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IBS Diet

Can changes in diet help IBS?

Current studies have found no difference in the way digestion takes place in those with IBS compared to those without. As stated before, the cause of IBS is as of yet known, there are indicators that would suggest that certain foods may aggravate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

For many people, careful eating reduces IBS symptoms. Before changing your diet, keep a diary noting the foods that seem to cause worsening of symptoms. Depending on how often your symptoms occur and how severe, you may need to keep a Diet Diary for several months or longer prier to beginning any type of regulatory diet. You can find a simple Food Diary here in either PDF or XLS format. These pages can be printed and used to keep your records. Generally the more severe the symptoms, the easier it is to identify aggravating foods. The longer the time span between IBS episodes, the more difficult it is to pinpoint foods that might worsen symptoms. If after keeping a Diet Diary for a period of time and you feel you have not identified foods that aggravate symptoms, discuss your findings with your doctor.

In some cases you may want to consult a registered dietitian who specializes in IBS diets. Often they can recommend changes in diet that may help with your IBS symptoms. For instance, if dairy products intensify your symptom, you can try eating less of those foods. You might be able to tolerate yogurt better than other dairy products because it contains bacteria that supply the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk products. Dairy products are an important source of calcium and other nutrients. If you need to avoid dairy products, be sure to get adequate nutrients in the foods you substitute. When it becomes necessary to cut back or eliminate one or more types of food from a diet, a dietitian can help in suggesting what foods might be able to be substituted that will maintain the proper amounts of nutrients needed to maintain a healthy diet

If symptoms are so frequent that every meal seems to bring them on, or symptoms are constant for weeks at a time, it may be necessary to begin a short term stabilization diet, so you can begin identifying trigger foods. The stabilization diet would consist of nothing but soluble fiber foods and soluble fiber supplements, along with plenty of water. It has been suggested that hot peppermint tea or fennel tea (if acid reflux is present), might be helpful as well. THIS IS A SHORT TERM DIET ONLY. Two or three days at the most, if you are on any type of medication, consult your physician before proceeding with any kind of stabilization diet

Dietary fiber may lessen IBS symptoms, especially constipation. Whole grain bread, cereals, fruits, and vegetables are good sources of fiber.. Doctors generally recommend a diet with enough fiber to produce soft, painless bowel movements. The draw back to a high fiber diet for the IBS sufferer is that it may cause gas and bloating. The gas and bloating may or may not subside with time. If they do not, try changing your sources of fiber, different people react differently to different kinds of fiber. In the beginning of diet modifications it is recommended to increase fiber intake by no more then 2 or 3 grams per day until the desired level is achieved. When increasing dietary fiber it is important to drink six to eight glasses of plain water a day, especially if you have diarrhea.

Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea.  It is generally agreed on; eating smaller meals more often may help lessen IBS symptoms. Eating meals that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, pasta, rice, cereals, fruits and vegetables may help. Keep in mind there is no case study data can conclusively say that there is one diet over another that is best for those that suffer with irritable bowel syndrome.

Herbalists and naturalists are suggestion that people use organically produced foods and vegetables and abstain from eating meats when ever possible. The thinking here is that the amount of processed foods that contain harmful chemicals may be at the root of what is causing the dramatic increase in reports of IBS symptoms. The argument is that things like white flour, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, high-calorie sweets, processed foods, fried foods, and so on are the enemy of health not only in the United States but around the world. It’s hard to argue with the fact that people consume products that contain chemical in small amounts that if those chemicals were in larger doses could cause some very serious consequences including death. Why would we not be concerned about putting things in our food supply that as a whole would be considered unhealthy or possibly even dangerous. Many of the food ingredients mentioned have or are metabolic disruptors.

Although the Idea of seeking out and obtaining organic food items is sound in nature, it is often very difficult to determine the origin of foods and supplements that are marketed as organic in nature. Even when validity of the items origins are discernible, these items are in relatively short supply and quite costly.

It appears there is one thing that stands out in all of the information known about IBS and about those things that physician and others are recommending as treatments of, or lifestyle changes for irritable bowel syndrome. The IBS sufferer will be the one in control of his or her own treatment. Not without out diligent effort to identify and correct those things in the diet, environment, stress management and personal thinking, will there be any type of healing for those that suffer. Knowledge is the medicine that will eventually overcome this disorder. To continue on in the path of the normal status quo will not bring relief. Only with wielded effort in a quest for understanding, will the individual discover the path to feeling better. No two cases are the same, like millions of puzzles; each one needs to be assembled one piece at a time to be able to reveal the final picture. And only with careful study of each piece, noting how each one attaches to another, can the puzzle finally be solved.

 

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