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Common Diets For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Jan 26, 2008
Irritable bowel syndrome, often known as IBS, is a rather complex disorder that has a variety of symptoms, some of which may be diet related. In order to help people obtain relief from the symptoms of IBS, the kind of eating habits a person has must be addressed.

If someone tends to skip meals, has a low intake of fluid and fiber, eats a lot of fatty food, has a sensitivity to milk as well as other dairy products and drinks excessive alcohol and caffeine, then these problems must be addressed and resolved before one can consider a diet for IBS.

One of the most common dietary treatments for sufferers with IBS includes a high fiber diet. This is a positive recommendation for those IBS patients who suffer from constipation. However, some people will receive no benefit from the increase in fiber, and in some patients their symptoms may worsen.

Increasing the fiber in one's diet should be a gradual process, should involve a good choice of fibers and one should accompany this dietary change with an increase in fluid intake. The rule of thumb is to drink from 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, and that excludes other beverages. Caffeinated drinks such as carbonated soft drinks and coffee may just serve to aggravate IBS symptoms so they should be limited.

The symptoms of IBS seem to worsen after eating large meals, especially if the meal has been quickly eater and if the meal has a high fat content. It would be very beneficial if the food was spread over 3 meals as well as 3 snacks each day. Try not to down your food all in one gulp.

Remember, you are not going to a fire! Don't you recall that your mother told you to chew each spoonful of food 25 times before going to the next bite? Also, try to relax after you have eaten. Sometimes regular light exercise may help to alleviate or reduce symptoms.

If you are having problems with excessive gas, then try to avoid such vegetables as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and legumes which include baked beans. Once the symptoms have settled down, these foods may be slowly reintroduced. Carbonated soft drinks may also be a culprit in causing excessive gas. Remember to spread your fluid intake across the day.

Some people who suffer with IBS may find that they may like to try a lactose-free period in their diet. Lactose is found mainly in dairy products such as ice creams, and milk. You should keep in mind that these foods supply the body with important nutrients. If you decide that you may want to cut out dairy products from your diet, then you may want to consider taking a calcium supplement.

It would be well to keep a journal of the types of food you eat, what fluids you drink and any notable symptoms. This will help you to observe the role that diet and some other factors such as stress play in your IBS symptoms. Maintain a diet that is high in fiber if this is tolerated well.

Begin with the basics of three high fiber and low fat meals accompanied by two to three snacks each day. Make sure that you drink an adequate amount of fluids, but try to avoid a lot of caffeine and other carbonated drinks. Remember to eat slowly and make your meal time as relaxing as you can. If you have different sensitivities to food, eliminate one food from your IBS diet at a time until you find which one is causing or aggravating your symptoms.

Make sure to record your results in your journal. Once the symptoms have calmed down, then you may think about reintroducing the food and note any symptoms. You may even wish to consult a dietitian for individual counseling about your IBS diet and any modifications that could be made. Common diets for irritable bowel syndrome is just something you need to take your time and plan out.
About the Author
Article written by Jessica Bradbury, she has a site dedicated to bottom line information on IBS, including spastic colon syndrome and the cure for irritable bowel syndrome.
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