominal pain and cramping are often experienced during IBS flare-ups.
A hot water bottle can be incredibly soothing, providing warmth and comfort to your belly. It's my go-to item, and being Scottish, TBH I just find them comforting in the cold weather anyway.
Invest in a selection of hot water bottles in various shapes and sizes to cater to different areas of discomfort.
The heat can help relax the muscles and relieve pain, allowing you to find some relief from the symptoms.
I have so many but my fave is a long one I got about 2 years ago from Amazon so I don't have a specific recommendation.
Be warned - you usually need to replace your hot water bottles every 3 years - check inside the opening of the hot water water for the date - don't use if it's past the date as the rubber can cause burns.
3. Clothing with Stretch Fabric
Bloating is a common with IBS or just a signal from your gut that something is out of balance, which can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance, while dealing with being really uncomfortable.
So my survival tip is wearing clothes that have a bit of give in them - stretchy fabrics such as elastane or spandex.
These materials can accommodate fluctuations in your waistline, providing a comfortable and flattering fit while feeling like you're not going to explode.
4. Gut Wealth liquid supplements
Our Gut Wealth supplements are designed to help calm digestive upset, maintain good gut health and help reduce inflammation, bloating and improve bowel movements.
It's why we're the trusted choice for better gut health and have over 400 customer reviews (and counting)
Bacteria-based supplements introduce beneficial bacteria to your gut to promote a healthy balance.
5. Toilet Paper
Choose a toilet paper that's gentle on the environment & your bum.
We recommend who gives a crap toilet paper - it's got over 7,500 5-star reviews.
It's strong meaning you need less sheets, 100% renewable, great value and we love the brand name!
6. Relaxation Aids
Stress and anxiety are known to exacerbate upset digestion and IBS symptoms.
Stress balls, essential oils, or calming music can help you unwind and manage stress levels, potentially reducing the severity of your symptoms. Experiment with different relaxation techniques to find what works best for you.
We also love the Nerva IBS app - it's designed to help you calm your mind and you digestion.
7. The 'Just Can't Wait' Card and Key
One of the most common and distressing symptoms of IBS and gut troubles is the urgent need to find a toilet.
The 'Just Can't Wait' card and key is a small, discreet tool that can be used to gain quick access to public toilets when you're in a hurry.
It's for your own peace of mind, so you have less anxiety about going out and can manage unexpected emergencies without the added burden of rushing in an unfamiliar place.
You can buy the key here from the IBS Network Charity website. (You don't need to have been formally diagnosed to access this)
Creating a Survival Kit tailored to your needs
When you feel rough during a flare up of bloating, inflammation, abdominal pain or irregular bowel movements, you need to have go-to items to help you relax and focus on feeling better.
Remember that your digestive system has dealt with every single thing you've ever eaten so it's essential to look after it and also to find what works best for you.
By including items like the 'Just Can't Wait' key, hot water bottles, comfortable clothing, water, digestive aids, and relaxation tools, you'll be better equipped to handle flare-ups with greater ease and comfort.
Stay resilient, explore various coping strategies, and don't hesitate to consult with healthcare professionals for personalised advice and support.
Sending you a big warm good gut health day hug!