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Mastering ADHD and IBS: Discover 5 essential tips to tame your symptoms!

Living with ADHD can be challenging on its own, but when you add irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) into the mix, things can become even more complicated. The comorbidity of these two conditions can present unique difficulties, particularly when it comes to impulsivity and making healthy food choices. If you’re someone who deals with ADHD and IBS, fear not! We’ve got you covered with five helpful tips to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

This is a collaborative post.

Believe us when we say we know what it is like too – our editor has both ADHD and IBS, so we are talking from personal experience. If you do have any other suggestions though, why not drop us a line?

In this image, tips are being provided on how to manage symptoms of ADHD and IBS.

1. Mindful eating for gut health

One of the biggest challenges for individuals with ADHD and IBS is resisting impulsive food choices that may exacerbate IBS symptoms. To help combat this, practicing mindful eating can make a world of difference. Take the time to sit down without distractions and savour each bite. Pay attention to how different foods make you feel and listen to your body’s cues. This approach can help you make more conscious decisions about what you eat and reduce the risk of triggering IBS symptoms.

A hand is holding a variety of citrus fruits, including grapefruit, citron, lemon, orange, and pomelo, to showcase the natural foods and produce available.

Don’t forget too, if you do have ADHD, we have more resources for parents and teachers on ADHD on the site that are worth checking out too.

Tip 2: Experiment with a plant-based products

For those who react to lactose, incorporating plant-based milk alternatives into your diet can be a game-changer. We have found that reducing lactose in our diet has had a big impact on our health. It is worth looking at what you react to, and what you don’t by employing a period of an elimination diet, in conjunction with medical staff of course.

Lactose free milk options not only provide a delicious alternative to dairy, but also have been shown to be gentler on the digestive system. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this fantastic resource with plant-based milk recipes to get started on your plant-based journey.

Depending on your intolerances, you might not be able to go for a complete plant-based diet, but work with a dietician and your gastroenterologist to find out what foods are triggers for you. It is amazing how quickly things can change if you take time to get to know your body, and how it reacts to specific food groups.

The plate is filled with food.

Tip 3: Stay hydrated and limit caffeine intake

Proper hydration is essential for overall health, including gut health. Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day can help alleviate IBS symptoms by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing dehydration. Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of your caffeine intake. Caffeine can act as a stimulant, potentially worsening ADHD symptoms and irritating the digestive system. Opt for herbal teas or decaffeinated beverages instead.

Sometimes if you have ADHD, caffeine actually just makes you sleepy rather than stimulating you, as it can do for those with neurotypical brains.

A cup of coffee is being enjoyed.

Tip 4: Manage stress and practice self-care

Stress can have a significant impact on both ADHD and IBS symptoms. Finding healthy outlets to manage stress is crucial. Engaging in activities such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or pursuing hobbies can help alleviate stress and promote overall well-being. Remember to prioritize self-care and make time for yourself amidst the demands of daily life.

A young child is writing in chalk on the pavement outdoors, surrounded by a lush green plant.

Tip 5: Seek professional support

Living with ADHD and IBS can present unique challenges that may require professional guidance. Reach out to healthcare professionals who specialise in both ADHD and digestive health. They can provide personalised strategies and treatments tailored to your specific needs. Remember, you don’t have to face this alone – there is support available to help you navigate and manage your symptoms effectively.

Living with ADHD and IBS can be challenging, but implementing these tips can significantly improve your quality of life. Remember to listen to your body, make mindful food choices, and seek support when needed. By taking proactive steps, you can find relief and better manage your symptoms, allowing you to live your life to the fullest.

A stuffed animal sits on a yellow surface.

We do hope you like this article, and if you do need more info on ADHD – why not check out some of these articles on our site?

ADHD resources on KiddyCharts Part 4

Here is the fourth set of resources for ADHD from the site. We have loads for you so do check out the other ones as well on our ADHD page.

We’d love you to sign up to our weekly newsletter too if you like us!

Thanks so much for coming to see us, do check out some of these other resources on IBS too from other sites:

IBS content from the internet you might like

Here are some more IBS articles from our network that we think that you might like to check out.

We hope you like this content, and come back again soon too.

Take care,

This image provides advice from a qualified counsellor with lived experience of ADHD and IBS on how to manage the symptoms of both conditions.

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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