IBS Diet : What to do and what to avoid
The influence of diet is unique to each person, especially when you suffer from IBS. There is no generalized dietary advice that will work for everyone. A physician can take a brief dietary history and help identify dietary and/or other factors that may impact the symptoms of IBS. Keeping a diary for 2–3 weeks of dietary intake, symptoms and any associated factors (like daily obligations, stressors, poor sleep, medication) can help with this.
Get the symptom diary
For those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who benefit from simple dietary modifications, it makes sense to adjust the diet and reduce intake of the offending food. It does not make sense to adopt unnecessarily limited diets. This can lead to reduced quality of life or even malnutrition.Doctors and patients need to talk about diet. Guidance needs to be provided by a knowledgeable health care professional (like a physician or registered dietician). They can assess individual circumstances affecting IBS, while helping make sure that nutritional needs are being met through a balanced diet, and healthy eating habits. Learn more about talking to your doctor.
Tips for an IBS-Friendly Diet
Meals may seem to trigger symptoms. It may be the process of eating and not a certain food that sets off your symptoms. Eating stimulates the digestive tract, which can over-respond because of IBS.
• Try eating smaller meals, more often, spread throughout your day. Instead of 3 meals, try 5 or 6 regularly scheduled small meals.
• Slow down; don't rush through meals.
• Avoid meals that over-stimulate everyone's gut, like large meals or high fat foods.
• If you are constipated, try to make sure you have breakfast, as this is the meal that is most likely to stimulate the colon and give you a bowel movement.If you think a certain food is a problem, try cutting it out of your diet for about 12 weeks. (If you suspect more than one, cut out one at a time so you know which one causes you problems.) If there's no change, go back to eating it.
The foods most likely to cause problems are:
• Insoluble (cereal) fibre
Certain foods are known to stimulate gut reactions in general. In those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) eating too much of these might bring about or worsen symptoms.
For example symptoms of abdominal cramps and diarrhea might be brought on by...
• Meals that are too large or high in fat
• Fried foods
Eating too much of some types of sugar that are poorly absorbed by the bowel can also cause cramping or diarrhea. Examples include…
• Sorbitol – commonly used as a sweetener in many dietetic foods, candies, and gums
• Fructose – also used as a sweetener and found naturally in honey as well as some fruitsDon’t let having IBS control your life – take control of your diet instead. Try these tips and see if this can help.
Dealing with irritable bowel syndrome naturally is how Dr Alain Sanua can help you. As a holistic doctor, Dr Alain Sanua believes in healing the body and mind. Through a natural approach Dr Alain Sanua will help you with your IBS. To find out more about Dr Alain Sanua’s approach to healing, visit his website www.dralainsanua.co.za