Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a complicated problem for many people. Some patients experience diarrhea, while some deal with constipation, and others experience a mix of both. While for many IBS sufferers’ diet plays no role in their symptoms, for many there are foods that send their symptoms into overdrive.
The safest way to manage IBS is by eating a well-balanced diet that provides nutrients. While everyone responds to foods differently, there are common culprits according to WebMD.
Fiber is great, it adds a healthy bulk to your diet and it’s available in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. For those IBS sufferers who deal with diarrhea, though, fiber will aggravate it. Avoid insoluble fiber, which are grain based, and instead focus on soluble fibers found in fruit and vegetables.
Insoluble fiber will help relieve constipation, but may leave you feeling bloated.
The fiber in whole grains is guilty of making IBS symptoms worse, but there are other problems that grains can cause. Particularly grain products containing gluten, like wheat, barley, and rye. These proteins can worsen IBS symptoms and damage intestines. While a gluten allergy is known as celiac disease, a large portion of IBS patients are intolerant to gluten.
If you can’t live without these products, tur to gluten-free options. You can get your pizza and pasta; cake and cookie fix without the gluten.
This problematic product is twofold. The first being that many IBS sufferers are lactose intolerant. The second is that milk contains fat, which can lead to diarrhea.
If you have to avoid dairy entirely, talk to your doctor about calcium supplements.
It’s delicious, but it’s bad for IBS sufferers. The key is moderation, as the high fat content will run riot. Ideally, you’ll drop fried foods and instead bake or grill them.
While beans are great for protein and fiber, they are the stuff of nightmares for IBS patients. While it can relieve constipation problems, it increases bloating, cramps, and gas.
For some, that first cup of coffee in the morning is the perfect option to keep their bowels regular. For IBS sufferers, it can trigger diarrhea. Many IBS sufferers have to avoid caffeine beverages entirely.
If you need a morning pick-me-up, consider a brisk walk or an apple instead.
Not every IBS patient will experience the same symptoms. What cheese does to one person may not be a problem for someone else, while for others peanuts are the devil. The best approach for IBS patients is to keep a food diary that will help determine what foods affect them the most. Make a note of the foods that send you running, and of the foods that result in constipation. Try avoiding these foods one at a time to find out if they are indeed the issue, make sure you take notes so that you can assess whether eliminating the food made a difference.
Additionally, you can relieve the symptoms of IBS by eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of eating three square meals.