Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) includes various gastrointestinal disorders like irregular bowel movements, cramping, bloating, and abdominal pain. IBS does not cause any long term health issues neither does it cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract. Irritable bowel syndrome is not a result of any specific cause. Studies have shown that most people who suffer from IBS have overactive or sensitive intestinal tract. This bowel disorder is diagnosed with the help of certain physical examination and taking the patient’s medical history into consideration. Blood tests and stool test might also be performed so as to rule out the possibility of serious medical issues. To control the various symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, you should manage stress and make certain dietary changes.
Following a healthy diet and avoiding certain foods that commonly trigger the symptoms of IBS is the best long term treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Although different people respond differently to various food items, there are some food items that worsen the symptoms of IBS in almost all patients. Some such foods that exacerbate IBS symptoms are listed below.
Irritable bowel syndrome is very common in people who are lactose intolerant. Dairy products often cause diarrhea in IBS patients. Hence, you should exclude milk, butter, ice cream, cheese, chocolate, and buttermilk from your diet. These food items can be substituted with yogurt and probiotic drinks.
Abdominal cramping and bloating are two of the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Foods that cause the buildup of intestinal gas can increase the severity of bloating. Therefore, it is necessary for IBS patients to avoid gaseous foods.
Fried and Fatty Foods
It is necessary for IBS patients to have a low fat diet. Fats are not easily digested by your body and this causes intestinal spasms, thereby worsening the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Since fried foods contain a lot of saturated fats, they cannot be a part of a low fat diet.
Red meat triggers the symptoms of IBS in most patients. Red meat is high in fats and it is not at all easy to digest. Grounded beef, roasted beef, pork, hotdogs, and cornered beef must be avoided by IBS patients. It is recommended to replace them with skinless white meat and seafood.
IBS patients must also discard highly acidic fruits from their diet. Although citrus fruits are very high in vitamin C, they need to be avoided. Fructose can trigger as well as intensify stomach pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Eating fruits that are high in fructose is one of the main triggers of IBS symptoms. Fruits that contain a lot of fructose and must be avoided include apples, grapes, bananas, and dried fruits. You can replace these fruits with raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
People who feel bloated too often should limit their intake of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, bean, garlic and onion. These vegetables can increase bloating by triggering gas formation.
Artificial sweeteners like sorbitol that are commonly found in chewing gums and sugar-free candies can result in diarrhea and other bowel issues. Therefore, people with irritable bowel syndrome must avoid artificial sweeteners.
Alcohol and Caffeine
Being a gastric stimulant, alcohol can trigger strong reactions in the gastrointestinal tract. Consuming too much alcohol will certainly aggravate IBS symptoms. It is also important to avoid consuming caffeinated beverages like coffee and sodas as they cause bloating and intensify the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.