Living with IBS is not the end of the world, but it can take its toll on your body and your mind. When everything you eat starts triggering your stomach, you're left with two options: go to sleep or carry on. This is the story of how sport helped me cope with IBS and let me go on with my life.

First, a bit of information...

Katrina Yeung

As I explained in my latest article on this topic, IBS is a common, long term condition of the digestive system. The symptoms can include bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, and can last from a span of a few days to several months.

While the causes of IBS are still unknown, there is in fact a list of possible triggers that could cause the condition to worsen or relapse. The biggest trigger for me is stress, followed by the consumption of certain foods and drinks, such as tea, processed snacks and fatty foods.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be tackled with several different approaches, which you can adopt in whatever combination suits you best. After some time (and with the assistance of my doctors), I discovered what works for me: a low FODMAP diet and sport.

My Journey

Katrina Yeung

My passion for sport and exercise started out as a way to cope with stress. Between high school, conservatoire and university applications, my last two years of school were hellish and brought me the need to find new ways to take care of my wellbeing.

What happened though, is that in that same span of time I started experiencing my first symptoms of IBS. With the uncertainty, the fatigue, and the physical and mental discomfort that this brought in my life, I started exercising less and less, until I got to the point of completely giving it up.

Katrina Yeung

Months later, when my body was feeling better and I was back at my full regime of activities, I started exercising again. While the benefits of a good gym session have always been immediate to me (I feel so much more relaxed and more myself after a good sweat), my metabolism was changing too.

I discovered that regular exercise makes my digestion easier and helps against bloating, which is unfortunately very common with IBS. It also has an absurdly positive impact on my overall wellbeing, helping me to cope with IBS, stress and any other problem that is crossing my mind.

Final Thoughts

Katrina Yeung

Sport doesn't only help against IBS, but also against stress and mental health issues. It also generally improves the state of your body and your wellbeing, helping you take up new, healthy eating habits or get through an intense exam session without getting to harsh on yourself.

I'm not saying doing sport is always easy. It's not the first time I go to the gym and get stuck in the toilet because I get sick. However, sport helped me cope with IBS in a way nothing else did. So, if you want to treat your body today, put on a pair of sneakers, go for a run and get into that wonderful, fresh, new mindset only sport can give you.