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IBS (or Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a disorder of the bowel that affects up to 1 in 5 American adults. There are several symptoms of IBS – bloating, cramping, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. IBS is not a disease, and there is no cure. However dietary changes can alleviate symptoms.
New research has shown some very positive results in people with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
The diet involves cutting back on wheat, onions, milk, icecream, apples, honey and stone fruits. Legumes were also found to cause pain.
“Often they are sugars and carbohydrates that are not absorbed when they pass through the bowel and when they get into the colon they can ferment and produce gas and pain,”
Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Determining the best diet for the IBS sufferer is a process of finding what works. However there are some general guidelines that may be useful.
Avoid Certain Foods
- Alcohol, Soda, chocolate, coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) are common problem foods.
- Foods high in saturated fat – such as butter, mayonnaise, cream, french fries, ice cream, red meats may also cause problems.
Monitor Your Dairy Intake
Some sufferers maybe Lactose intolerant, and should avoid milk. Yogurt (such as acidophilus) may still be used as the Lactose breaks down slightly differently. Again, it’s a process of trial and error. If you eliminate dairy completely – be sure to consume other sources of protein.
Drink Plenty of Water
Eat little and often
Aim for 4-5 meals daily with small portions. Don’t skip meals.
Experiment with High-Fiber Foods
Foods high in Fiber can help keep you more regular. Grains, Cereals, Beans, Fruit, and Vegetables all provide dietary fiber. Eat whole grain breads rather than white breads. Gradually introduce fiber – don’t change everything at once!
Note: Recent research has indicated that many IBS sufferers may have food allergies and hypersensitivities. It way be worth trying an elimination diet to determine if this is the case. The research contradicts that which says IBS is a result of bowel inflammation.
The Maker’s Diet – A biblically-based diet by Jordan Rubin that has been effective in helping IBS symptoms.
Low Starch Diet – An alternate approach.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: March 31, 2017