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Your low FODMAP guide to Christmas

12th December and the Celebrations are well and truly happening. Lots of food, drink and of time spent being merry. Now those familiar IBS symptoms are back - the discomfort, bloating and changes in bowel habits that go with it.

HOW TO SURVIVE CHRISTMAS WITH Irritable Bowel Syndrome ("IBS")

  1. Eat regular meals Keep a regular meal pattern so you are not overeating and making poor choices leaving you with those IBS symptoms. Some good snacks to have on hand include rice crackers, low FODMAP berries and fruit and nuts.

  2. Try to reduce your stress levels Plan, plan, plan your Christmas and don't leave shopping until the last minute. Make sure that you have your diary up to date with all of the pre-Christmas functions - labelled with what you need to bring to help with your planning. Even simply getting to the shops early in the day may be quieter and less stressful.

  3. Drink sensibly Alcohol can be a gut irritant and overconsumption can lead to nasty gut symptoms. If you are a spirit drinker, try to avoid the mixers that are high FODMAPS. Even find time in the day to enjoy some water to help with digestion.

  4. Mild exercise outside in the sun. Another way to reduce stress is to go for a walk and enjoy the sun, walking after lunch in the afternoon can also help with digestion and help you sleep better that night.

  5. Advise your Christmas host which foods are best left off your plate Stuffing's contain wheat and onions, sauces like apple sauce are high FODMAP, some marinades are another problem along with the glazes used on the Christmas meats. Remember your low FODMAP vegetables and there are many that can be enjoyed as part of the Christmas dinner. Vegetables are also a great source of Vitamins and Minerals and help your immune system stay healthy.

  6. The good old Christmas Pudding This is definitely a no go zone but there are some great alternatives. As the last part of the meal, enjoy a small dessert and not too much cream or ice cream. Most importantly enjoy the day with friends and family and have a Merry Christmas.

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