- Eat Right
- Digestive Health
- 10 Months ago
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS or spastic colon) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits in the absence of any detectable organic cause.
IBS does not lead to more serious conditions in most patients. But it is a source of chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms.
IBS can be classified as either diarrhea-predominant, constipation-predominant or with alternating stool pattern. In some individuals, IBS may have an acute onset and develop after an infectious illness characterized by two or more of the following: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or positive stool culture.
The cause of IBS is unknown. The risk of developing IBS increases six fold after acute gastrointestinal infection or post-infection. Further risk factors are young age, prolonged fever, anxiety, and depression.
IBS has no cure, but you can do things to relieve symptoms. Patient education and a good doctor-patient relationship are also important.
Foods and drinks that may cause or worsen symptoms include:
• fatty foods
• milk products, like cheese or ice cream
• caffeinated drinks, like coffee and colas
• carbonated drinks, like soda
Some foods make IBS better:
• Fiber may reduce the constipation associated with IBS because it makes stool soft and easier to pass. However, some people with IBS who have more sensitive nerves may feel a bit more abdominal discomfort after adding more fiber to their diet. Fiber is found in foods such as cereals, pulses, fruits, and vegetables.
• Add foods with fiber to your diet a little at a time to let your body get used to them. Too much fiber at once can cause gas, which can trigger symptoms in a person with IBS.
• Your doctor may ask you to add more fiber to your diet by taking a fiber pill or drinking water mixed with a special high-fiber powder.
• Eat small meals.
• Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea in people with IBS. If this happens to you, try eating four or five small meals a day instead of less-frequent big meals.
To find out which foods are causing problem, keep a diary that tracks what you eat during the day, symptoms you have, when symptoms occur, what foods always make you feel sick, etc. Take your notes to the doctor to see if certain foods trigger your symptoms or make them worse. If so, you should avoid eating these foods or eat less of them.