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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet

Irritable Bowel Syndrome DietIrritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a painful intestinal disorder that includes abdominal cramping, pain, bloating, gas, constipation, and/or diarrhea, it should not be confused with gluten sensitivity. There is no one cause for IBS and often doctors are not even sure what causes it. Sometimes patients begin to show the symptoms of IBS after an intestinal infection (called postinfectious IBS,) while others seem to first develop it during a period of high stress. Doctors understand the direct connection between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, so it is not surprising to medical professionals that stress can trigger an intestinal disorder. IBS is unfortunately also very common; according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), this disorder affects 1 out of every 6 people in the United States.


Clinically, a person is diagnosed with IBS if they experience at least some of the symptoms listed above for at least 3 days a month for at least 3 months. Unlike other intestinal disorders, such as Crohns or Celiac disease, IBS is not associated with any abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract and therefore, with testing, IBS is able to be distinguished from these more threatening diseases. This disorder cannot be cured. Any IBS treatment requires permanent lifestyle changes that can only relieve the symptoms.


The best way to treat IBS, whether you go to a doctor or simply wish to treat yourself, is through a special irritable bowel syndrome diet. Exactly what kind of diet will work to alleviate symptoms depends on each individual. There are many different diets and programs out there this site has a few from people like Isabel de los Rios (author of Beyond Diet), Flavia Del Monte, and Shawna Kaminski. However, there are certain foods that naturally create gas or intestinal discomfort in even a healthy gastrointestinal tract and should be avoided, such as fatty foods, spicy foods, caffeinated coffee and tea, and alcohol. These foods naturally stimulate the GI tract, causing intense pain for IBS sufferers. A good irritable bowel syndrome diet for those who experience frequent constipation is one high in fiber – about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, according to the NIH. However, for those experiencing frequent diarrhea, a suitable irritable bowel syndrome diet may consist of cutting out other foods, such as certain types of carbohydrates.


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Which foods will trigger painful IBS symptoms will be different for every sufferer. Some of these choose to live a gluten free lifestyle as treatment for their symptoms. This is not an altogether bad practice, as foods that contain gluten also almost always contain one of the 5 kinds of carbohydrates (sugar alcohols, fructans, fructose, lactose, and galactans,) which, according Patsy Catsos, MS, RD, are often responsible for gastrointestinal pain in IBS sufferers.


When trying to design a patient-specific irritable bowel syndrome diet, doctors often ask patients to eliminate all of these carbohydrates from their diets and then reintroduce them one by one so they may understand which combination of these carbohydrates causes the distress. By cutting out gluten, however, IBS sufferers are often able to treat themselves without this kind of prescribed diet plan. You need to also be aware of complications related to pregnancy and if you are doing any new workouts such as exercises for pregnant women or even a more intense program of activity, all of which can aggravate your condition.



Notice that one of those carbohydrates on the list is lactose? Lactose, found primarily in milk, cheese, and other dairy products, is a common cause of IBS distress. Therefore, those seeking a suitable irritable bowel syndrome diet sometimes find it helpful to also follow a vegan diet plan. Following a vegan diet plan involves cutting out many foods that contain lactose, and of course cutting out meat, which is also hard on the digestive tract. Red meat is especially difficult to digest because of its high fat and protein content. You can also tailor an irritable bowel syndrome diet that works for you, even a vegetarian diet can help. You really have to try what works for you and help minimize the symptoms.


Many natural health doctors feel that the prevalence of IBS is caused by toxins that need to be expelled from the body. These doctors feel that food contaminants affect the gastrointestinal tract by poisoning it, due to the large amount of junk and processed foods many Americans eat. When first going on a tailor-made irritable bowel syndrome diet that fits you as an individual. Some may choose to detox their bodies so as to cleanse these toxins that they feel is causing or at least contributing to their IBS. In an article written for puristat.com, Jesse Hanley, MD, suggests ultimately how to detox your body is to do a colon cleanse. Hanley suggests colonic irrigation, which involved inserting a tube up the rectum and then pushing as much as 40 gallons of water through the lower intestine to break up and release feces. She also suggests herbal cleansing, which is less invasive and involves taking herbal supplements, such as aloe vera, peppermint, Echinacea, licorice, and garlic in order to promote colon health.


A healthy irritable bowel syndrome diet does not need to include any detoxing if that is not what you prefer. The idea of toxins being the cause or even a contributing factor in IBS, while widely believed and practiced by practitioners of holistic medicine, is not as of yet medically proven. Some even claim cleansing can help in the, how to lose belly fat, camp.


Perhaps the most important thing to understand when trying to control your Irritable bowel syndrome with a suitable IBS diet is that, while there are certain foods that universally upset the stomach, there are many types of diets that work for many Irritable bowel syndrome sufferers, so keep trying them out until you find one that works for you, according to your own food sensitivity and lifestyle.


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One Response to “Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet”

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