Hello All, First of all, thanks for coming by again, today we are going to be looking into Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diet, and Treatment. This is not a disease. It is a syndrome, Can I hear you asking what is the difference? Well, I’m pleased you did ask that, so let me explain it to you.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for short is a very common condition that affects your digestive system.
- It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, severe bloating, some people have diarrhea and others suffer from constipation. These symptoms tend to come and go over time and can last for a few days, weeks, or months at a time.
- It’s normally a problem for life. It can be very frustrating to live with and can have a huge impact on your everyday life.
- There’s no cure, but changes to your diet and medications can often help to control the symptoms.
- The exact cause is not known – it has been linked to things like food passing through your gut too quickly or too slowly, oversensitive nerves in your gut, stress, and a family history of IBS.
Common Symptoms Include
- constipation – you may find it very difficult to have a poo and feel like your bowels don’t empty fully.
- diarrhea – you may have a very loose poo and sometimes need to go very suddenly.
- stomach pain or cramps – this is normally worse after eating and feels a lot better after going to the toilet to empty your bowel.
- bloating – your tummy may feel extremely full and swollen, you can look like you are 6 months pregnant.
IBS Symptoms In Women
Women when they are menstruating often find their symptoms are a lot worse, or they may notice it more during this time. women who are going through menopause have a lot fewer symptoms than women who are still menstruating. A number of women have also said that some symptoms become worse during pregnancy
IBS Symptoms In Men
Symptoms of IBS in men are pretty much the same as the symptoms in women. However, a lot fewer men talk about this with a medical professional and therefore don’t seek treatment
Low fiber Diet.
Eating fiber can help some people with IBS, but this does not work for all. increasing your fiber intake can make your symptoms worse especially if the symptoms include gas and diarrhea. Before you completely eliminate fiber from your diet, concentrate on sources of soluble fiber found in produce items, such as apples, berries, carrots, and oatmeal.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water instead of adding extra bulk associated with insoluble fiber. Common sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, nuts, tomatoes, raisins, broccoli, and cabbage.
To help to combat the symptoms of diarrhea try taking some anti-diarrheal medicines roughly 30 minutes before eating fiber this will help to reduce the effects. This method can be helpful when eating out. However, Do Not do this on a regular basis
High Fiber Diet :
Fiber adds bulk to your stools, which helps them to move through the body easier. The recommended amount of fiber to eat a day should be 20 to 35 grams. While this seems easy enough, the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases has said that most people only eat 5 to 14 grams per day.
Here are some fiber-rich foods you should be eating, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are very nutritious and will help to prevent constipation. However, if you suffer from bloating due to the increased fiber intake, then try to focus solely on soluble fiber found in fruits and vegetables and avoid grains altogether.
Low Fat Diet:
Eating a lot of high-fat foods is a known factor to a myriad of health problems, such as obesity. However, it can be especially hard on those with IBS by making the symptoms worse.
High-fat foods are generally low in fiber, which can be a problem for IBS-related constipation. According to the Cleveland Clinic, (1) fatty foods are particularly bad for people with mixed IBS, which is decided by a combination of constipation and diarrhea. Eating a low-fat diet is better for your heart and can improve some bowel symptoms.
Changing your diets focus from fried foods and animal fats, to then focus on lean meats, fruits, vegetables, grains, and low-fat dairy products are going to be more beneficial for you.
Treatment For IBS
Your doctor may prescribe other medications to treat specific symptoms associated with your IBS. Examples could include diarrhea, constipation, cramping, and anxiety. Many of these medications are intended to be taken when your symptoms worsen and are not recommended being carried out on a day to day basis.
A lot of these are available over the counter, you should still speak to your healthcare provider before starting to take them. This way you can be sure they won’t interfere with other medications you’re taking or negatively affect your health.
- Antidepressants: For Anxiety, stress, and depression can contribute to your IBS symptoms. Antidepressants can help to lower the effects.
- Anti-diarrheals: Some of these medications affect the muscles in your GI tract, therefore slowing down the rapid contractions that can lead to diarrhea.
- Antispasmodics: These medications reduce the cramping that can occur with IBS. Some of them are herbal remedies. Examples include belladonna alkaloids, hyoscyamine, and peppermint oil.
- Bile acid sequestrants: These are used if you have continuous diarrhea despite the use of anti-diarrheal medications. However, side effects can include abdominal pain, bloating, wind and constipation.
- Fiber supplements: These supplements can increase the bulk in your poo as well as make it easier to go. They’re often used to reduce constipation.
- Laxatives: These medications treat constipation. Some soften the poo. Others stimulate the bowel and make it easier to have a bowel movement. Examples include lactose, milk of magnesia, and polyethylene glycol 3350.
- Probiotics: While these haven’t been fully proven to reduce IBS symptoms, some people take them to restore the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract.
Ideally, changes to your lifestyle can help you control your IBS symptoms. However, if your symptoms get worse or affect your day to day life, then your doctor may prescribe one or more of these medications.
Changing Your Lifestyle
Not all treatments for IBS come in tablet form. Because diet, stress, and anxiety can all play roles in worsening IBS, lifestyle changes could reduce your symptoms. One of the best places to start is by looking at your diet.
Some foods can cause uncomfortable wind and bloat. Your doctor may recommend not eating some vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage to see if your symptoms improve. Fizzy drinks and raw fruits may also cause excess wind and bloating.
An elimination diet, where you stop eating certain food types to see if your symptoms improve, may also be recommended. You can then slowly reintroduce some foods. If your symptoms come back, you know which food could be one of the causes. Always remember it could be several foods that can cause IBS
Examples of high-FODMAP foods include asparagus, apples, kidney beans, split peas, grapefruit, processed meats, raisins, and wheat-containing products.
Sometimes eating more fiber can help reduce the effects of constipation. This does not necessarily work for everyone.
However, high-fiber foods may be high-FODMAP foods. Examples include whole grains, vegetables, beans, and fruits. Adding these foods slowly into your diet can help reduce the potential side effects.
Relieving your stress levels is another important lifestyle aspect when you have IBS. Getting plenty of sleep and exercising regularly can help to reduce daily stress levels. Try to do some yoga, meditation, tai chi, writing, and reading.
Taking a little quiet time for yourself — even if you can only do 15 minutes a day, can help to relieve the feelings of stress and reduce the pressure that you are under. You may also benefit from speaking to a therapist who can help you to recognize the stresses in your life and teach you how to cope with them.
Stopping smoking is another necessary change when you suffer from IBS. Cigarette smoking can cause reactions in your body that make the bowel more irritable. Quitting smoking is not only good for your health in general, it also helps to reduce your IBS symptoms.
My Final Thoughts
As a person who suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I can honestly say if I eat the wrong foods then I am in a great deal of pain and my abdomen swells so much that I look like I’m about to give birth. It took a while of trial and error to figure out what the triggers were. Cutting out certain foods and drinks until a conclusion was reached. It was well worth the time is taken to not suffer the symptoms anymore. I also used to be constipated a lot and now that symptom has gone as well thank goodness.
Now I can live a lot better pain-free life by avoiding certain foods.
I wish to thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read this article. If, you have a question or a comment then please feel free to leave it below. I love to hear from you all and I will get back to you.
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Take great care of yourself because you are worth it.
This article does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
The information contained in this website is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or any health issues.