HEALTH & DATING
Tips For Thriving In Your Dating Life When You Have IBS
BY A. R. HOPKINS
Identify Triggers
While IBS has no known cause, its symptoms are often triggered by stress or by specific foods such as wheat, dairy, high-fat or fried foods, and foods high in insoluble fiber. Keep a journal for a few weeks and consider removing foods that cause multiple flare-ups from your diet.
Choose Venues Carefully
Take special care to choose or suggest locations that are accommodating to your condition. Research the menus of local restaurants to make sure you can avoid trigger foods and scope out the availability of bathrooms.
Pre-Date Rituals
Try to avoid food triggers for 24 hours before the date and incorporate a few minutes beforehand to meditate, journal, recite affirmations, or take a short walk. When you start getting ready for your date, consider drinking a glass of kombucha for probiotics.
Be Open To Sharing
Societal views about topics relating to gastrointestinal health can result in a sense of shame and vulnerability around IBS symptoms. However, don’t be afraid to communicate with your partner, as trying to hide your symptoms will add stress and make it worse.
Build Support
A supportive partner or friends who are always willing to accommodate are wonderful, but intellectual empathy is different than experiencing it yourself. You can find a local or online support group, like IBS Patient Support Group, and get involved as an addition to your self-care routine.