Diet Tips for Controlling Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS

The main symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is abdominal pain and cramp after eating - resulting in constipation, diarrhea, and gas or bloating. Some may find mucous in the feces. Although there is no known cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome the sy
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a chronic intestinal disorder. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is more prevalent than we think. The main symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is abdominal pain and cramp after eating - resulting in constipation, diarrhea, and gas or bloating. Some may find mucous in the feces. These symptoms usually persist for at least 90 days before an Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS diagnosis is considered. Many people with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS only have mild symptoms. Although there is no known cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome the symptoms of this disorder can be controlled with the proper diet. By eliminating symptom triggers, tracking your meals, and discussing your diet plans with your doctor, you can lessen the occurrence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms and enjoy your favorite meals in moderation without much worry.

People always suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome as a result of a very poor diet. There are many of us often skip meals, eating less food rich in fiber and eating fatty and oily foods. Some people are also intolerant to milk and dairy products. These are just some of the causes why people get diarrhea or constipation. Having this stomach disorder can be very irritable.

A proper diet can usually minimize Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. Making adjustments to your diet can provide relief. What we eat everyday always affect how the organs in our body work. Thus, when we have a very poor eating habit, we should not be surprised as to why we are having constipation or diarrhea. So that we can prevent this from happening, it is of crucial significance that we deal with our dietary issues first.

Diet Tips for Controlling Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS

Since different foods affect different people, and not all foods will trigger the same Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS symptoms in all individuals, it is best to track your symptoms and current diet before making any changes to your diet. Having abrupt change in our diet may be unpleasant. It can really be hard, especially when we are used to eating our most favorite foods. To change your diet doesn't mean that you have to avoid all the foods that may aggravate the Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. You can still eat these foods in moderation so that your body will not be deprived of the essential nutrients.

Which Foods are Eaten and Which are Avoided?

Start by increasing your water intake to at least eight 8-ounce glasses each day. This will aid in digestion and help keep your body hydrated during bouts of diarrhea. Water is the top medium for detoxification. It can facilitate in cleansing the body from the different toxins that it is taking in everyday. The first thing that a person should do is to consume enough water. A person should consume a minimum of 1.5 liters of water per day of liquid. Vegetable juices and fresh fruit can also be the best alternative when preferred.

For breakfast, you can have a bowl of high fiber cereal, calcium fortified soy milk or low fat milk. If you are lactose tolerant, toasted grain bread with honey, you can have a little of butter or margarine for your toast. You can have low fat cheese lean beef, fish or salad during lunch. A bowl of vegetable salad, grilled chicken with lemon juice, and whole wheat bread may be eaten on your main meal. For your snacks, you can have crackers, cheese, and low fat yoghurt. Fresh fruits and juices are good options for snacks.

Also try to engage in a high-fiber diet to avoid constipation. Fibers in diet help in removing excessive fats and unwanted toxins and cleansing the entire body. Aside from preventing yourself from experiencing irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, fiber rich diet can also help you from acquiring other diseases related to digestion. Vegetables and fruits are very rich in fiber. It is suggested to include these kinds of foods in your daily diet. Some of the foods which are very rich in fiber are apples, bananas, avocado, cabbage, peas, raisins, peaches, strawberries, beans, potatoes, and many other vegetables and fruits. If fiber-containing foods trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS symptoms for you, try getting your fiber through supplements instead.

Foods high in soluble fiber form the basis of all meals and snacks, and are the first thing to eat on an empty stomach. Safe foods include oatmeal, fresh white breads, flour and corn tortillas, rice and pasta, carrots, yams, rice cereals, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Insoluble fiber foods can also be included in the diet, but be cautious. Insoluble fiber foods are not eaten on an empty stomach, and are only eaten in tiny portions alongside soluble fiber foods. Foods high in insoluble fiber include whole-wheat flour, whole grains in breads, bread, cereal and bran, cereals and granola, seeds, nuts, muesli, beans and popcorn.

You should always eat soluble fiber first, eat soluble fiber whenever your stomach is empty, and make soluble fiber foods the largest component of every meal and snack. Never, eat insoluble fiber on an empty stomach, in large quantities at one sitting, or without soluble fiber. Cook, puree or chop insoluble fiber foods to make them safer.

A low fat diet will also help to decrease contractions of the intestines right after meals. Minimize the fat consumption level to 25% in the diet Focus on heart-healthy monounsaturated oils. Never eat high fat foods, even in small portions, on an empty stomach or without soluble fiber. Avoid eating large meals and attempt to break your eating habits up into numerous smaller meals throughout the day. Large meals are hard to digest and result in system overload. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help reduce the occurrence of diarrhea and abdominal cramping.

Use soy or rice replacements for dairy, two egg whites to replace a whole egg, try low-fat vegetarian versions of meat products or use skinless chicken breasts and seafood, replace some oil with fruit purees in breads or cakes, use veggie broth instead of oil in sauces, bake with cocoa powder (it’s fat free) instead of solid chocolate. Use herbs, baking extracts (vanilla, peppermint, maple, etc.) and mild spices generously to heighten flavors.

To reduce constipation, add fiber to your diet, drink plenty of water, and get regular exercise. Keep a daily diary of what you eat and whether you experience symptoms after eating. Eat slowly and have meals in a quiet, relaxing environment.

Finally, supplements such as peppermint oil and acacia fiber are used to further minimize Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. If you have diarrhea right after eating dairy, you are probably only lactose intolerance. Some patients find peppermint helpful. Peppermint is a natural anti-spasmodic that relaxes smooth muscles in the intestines. If you are taking peppermint supplements, try the enteric coated capsules as they may cause heartburn. Be sure to discuss with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Remember that you have absolute and total control over your diet. No-one can force you to eat something you know you shouldn’t. Practice creative substitution, not deprivation.

Common Foods That Trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS Symptoms

Then, there are the trigger foods which are to be completely avoided. Limit or eliminate the foods in your diet that may make diarrhea worse These include red meat, dairy products, egg yolks, fried food, and coconut milk, coffee, soda pop, and alcohol and dairy products. Avoid all these foods from your diet Limit caffeine, alcohol and sorbitol (a type of sweetener) as these may exacerbate Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. The diet should be low fat but not fat free.

Food items such as cream, sour cream and ice cream, milk, contain lactose. This naturally occurring sugar can be hard for some individuals to digest and can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and cramping in sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. However, some dairy products like cheese, yoghurt, and buttermilk, may not trigger IBS symptoms since the bacteria found in these items converts the lactose during the processing of these foods.

Some spicy foods are known to increase activity in the digestive system after consumption. For individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS this can mean increased episodes of diarrhea and abdominal cramping. So try to avoid too spicy foods from your diet.

Although fiber rich foods can help reduce the episode of constipation in some individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, the wheat found in breads cereals, pancake batters, and dessert items, can also trigger or worsen other Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms.

Exclude gas-producing foods from your diet such as such as beans, cabbage, broccoli and onions, dried peas and lentils, onions and chives, peppers and carbonated drinks. However, when these foods are consumed by individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the production of gas can increase and can also be accompanied by severe abdominal cramping. Avoid chewing gum as more air may be swallowed.

Persons with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may have a hard time digesting the fructose that makes up sugar and as a result will likely experience from excess gas, constipation and diarrhea.

Although the exact reason for Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is unclear, many Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS sufferers report increased symptoms after consuming fruits like lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits.


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Heather Van Vorous
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