Irritable Bowel Syndrome or more commonly known as IBS is not commonly known until 1992. Since then, more and more people realize that the frequent cramping of the stomach, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation are all part of IBS symptoms. Although IBS does not cause permanent harm to the sufferer, it can cause much distress, discomfort, and embarrassment.
Diet is one of the major causes of IBS as many sufferers have claimed that certain foods trigger IBS. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine definitely what foods to avoid if you have IBS as this is a highly individual disorder. Certain foods may be fine for some people but not for others. However, the purpose of this article is to establish the common foods to avoid if you have IBS.
When people are first diagnosed with IBS, they tend to avoid most of the food groups and go on a very strict diet. This is not a good idea as our body needs nutrients to function. The best thing is to start with an elimination diet of all the common IBS trigger food. Here is a list of the most common IBS trigger food:
– Fat: These types of food have high oil content and should be avoided in your diet: butter, cooking oil, spread, salad dressing, sauces, and all types of fried food. Not forgetting fast food which is very high in fat as well.
– Milk or dairy products: This food group should be avoided if you have lactose intolerance.
– Solid chocolate
– Coffee and carbonated drinks which contain caffeine
– Preservatives, MSG, artificial flavoring, and sweeteners. Make a habit to read food labels.
– If you use sugar substitutes, avoid sugar alcohols which tend to cause diarrhea. This is not digestible so they can get to the colon. apples, pears, cherries, peaches, and plums. Some foods that use “no added sugar” may use apple or pear juice as a sweetener/liquid ingredient which can be a problem because of natural levels of sugar alcohols.
– Avoid gassy food such as corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and carbonated drinks.
– Starchy foods such as potatoes, pumpkin, pasta, rice, and noodle may cause IBS for some people.
The common IBS-safe food includes:
– Food that contains soluble fiber such as oatmeal, white bread (no wheat), rice, and banana. Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber which is gentle to the digestive system.
– Food that contains insoluble fiber such as raw fruits and vegetables.
– Tofu is a great source of protein which is very easy to digest and highly versatile in cooking.
– probiotics – are great for building up good bacteria in your gut, which over time will help strengthen your digestive system.
Once your digestive system has stabilized – that is, once your symptoms have calmed down – you can start gradually adding back other foods. Try just one new food at a time, for a day or two. If your digestive system seems to accept it with no major reactions, you can keep the new food in your diet and try another one. This method can be painstaking and is necessarily based on trial and error at first. It requires a lot of patience and persistence but this will help you determine your personal IBS trigger food and save yourself a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort.