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Manage Digestive Issues with the Science of Self-Compassion

Digestive health issues affect one in six Canadians – are you one of them? I’d like to share some science-based strategies to help you feel better when managing a chronic digestive condition.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common digestive issue we see in Canada. Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD; Chron’s or colitis) are less common, but still life changing. Dietary changes can often help people to effectively manage and/or treat these conditions (such as the gluten-free diet for celiac disease or avoiding FODMAPs for IBS), however, people with these conditions often struggle with lingering symptoms despite following a strict diet. People coping with a chronic disease often have extra doctor’s appointments, tests, and regular medication and/or supplements to remember to take. Overall, they have a lot of extrasto manage their condition. This can be overwhelming!

Over the past three years, I published several studies looking at how your MINDSET can help you to cope with digestive issues. Celiac disease has been the main focus of these studies, however, I would be very surprised if our findings did not also apply to people with IBS or IBD.

How to Manage Your Gut Health Issues

Here are two science-based facts I learned for managing digestive issues :

  1. Confidence to self-manage dietary behaviours helps to minimize intentional (not surprising) AND accidental consumption of gluten. Learn more in my blog post 5 Strategies for Gluten-Free Living about boosting your self-management confidence or access the study here.

  2. Self-compassion directly predicts quality of life and adherence to a gluten-free diet. How can you practice self-compassion while coping with a chronic disease? Check out my article 3 Steps to Cultivate Self-Compassion for Gut Health or access the study here.

If you are struggling with digestive health issues, start with reading the two blog posts highlighted above and then feel free to reach out to me with any questions about next steps so we can get to the bottom of your health concerns together. I would love to hear from you and help you take the next step in optimizing your gut health!

Stay tuned for next month when I talk about the gut-brain connection -- HOW & WHY your brain can have such a powerful impact on digestive distress.

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