What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome is an uncomfortable condition of the lower digestive tract. While there is no evidence that it is caused by food, may people identify food as a possible trigger for their condition. So, here are some ways that you can control your symptoms, possibly by making changes in what you eat.
The foods that we eat have a huge effect on our lives. For one, we get the majority of our nutrition from food. When we eat foods that are utterly devoid of nutrients, then the body doesn’t get what it needs to keep functioning properly. The result is illness in the body.
One condition that many people suffer from is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It results in painful cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Researchers speculate about the causes but these are only educated guesses.
You may find relief with changes in your diet. What do you change? That will all depend on what triggers your IBS episodes. Begin by investigating what happens when you eat different foods.
When your IBS first started, you probably didn’t give any thought to food as a possible trigger. You may have just thought you ate something that didn’t agree with you. Now, you know it is more than that.
Keep a food journal. Record everything you have eaten each time you have a bout of symptoms of IBS. Try this for at least a month to give you enough information to determine possible triggers.
In the meantime, treat your symptoms by making dietary changes. None of us eats as healthy as we should, so this gives ample opportunity to get healthier in the process. If you are experiencing diarrhea, decrease your intake of foods known to cause diarrhea.
One such food is fast food. The excess grease from the food can cause your stomach to be upset and lead to diarrhea. Sticking to foods that you cook at home with healthier oils like olive and canola can lessen this symptom. Also, eating dairy products can lead to diarrhea. You may also have a touch of lactose intolerance at the same time. If avoiding dairy reduces all of your symptoms that could be your sole diagnosis.
Eat slowly. Chewing each bite of your food completely aids in digestion. Less stomach acid is used to digest food and food is more easily absorbed into the bloodstream when it is properly masticated.
Add fiber to your diet. More fiber can move those bowels like they should. It is a natural way to alleviate constipation without over-the-counter drugs.
Avoid foods that cause gas. Trapped gas can lead to bloating and embarrassing situations. Vegetables and legumes containing sulfur compounds (broccoli, cauliflower and beans) increase gas production.
Manage your irritable bowel syndrome by making changes in your diet. By identifying your triggers, you can reduce the severity of your symptoms.