Suffering from IBS? Know which types of foods to avoid
A healthy diet generally consists of eating a wide variety of nutritious, low-fat foods in moderation. However, you may notice an influx in symptoms after you eat certain foods if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Because symptoms can vary between patients, there’s not one list of off-limit foods. However, by avoiding some of the most common culprits of IBS symptoms, you may notice more regularity as well as less cramps and bloating.
Foods that should be avoided in order to prevent a flare-up of IBS
- Insoluble fibre – fibre adds healthy bulk to the diet. It’s widely available in whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Problem is that fibre also aggravates diarrhea. Eating too much insoluble fibre in the form of grains can increase your trips to the bathroom. Focus on soluble fibre instead. This includes vegetables and fruits. Keep in mind that insoluble fibre may relieve constipation but it can make you feel bloated.
- Grains – while the insoluble fibre content in whole grains may be a culprit in IBS symptoms, certain grains cause other problems. Products containing rye, wheat and barley contain gluten. This is a type of protein that can damage your intestines and worsen symptoms of IBS. While an allergy to gluten is known as celiac disease, at least half of IBS patients are also gluten intolerant. Luckily, more gluten-free products come onto the market every day. If you can’t do without pizza, pasta, cakes or cookies entirely, you can always substitute with gluten-free ingredients.
- Milk - milk is problematic for two reasons. First; milk contains fat which can cause diarrhea – you may need to switch to low fat or non-fat milk to minimize symptoms. Second; many IBS sufferers are lactose intolerant – this means their systems can’t digest lactose in milk products. You may still eat yoghurt but you might have to switch to soymilk and cheeses instead.
- Fried foods – French fries and other fried foods are staple in most household diets. Not only do they cook quickly but, honestly, they are down-right tasty! Moderation is the key with fried foods. The high fat content may be especially hard on the system for IBS patients. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite foods – consider grilling or baking them instead for a healthier option.
- Beans - the more you eat, the more you …. Well, we all know the rest of how that saying goes! Beans are generally a great source of protein and fibre but they can be a source of bathroom nightmares if you have IBS. While the food can increase bulk in stool to help constipation, it also increases gas, bloating and cramps. If you are like most IBS patients, you will want to mark this item on your list of foods to avoid.
- Coffee – some people swear by their morning coffee for regularity but it has a stimulating effect on the intestines that can increase diarrhea in others. Coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine are off limits for people with IBS. If you need a pick me up, consider eating a small snack or going for a quick walk.
Eating tips for better living
Not everyone with IBS experiences the same symptoms. Consider using the elimination approach to find out which foods affect you. Make a list of possible culprits then avoid one food at a time for 12 weeks. Take frequent notes to assess if eliminating a certain food makes any difference. You can also help decrease symptoms of IBS by eating breakfast every day and eating smaller meals instead of three big ones.
Finding out more about IBS and to get a diet that will work for you is where Dr Alain Sanua can assist you. Dr Alain Sanua will, after a consultation, be able to give you an alternate way to deal with your IBS. To find out more about the alternative and natural healing methods through Dr Alain Sanua, visit his website www.homeopathjohannesburg.co.za