Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet
Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS is more prevalent than we think. The primary symptom of IBS is abdominal pain and cramp after eating – resulting in diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating. Some may find mucous in the feces. These symptoms usually persist for at least 90 days before an IBS diagnosis is considered. Most people only have mild symptoms, and fortunately, a proper diet can usually minimize symptoms.
- Eat small frequent meals
- Drink lots of fluid (8 – 10 servings daily)
- Eat a high fiber diet. Your doctor may also suggest laxative with psyllium to alleviate constipation or reduce diarrhea
- A low fat diet will also help to decrease contractions of the intestines right after meals
- Limit caffeine, alcohol and sorbitol (a type of sweetener) as these may exacerbate symptoms.
- Exclude gas-producing foods such as cabbage-family vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts), dried peas and lentils, onions and chives, peppers and carbonated drinks
- Avoid chewing gum as more air may be swallowed
- If you have diarrhea right after eating dairy, you are probably only lactose intolerance.
- Some patients find peppermint helpful. Peppermint is a natural anti-spasmodic that relaxes smooth muscles in the intestines. If you are taking peppermint supplements, try the enteric coated capsules as they may cause heartburn. Be sure to discuss with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.