Would you like to know how to treat irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome creates changes in your intestinal tract and causes abdominal pain. There may be alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation, and it’s closely linked with what you eat.
In this article, we’ll tell you what you should eat if you have irritable bowel syndrome, as well as which foods you should avoid.
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
Known as IBS, the prevalence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome depends on where you live.
For example, in industrialized countries, it may be directly related to stress and eating habits.
It can also be affected by your mood, since your moods influence intestinal secretions. If you’re anxious, angry, or sad, your body secretes more acids.
These acids are in charge of digesting fat, but also act as a laxative. That means they can lead to diarrhea.
Up until recent years, the typical profile of an IBS patient was a middle-age woman working outside the home while also caring for her children.
However, the problem now affects people of all ages, even children and teenagers.
It may be a passing thing, but is generally a chronic condition that may come and go without notice. It is basically characterized by abdominal distention, constipation, diarrhea, and flatulence.
However, it’s not so easy to diagnose because it shares symptoms with indigestion, among other conditions.
In order to determine that it is IBS, the abdominal pain should appear 3 days per month for 3 months and also be accompanied by at least one of the following:
- A worsening of symptoms as seen in the shape or color of stool.
- The appearance of symptoms following changes in the frequency of bowel movements.
- An improvement of symptoms after bowel movements.
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What should I do if I have irritable bowel syndrome?
While each person’s diet will be different, there are certain guidelines that most people with IBS should follow:
Eat a balanced amount of fiber to help treat irritable bowel syndrome
- On the one hand, you should reduce your consumption of insoluble fiber (which comes from whole grains) so that it doesn’t contribute to imbalances in intestinal movement.
- On the other hand, you should increase your consumption of soluble fiber, which helps in the production of stool and the frequency of bowel movements.
Avoid fat and sugar
High-fat foods or those high in refined sugar and fructose (a type of sugar found in some fruit) may worsen the symptoms of IBS.
Watch what you drink
- Coffee and tea should be consumed in moderation. Alcohol should be avoided as much as possible.
- In addition, don’t forget to drink 8 glasses of water a day. This way, you’ll make sure your whole body is hydrated, especially when it comes to the formation of stool.
Water or herbal teas help fight constipation.
Control your stress
Keeping your worries, nerves, and anxiety in line is very important. While it’s easier said than done, do what you can to keep stress from overwhelming you.
Oftentimes, it’s a matter of attitude and how you handle situations. Don’t worry too much, don’t bring work problems home, spend time doing what you like, and sleep well.
If you add a good diet to the above, you’ll improve your irritable bowel syndromes in no time.
Ideal foods for irritable bowel syndrome
Your eating habits are very closely linked to this condition. The factors that affect you the most are the frequency and quantity of food you eat.
Eating more often but in smaller amounts is recommended.
For example, if you usually eat 3 big meals a day, now try to eat 6 small meals (split each meal in two, basically).
Don’t forget to chew each bite well and eat slowly. Hurrying will just bring gas and indigestion. Take time to eat. No more eating lunch in 5 minutes or while you work!
It’s also a good idea to keep a steady eating schedule. Try to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same times every day.
Changing the times a lot affects your intestines and can cause pain.
We recommend opting for bland or mashed foods because they’re easier to digest.
A lot of people think IBS comes from eating gluten, but that’s not true. While some people with celiac disease also have intestinal problems, not everybody should stop eating wheat.
Get checked out by a doctor to make sure.
Some foods allowed for people with irritable bowel syndrome are:
We recommend eating them peeled, and if possible, boiled or baked.
You can have apples, watermelon, melon, and bananas.
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Steam them so as to keep all of their nutrients and make them easier to digest.
The best for this condition are lentils, asparagus, onions, and garlic.
Legumes and grains
Peas, lentils, and soy beans can be a big help if you have IBS.
When it comes to grains, we recommend wheat, barley, and rye.
If you are lactose-intolerant, you can opt for vegetable milks. Otherwise, as long as they’re fat-free, dairy is safe to eat.