Abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and constipation can be a serious challenge to deal with while trying to navigate our daily lives.
If any of these symptoms occur over three or more months, you may have a condition known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
IBS is a common medical disorder that’s characterized by chronic abdominal discomfort or pain, bloating, and changes in our bowel habits. It’s the most common diagnosis made by gastroenterologists.
Let’s discuss how to deal with IBS.
How To Deal With IBS
What Causes IBS
While food is a known trigger of IBS, it’s not currently known exactly what causes it.
Researchers believe it’s attributed to a number of factors. One of the most common schools of thought is gut-brain dysfunction, but there might be other causes at play.
A patient may have problems with GI muscles, or visceral hypersensitivity, which means the nerves in the GI tract are oversensitive.
Does IBS Ever Go Away?
Although there is no cure, we can control and improve symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes.
IBS symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, and bloating can often interfere with your life, but IBS is manageable.
What Triggers IBS Flare-Ups?
While we don’t know what causes IBS, we do know that flare-ups are often triggered by food, caffeine, stress, carbonated drinks, and artificial sugars.
What Can Make IBS Worse?
Foods That May Make IBS Worse:
- Fatty foods.
- Fried foods.
- Carbonated drinks.
- Too much fibre.
- Foods containing wheat if you are gluten-sensitive.
- Dairy, especially if you are lactose intolerant.
How Are You Tested For IBS?
There’s no test for IBS, but you may need some tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
Your doctor may arrange a blood test to check for problems like Coeliac disease. They may also run tests to check for infections and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
What Happens if IBS Goes Untreated?
When left untreated, the symptoms of IBS will often persist, leading to pain and discomfort.
However IBS does not result in more serious medical problems like colitis or cancer.
What is a Low FODMAP Diet?
A low-FODMAP diet is recommended for managing patients with irritable bowel syndrome and can help reduce digestive symptoms of IBS.
A low-FODMAP diet is a person’s global restriction of consumption of all fermentable carbohydrates, generally recommended for a short time.
Here is a List of Low-FODMAP Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, and Seeds:
- Potato and sweet potato.
- Baby spinach.
- Bell peppers.
- Green beans
- Macadamia nuts.
- Arugula, Kale, Lettuce, Collard greens, Swiss chard.
Some Other Tips to Manage IBS Include:
- Drink enough water, stay hydrated.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Increase fibre intake.
- Eat oats regularly.
- Try eating Flax, also known as linseed.
- Avoid products containing the sweetener Sorbitol.
- Avoid foods that are hard to digest such as cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower.
What is a Good Breakfast for IBS Sufferers?
Eggs digest easily and are a safe choice for someone with IBS. Eggs can be enjoyed in several different ways.
Omelettes could be your meal of choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and make a viable option when eating out at a restaurant. As mentioned eggs are easy to digest, won’t upset the colon, and they’re a great source of protein.
But not everyone digests eggs the same. If you’re cutting out the bad foods for IBS and are still having issues, an elimination diet can help figure out food triggers.
The triggers for IBS can be different for everybody.
Those who eat the worst foods for IBS, will likely suffer more issues than those who are paying more attention to their triggers.
Eating the right foods for IBS is vital to help manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Elimination diets can help to identify triggers.
When it comes to lifestyle and activity changes that may help, it’s always wise to exercise regularly, try eating smaller meals, look into meditation or relaxation techniques, and try to quit smoking.
Increased activity and exercise are also associated with fewer IBS problems.
This has been meant as a simple guide, if you are having stomach symptoms that won’t go away, please talk to your healthcare provider.
Thanks for reading, please let me know your thoughts or experiences with IBS in the comments.
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