Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that is characterized by dramatic changes in bowel movement. While some have diarrhea, others suffer from chronic constipation leading pain and abdominal cramps affecting day-to-day activities. It can be successfully treated with medicines, but certain changes in diet can also improve symptoms of IBS.
Diet triggers of IBS
Here are some foods that must best be avoided if you have IBS
Diet triggers that can worsen IBS-related constipation:
- Breads, cereals made with refined grains
- Chips and cookies
- Caffeine, cola and other carbonated drinks
- High-protein fats
Diet triggers that can worsen IBS-related diarrhea:
- Over-consumption of fiber like skins of fruits and veggies
- Sugar drinks, chocolates, alcohol, and caffeine
- Heavy meals
- Fatty and fried food
- Dairy products
- Gluten-rich food
Best foods to eat if you have irritable bowel syndrome
Have high-fiber foods
Fibers must be an integral part of your IBS diet. Fibers add bulk to your stool and that eases the movement. An average adult should eat 20-35 gm of fiber every day.
Fruits, fresh vegetables and whole grains are very nutritious and high in fiber content.
While high-fiber diet may be a blessing to those having constipation, it is a bane who is suffering from IBS-related diarrhea. Food with very high fiber worsens symptoms. In that case, add foods having soluble fiber like apples, berries, carrots, and oatmeal.
Cereals, grains, pasta, and processed foods contain a lot of gluten and individuals with IBS should better start avoiding such foods as it flares up IBS symptoms.
Low FODMAP diet
FODMAP is a low-in-fermentable-carbs diet plan that is clinically recommended to manage IBS. This diet focuses on eliminating carbohydrates from food that triggers IBS symptoms like bloating, gas, indigestion, and pain.
Milk, cheese, legumes, wheat, garlic, onions, mangoes, figs, blackberries are some foods that fall under the FODMAP. It is better to avoid these foods if you have IBS.
Besides these diet changes, there are also other methods to soothe symptoms of IBS
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can help to manage your stress. Go for regular exercise and do fun activities like listening to music, nurturing hobbies, going for a drive or shopping. Practice meditation daily to get rid of stress.
Choose the right drugs
Certain medicinal drugs like antibiotics, antidepressants and some cough syrups (made with sorbitol) flare up IBS symptoms. If you notice your IBS symptoms have worsened due to any of these drugs, talk to your doctor and get a different composition medicine.
Ease menstrual pain and discomfort
If you have IBS, you might have noticed that your IBS symptoms get worse during your periods. While you cannot prevent your periods but you can definitely ease the symptoms and feel better.
Talk to your doctor.
Avoid foods completely that flares up your IBS symptoms and feel better.