IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or Spastic Colon, is a disorder of the intestines that causes discomfort including stomach pain, abdominal gas, trouble with bowel movement,diarrhea, and even constipation. It isn't a life-threatening disease but having said that, it can be severe enough in some patients to interfere with daily functioning and routines.
Although difficult to cure completely, IBS can be managed with some alterations in a person's lifestyle, especially one's diet, which plays a crucial role in easing symptoms and improving the quality of life. Hence, following a dietary regime suited to the IBS system is paramount.
There is no one-size-fits-all, single best diet for IBS sufferers, but one must develop one's own diet plan by carefully observing and monitoring their food intake, whilst taking into account foods that generally provoke symptoms and those foods that are well tolerated.
- Firstly, food allergies and intolerances such as lactose intolerance must be considered. Try dairy alternatives like soya milk, oat milk or even yogurt rich in calcium and vitamins.
- Other culprits are fatty foods which worsen bowel symptoms as they are difficult to digest. Embark on a low-fat diet which is good for your heart and doesn't irritate the digestive tract's delicate lining. Steer clear of fried foods and instead choose low fat foods with minimal processing.
- Should you go for a high fiber diet or a low fiber one? To decide, it's essential to consider which is more suited to your body. For some, a high fiber diet may be beneficial adding bulk to stools enabling a smooth trouble free bowel movement. Fibrous foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains. However, if fiber ends up giving you a sense of bloating, include soluble fiber in your diet and limit grains.
- Avoid hot, spicy foods, coffee, carbonated drinks, alcohol, and sugars: These are known triggers for IBS sufferers, and may stimulate colonic spasms. Eating healthy and getting the right mix of nutrients is essential as one needs to be careful about what his or her stomach can digest. And this makes avoiding unhealthy junk food a must.
Maintaining a food diary to observe and track the impact of different foods can be a good start towards planning a healthy diet.
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