Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a condition with varying symptoms, all related to an abnormally sensitive gut.
The symptoms of IBS may include diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps and pains, flatulence, and a recurrent sensation of incomplete evacuation of the bowels.
Psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression, can develop.
Treatments depend on the symptoms but can include laxatives if constipation is present, anti-diarrhea drugs if diarrhea is a problem, and anti-spasmodic drugs. Changes in diet can also help.
Since irritability of the bowel can cause both diarrhea and constipation, accompanied by abdominal pain and flatulence, specialists recommend following a correct diet plan to improve the health of the digestive system and the well-being of patients with this disease.
Nevertheless, they emphasize to carry out adequate and personalized diets for each problem and each person, temporarily avoiding those foods and drinks that trigger or worsen their symptoms.
The symptoms that irritable bowel syndrome causes can be very annoying and cause a lot of inconveniences.
Each person who suffers from this problem may feel different degrees of pain since all organisms do not react in the same way: while some food produces discomfort, some may not.
People who suffer from irritable bowel can improve and relieve symptoms, which allows them to lead a healthy life; They just have to follow a proper diet on an ongoing basis.
For this reason, then we will introduce you to the foods you should NOT, and you can not eat if you have irritable bowel syndrome, since eating these foods can increase the problem.
Diet for Lactose Intolerance: Sometimes IBS is a symptom of lactose intolerance.
In this case, a sufferer needs to avoid milk and other dairy products, but can otherwise eat what they wish.
Some cakes and sweets contain milk-derived products, the same goes for cookies, and candies, so you have to be alert.
Some people with lactose intolerance can eat small amounts of traditionally-made yogurt without it affecting them.
Low FODMAP diet: Scientific studies has shown that this diet can alleviate symptoms in the majority of cases, although compliance can be a problem.
The acronym FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo, di, monosaccharides, and polyols.
In practice, people need to exclude the following foods from their diet:
Wheat products, including bread, cakes, pies, biscuits, pasta, noodles, and many other foods.
They should also avoid Barley and rye foods. Wheat turns up in a huge variety of processed foods, so can be hard to avoid. Gluten-free bread is commercially available for anyone who wants to follow this dietary regime.
They should entirely avoid Onions, shallots, and garlic. These products can be hidden in many processed foods, so check labels carefully.
You should also avoid the following vegetables: legumes (peas and beans), artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, and mushrooms.
The following fruits should be avoided: apples, apricots, avocados, blackberries, cherries, grapefruit, lychees, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and watermelon.
Be aware of several types of tinned fruit mixed in the commercially sold apple juice.
People should avoid the following dairy foods: milk, yogurt, cream, ice-cream, and cream cheese
Traditionally-made cheese, such as mature cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese. You can only consume any of these but in moderation.
Other foods to avoid include milk chocolate, fructose, honey, high-fructose corn syrup (found in many processed foods), and various additives, such as maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. People can consume the sweetener aspartame.
The low FODMAP diet is relatively easy to follow if you always cook for yourself, starting with the raw ingredients.
People can base meals around meat, fish, eggs, potatoes, oats, and rice, with the addition of “safe” vegetables, such as carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, and zucchini.
However, for most people cooking from raw ingredients is not practical much of the time, so they have to take a lot of care (always check food labels).
It is especially important to avoid wheat products, onion, and garlic since these can often trigger an attack, and many processed foods have them as ingredients.
Habits to eat well
It is just as important to eat well as to know how. Good eating habits, not only help us to lead a healthier lifestyle, they will also overall improve the quality of life of people suffering from this disease:
The factors that most affect the feeding of patients with irritable bowel are “the frequency and amount of food,” according to the specialist, “eating a small amount several times a day favors digestion and helps prevent intestinal overload.”
Chewing a lot and slowly prevents the fermentation of food, which causes uncomfortable flatulence.
The excess of gases is due to the ingestion and production of the same ones by the fermentation of the foods. Fork foods usually involve swallowing less air.
Try to eat at the same time, since the irregularity of the meals changes the normal functioning of the intestine and could cause pain.
Soft or crushed foods are advisable because they are easier to digest.
Cellphone apps for the low FODMAPS diet are available, and some people find them very useful
High-Fiber Diet: It was once considered that a high-fiber diet was good for IBS, but research indicates that only soluble fiber alleviates the symptoms of the disease, while insoluble fiber may make matters worse.
Sources of soluble fiber include oats, bananas, apples, potatoes, parsnips, lentils, and the husks of psyllium seeds.
Sources of insoluble fiber include bran, raisins, broccoli, cabbage, and most nuts.
A diet high in soluble fiber is less restrictive than a low FODMAP diet and may be worth trying to see whether it works.
Alcohol and Caffeine: Cutting down on alcohol and caffeine helps very often to alleviate IBS symptoms.
Eat as few red meat as possible
Some recommend avoiding the consumption of red meat in all its forms of preparation, including sausages, ham, ground meat, and chops, as these meats take longer to be digested and, therefore, spend more time in the body, which affects the health of the intestines.
Although many people cannot miss their good portion of meat at lunch and meal, what they should do is reduce the amount of food and try to eat only three times a week.
It should be consumed preferably roasted or stewed, soft, lean, without any fat.