Q: Overload alert! I got fired (downsized), my mom’s moving into assisted living and now I’ve developed irritable bowel syndrome. Can you throw me a lifeline here?
MOLLY P., LEXINGTON, KY.
A: If contending with daily life feels like you’re doing squats with a 300-pound weight on your shoulders, we’re here to lighten the load and help you tone your coping muscles. Then, when stuff happens (and it surely will), it won’t weigh so heavily on you.
Here’s our two-step guide to regaining resilience and lessening stress.
1. Soothing Your Gut: Easing the pain, constipation and/or diarrhea of irritable bowel syndrome overlaps with de-stressing your life. While this syndrome may be triggered by brain-gut miscommunication, bacteria or even food sensitivities, emotions can play a big part. To ease your IBS, try:
Æ Practicing 10 minutes of meditation a day.
Æ Getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Æ Taking probiotics to balance good/bad bacteria in your intestines. We like ones that come in a stomach-acid-resisting hard shell.
Æ Eliminating from your diet any grain that’s not 100 percent whole and added sugars or sugar syrups and trans fats; go for minimal saturated fats. Clearing out cruddy food builds strength in body and spirit.
2. Building Resilience: Bounce back from stressful situations by upgrading the foods you eat, supplements you take and physical exercise you get. Add in support from friends and family and consciously stating things positively (it changes how you feel), and you’re ready to handle whatever life dishes up.
The You Docs — Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic — are authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” To submit questions, go to www.RealAge.com. A King Features syndicate.