IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a condition that affects the colon. There is no IBS cure available since it’s a chronic condition but the symptoms can be managed. By changing their diet or lifestyles, people suffering from the disorder can lead normal lives. If the symptoms exacerbate, a doctor can prescribe medication to make the patient’s life easier.
Keep in mind that there isn’t a specific diet for all the people suffering from IBS. The best diet can be outlined depending on the symptoms the patient experiences and different reactions to food. Therefore, it’s ideal to keep a food diary to record the foods that make the symptoms worse. As a result, the individual can avoid the foods that trigger the symptoms. Here is a summary of the best foods for a person suffering from IBS.
It’s advisable to modify the amount of fiber in the diet to keep the symptoms at bay. Fibers are categorized into soluble and insoluble depending on the dissolving ability in water. Foods with soluble fiber include oats, rye, barley, fruit, golden linseeds and root vegetables (such as potatoes or carrots). On the other hand, foods with insoluble fiber include cereals, wholegrain bread, nuts, bran and seeds.
For a person suffering from IBS and the diarrhea is persistent, it’s advisable to reduce the amount of insoluble fiber as well as the skin, pips and pith from vegetables and fruit. On the other hand, for those with constipation, increasing soluble fiber intake and water is a good idea.
Low FODMAP Diet
A FODMAP diet is effective for those suffering from frequent bloating. Keep in mind that FODMAP contains carbohydrates that can’t be broken down fast enough during digestion thus leading to bloating. Basically, the carbohydrates ferment in the gut and release gases that lead to bloating. Therefore, a low FODMAP diet would come in handy during this situation.
A person with IBS should avoid taking foods with these carbohydrates. The diet can be effective if done under the watchful eye of a dietitian to guarantee that the patient is taking a healthy and perfectly balanced diet every time.
General Dieting Tips For IBS
To manage the symptoms of the disorder since there is no IBS cure, it’s prudent for the individual to follow the general dieting tips outlined below.
- Always having regular meals and eating them as slow as possible to avoid constipation or bloating.
- Always take 8 cups of water or non-caffeinated drinks every day. The individual should also avoid taking coffee, fizzy drinks and alcoholic drinks to avoid aggravating the symptoms.
- Always limit fresh fruit intake to at least 3 portions every day. Half a grapefruit or apple would be a suitable portion.
People with IBS need to avoid stress as much as possible since it exacerbates the symptoms. The individual can try relaxation techniques, regular exercises and physical activities such as yoga or pilates. Living in a stress free environment will reduce the symptoms allowing the individual to lead a normal life.