Diet Tips for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Tue, 16 Mar 2010

There are hundreds of thousands of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferers in the UK.

IBS is a chronic intestinal disorder which results in wind, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and constipation.

Such symptoms normally appear after a meal has been eaten, due to stress and/or physical duress. Sometimes these symptoms can be controlled by diet changes.

It is very useful to keep a food diary and make a note of what you eat on a daily basis as well as what symptoms follow each meal. Ensure that you include snacks, drink and ingredients for each entry.

There are certain food types which are known to trigger IBS.

Dairy products are such a category, including food items like milk, sour cream, cream and ice cream. They all contain lactose which is a naturally occurring sugar that can be difficult for certain individuals to digest. Lactose can trigger symptoms like constipation, diarrhoea and stomach cramps in IBS sufferers.

On the other hand, there are certain dairy products like cheese, yoghurt and buttermilk, which may not trigger IBS symptoms as the bacteria in these food items converts the lactose when these foods are being processed.

Wheat products can assist in the reduction of constipation in certain individuals with IBS;, the wheat in breads, cereals, pancake batters and desserts, can also cause or worsen IBS symptoms.

There are specific vegetables like cabbage, beans, onions and broccoli which can produce gas in your otherwise healthy digestive system. With IBS sufferers, these foods can trigger the production of gas and severe abdominal cramping.

Although it is not known why exactly, citrus fruits, such as, lemons, oranges and grapefruit, are known to increase symptoms in IBS sufferers.

Sugar and sweeteners are difficult for IBS sufferers to digest, causing resultant extra constipation, wind and diarrhoea.

Spicy foods are also known to increase digestive system over activity, especially abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.

It is essential to keep control of the kinds and quantities of food you eat. It is also imperative to drink a minimum of eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day. Water helps your digestion and will keep your body hydrated.

If you find fibre does not suit you due to IBS, try fibre supplements instead.

Eat small, frequent meals to lessen the occurrence of diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

It is also essential to learn to meditate to deal with the emotional and psychological aspects relating to IBS. www.symran.com is a site which helps you to do so.

Ensure that you liaise with your G.P. regarding any diet plan that you wish to follow prior to starting.
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