Simple Diet Changes Can Successfully Control The Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)!
The Condition of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder that is recognizable by its characteristics of abdominal pain and bowel habit changes that are not related to any abnormalities associated with routine clinical testing. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can range from acute diarrhea to bloating, constipation, fever, and vomiting. Even with treatment, irritable bowel syndrome can take time to recover from. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be treated changes in diet and other methods to help in the removal of some of the negative effects.
Making a Change in Diet
For an irritable bowel syndrome sufferer, careful eating can reduce the potential negative effects associated with the condition. It is also helpful to keep a journal that notes the foods that seem to cause digestive problems. Consulting with a registered dietician or physician can also help to make changes in diet. For example, if certain foods (such as milk and dairy products) cause symptoms to flare up, then reduce consumption of these types of foods.
Making Smart Food Choices
A higher intake of dietary fiber may help to lessen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, particularly constipation. However, such a diet may not help with lowering pain or decreasing diarrhea. Recommended foods that are high in fiber are whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, white rice, plain unflavored oatmeal, rice cereal, pasta, potatoes, grilled fish fillet, and low fat chicken breast. To further increase fiber intake, it is recommended to drink psyllium or flaxseed dissolved in water.
Avoid Certain Foods
The effects of irritable bowel syndrome can be reduced by limiting or eliminating the following foods and beverages:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate)
- Nicotine (smoking or chewing tobacco)
- Gas-producing foods, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, and apples
- Dairy products that contain lactose (milk sugar), such as milk, cheese, and sour cream
- Spicy foods (including salsas or many ethnic foods that use chile peppers)
- Foods high in acid, such as citrus fruit
- Foods high in fat, including bacon, sausage, butter, oils, and anything deep-fried
- Sorbitol, an artificial sweetener found in some sugarless candies and chewing gum
To increase the effectiveness of a food diary, use it to pinpoint "problem foods" and to try to eliminate foods or drinks one at a time to see if any related symptoms disappear. If removing a food does not seem to be related to the current symptoms, then it can likely be reintroduced to a diet.
Other Factors to Reduce Irritable Bowel Syndrome
It is also important to drink at least six to eight glasses of water, because fiber absorbs water, and helps to keep stools soft. Getting regular exercise such as walking, cycling and swimming also helps to maintain bowel regularity. By talking to a doctor or another health professional, it is possible to find the best dietary choices that will make meal times a more tolerable and less painful experience.