Patients who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often find that changing their diet pattern from their normal eating habits and getting on a common diet for irritable bowel syndrome can decrease their IBS symptoms.
The purpose of a common diet for irritable bowel syndrome is to find foods that irritate the bowel and avoid them, while at the same time find foods that soothe and regulate the bowel and enjoy those.
Sounds simple enough… right?
Well it takes a little work on your part but it is certainly worth it in the end. Getting control over such a devastating illness is critical.
Irritable bowel syndrome is also referred to as a spastic colon and accounts for almost 50% of the visits to a gastroenterologist. IBS symptoms include a change in bowel habits, which can mean diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence that are not associated with any abnormalities of the gastrointestinal (GI) system.
Severe irritable bowel syndrome can be life altering and often patients search for a very long time for the one thing that will control the symptoms. Often it is a combination approach to controlling the symptoms of IBS and beginning with a common diet for irritable bowel syndrome is an easy place to start.
Simple changes in a patient’s diet can assist in managing the IBS symptoms. Many people with IBS suffer from frequent and sudden diarrhea, which is often accompanied by the inability to make it to the bathroom in time.
This can lead to devastating emotional effects from the disease. Others with IBS can suffer from severe constipation. If constipation is a manifestation of irritable bowel syndrome, then increasing the amount of fiber in the diet can reduce constipation and will soften the stool, making it pass through the body’s GI system easier.
Although IBS patients need to introduce high fiber foods into their diet, it must be done slowly and gradually. IBS patients often develop diarrhea and gas when they have too much fiber or certain high fiber foods.
High fiber foods consist of whole grain cereal and bread, vegetables, beans and fruit. Prune juice, plums, ground flaxseed and large amounts of water can also help to loosen bowels. Peppermint and chamomile are reportedly two herbs that can help to reduce symptoms and can soother the GI tract.
Refined foods such as potato chips, cookies, white rice, coffee, carbonated drinks and alcohol are foods that should be avoided if possible as they can slow down the passage of stool making the symptoms of IBS worse and more uncomfortable. Dairy and dairy products are often a common trigger of IBS symptoms.
A single food does not cause irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. However there are some foods that seem to be more closely associated with the onset of symptoms, including, foods high in fat, insoluble fiber, caffeine, coffee, carbonation and alcohol.
These food categories are known as GI stimulants or irritants, and can cause extreme reactions of the patient’s gastrocolic reflex. These type foods can directly affect the muscles in the patient’s colon and can lead to extreme pain, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
IBS affects each patient differently so it is important to keep a food journal also known as a symptom journal so that the patient is aware of the impact of certain foods on their gastrointestinal system. Foods with a negative effect should be avoided. While keeping the journal, it is important to note the type of foods that were eaten throughout the day and exactly when the patient started experiencing the IBS symptoms and the pain level.
This will help the healthcare provider to best help the patient to design to common diet for irritable bowel syndrome specifically created by the individual’s reaction.
Common diet for irritable bowel syndrome is simple if the patient discovers what food triggers their symptoms. Do the homework, keep an accurate food journal to best define food triggers for irritable bowel syndrome. Best advice… find a diet that works at controlling the symptoms and stick with it!