Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diets

Kiwi Fruit for Irritable Bowel Syndrome : Cureology Research Review

Kiwifruit for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Research shows that the simple Kiwi Fruit seems to help folks with constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome.  The video reviews the research paper  listed below from Taipei plus a few interesting points about no side effects.  This is another natural food related tip for you, especially if you happen to like Kiwis like I do.

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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2010;19(4):451-7.

Kiwifruit improves bowel function in patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.

Chang CC, Lin YT, Lu YT, Liu YS, Liu JF.


School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical Uni-versity, Taipei 110, Taiwan.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional disorder of the gastrointestinal system, and is characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea (IBS/D), constipation (IBS/C), and alternating diarrhea and constipation (IBSC/A). The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a four week kiwifruit intervention on bowel function in patients diagnosed with IBS/C. Fifty-four patients with IBS/C and 16 healthy adults participated in this study. All subjects participated in the 6 week, three phase study, which included a baseline phase (1 week), a dietary intervention period (4 weeks), and a post-intervention phase (1 week). Forty-one IBS/C patients and all healthy adults consumed two Hayward green (Actinida deliciosa var) kiwifruits per day for 4 weeks. Thirteen IBS/C patients in the control group took two placebo capsules per day for 4 weeks. Colon transit time was measured immediately prior to and following the intervention period. All subjects completed daily defecation records. After the 4-week intervention, weekly defecation frequency significantly increased in the IBS/C group of participants who consumed kiwifruit (p<0.05). Colon transit time significantly decreased (p=0.026) in the IBS/C group that consumed kiwi fruit. These findings suggest that kiwifruit consumption for 4 weeks shortens colon transit time, increases defecation frequency, and improves bowel function in adults diagnosed with IBS/C.

Bottom Line

Kiwi fruit improves your intestine’s ability to pass food through the colon, which is what is called “transit time”.  In IBS-C situations, try adding Kiwi to your diet instead of medications if at all possible.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diets

The Association Between Foods And Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Let’s take a look at some of the foods that induce IBS symptoms, or foods that cause related bowel symptoms:

Fatty food items: A person who has IBS should reduce their fat intake to about 25% maximum.

Caffeinated drinks: Even decaffeinated coffee drinks contain substances that can cause irritation to your gut. Caffeinated drinks also stimulate the intestine to contract, so that can really exacerbate symptoms.

Milk and Cheese Products: Most people lose an enzyme called lactase as they age. This enzyme helps break down lactose, which is present in milk and cheese products. When you get symptoms after eating these products, you may be “lactose intolerant”. This is not IBS, but rather a very treatable condition which is simply treated by avoiding these foods.

Gluten Allergy: Some people develop a condition where your body literally treats gluten (a protein) as a foreign substance to which you develop and antibody response allergy. The problem is that this literally destroys the lining of your intestine and, in the process of mass destruction, causes IBS like symptoms. The condition is called Celiac disease and is treated by simply avoiding foods containing gluten. You can get a blood test for this, but beware. If this test is negative, it may be a false negative….which means you actually HAVE the disease but the test was negative. So, if unsure, just cut gluten out of the diet.

Just like there are foods which promote symptoms, there are nutrient types which may reduce Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms:

Fiber rich food: Eating food which is fiber rich will help in digestion. In some people, it can stimulate the bowel and cause symptoms, but soluble fiber works well as a stabilizer preventing both constipation and diarrhea in the long run. Insoluble fiber, which is healthy and present in fruits and veggies, is good for you but is more likely to cause IBS symptoms. This is something you have to balance in your lifestyle because you need the nutrients in fruits and veggies. Sometimes soluble fiber can balance the symptom inducing effect of insoluble fiber. IF you can’t tolerate them, please remember to consider a better supplementation program.

Probiotics: Although not a food per se, just as an intro to the fact that there are supplementation strategies to add to your basic diet plan, sometimes you can get overgrowth of “bad bacteria” in your intestine which overwhelm the “good bacteria”. Good bacteria are CRITICAL to good digestion and when this imbalance occurs, as it possibly can after a lot of antibiotics, you can end up with something that may be IBS. In some cases you actually need to kill the offending “bad bacteria” first with another antibiotic, but then regaining good balance using probiotics is a good strategy. Work with you doctor on determining if you have a “bad bacteria” overgrowth as this can be VERY serious and can even kill. So, be proactive, but don’t forget that there are aspects of mainstream medicine that you still need to work with to get you out of the woods.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diets

Usual Diets For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

People who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome should take a self-inventory and list out the things that they eat. This is a great start, but simply taking inventory is not enough. You should also consider the methods by which food has been prepared.

First, in order to make a list of food you eat, create a log book in a notepad on your computer. You should add particular terms that qualify your log entry, such as where you get the food and how you prepare it. So along with say ‘Fried Rice’, you should not only add that to the list, but also add how it had been prepared, what you may have combined it with etc. Moreover you also need to note the timing of eating your food (both when you eat and how fast you eat) and also your mood at the time of eating a specific food.

The list you make should be part of a daily routine and you need to check it regularly, especially when you are first creating it and adding new items to it. The most suitable time is at the night, at which you can collect a detailed list of the whole day. Each explanation is quite essential and should be given care. Every little item, even a chocolate that you had, needs to be recorded.

The foods that may induce your appetite or for which you have a craving, can be avoided by setting a common diet. Once you have this list, share it with your health care practitioners. You personal dietician or doctor will help you in charting a suitable diet plan for you, based upon the list you have made about the food that you eat. This will vary with your symptoms. Again, some foods may need to be cut out. Some may need to be added. For example, if you have constipation, then the most important food that you need to include in your diet is fiber rich food which will reduce this constipation.

The feces should bulk up if you add fiber rich content in your diet. Thus the best way of fighting with the symptom,’constipation’, is to add fiber rich fruits like orange, banana etc. The fiber works by adding volume to the stools.

The foods that increase your symptoms should be systematically removed one by one. In general, the foods that induces the syndrome are actually those that are rich in fat as this slows down the digestion of other foods. But in your case, it may be different. In the long run it is all about balance and not absolutes, but you first have to figure out how YOUR body responds to the foods you eat.

While carrying out or implementing this diet chart for Irritable Bowl Syndrome the first and foremost thing to do is check whether you are taking regular meals at the proper time. This “proper” time may vary from individual to individual. You will have to experiment.

If the symptom of diarrhea predominates in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the most beneficial diet chart may include small meals at multiple regular intervals. However when you have diarrhea the symptom is mainly watery stools. You can lose a LOT of water. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice to check out the amount of water that you should be taking based on your body size, the amount of exercise you engage in, the climate you live in etc.

Generally the amount of water or fluid intake should be high. The classic recommendation is 6-8 glasses of WATER every day. Again, this may vary by individual. On the other hand, caffeinated drinks, alcohol based beverages, carbonated soda etc. should be avoided. Carbonated sodas produce gas, thereby resulting in a bloated belly, while caffeine may cause diarrhea and stimluate the intestine which worsens the condition further.

Irregular Bowel Syndrome may also be due to dairy products like cheese, mayonnaise etc. As you get older, lactose is not metabolized well and may lead to IBS. If you are not tolerant of lactose, then switch over to lactose free yogurts instead of pure milk which will provide you the same protein. Alternatively, you can also use an enzyme supplement to help in breaking down lactose.

In the end, everyone is different. The “syndrome” may have different causes in different people. You need to take a personal inventory and decide what needs to be done based on this information. For best results, work with a health care practitioner who knows and understands you and your personal needs.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diets

A Good Diet For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Many people who suffer from the Irritable Bowel Syndrome try to decrease the symptoms with all different types of approaches. After being frustrated by little help from standard mainstream treatments, some go for Ayurvedic or herbal treatment while others try hypnotism or other mind-body stratgies. But it is very distressing to see that people never attach much significance to their lifestyle, especially eating habits. First and foremost, a special diet chart is not started nor maintained. This is a big mistake. As with anything else, it is best to start with the basics and the root causes.

It is also alarming to note that a number of bogus diets are available for irritable bowel syndrome. There are too many “experts” out there who offer incorrect advice regarding proper diets for irritable bowel syndrome, whether by ignorance or other reasons. This certainly leads to mixed results. You may ask why this is an issue. Well, simply put, you are in pain and we all tend to believe everything that we read or see online or in books. That mix is a bad one, because it leads to bad choices out of desperation. Again, the best steps are to understand the disease, understand your body and how the environment ( what you eat, drink and expose yourself to ) affects you. Then act on that starting with the basics, like diet.

It is crucial to note that diet plays an important role in the cause of irritable bowel syndrome. The problem is, what is the “right diet”? Everyone is different and different foods will interact with your intestine differently. This is because we differ in ability to metabolize foods, even if it is ever so slightly. As a result, those who wish to find a solution for this are ready to pay any amount of money so as to have somebody who could suggest a personalized diet for them. Leave this to the end, if nothing else is working.

For most people, a personal designer diet is not necessary. People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome should first try sticking to a particular generic diet that covers the basics. Determining a generally appropriate diet for irritable bowel syndrome requires only an understanding of the following tips:

1) Try to think categorically, and not specifically – There is no specific diet that induces the manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome. You have to just remember that there exist certain kinds of foods which are liable to trigger the illness. You should avoid these general classes of foods:

a) Fatty foods
b) Coffee (both decaffeinated and caffeinated)
c) Having high content of insoluble fiber
d) Carbonated drinks
e) Alcohol

The generally “right” diet for irritable bowel syndrome excludes foods that come under these classes due to the reason that they will induce symptoms of the syndrome.

2) Substitute and broaden – You may find substitutes for the various foods that have to be eliminated. You may also try diverse meals so that you are not bored with the diet set up. It should be remembered that dieting to alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be effective only if you commit to follow it.

3/ Don’t eliminate all of the foods at once. Try one group at a time. Or if you have already eliminated a lot of groups, and you miss some of them, try adding back one at a time. If it does not cause symptoms to return, you may be able to continue enjoying that group forever. In some cases foods may interact to produce symptoms, so be careful and just go slow.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diets

Alternate Treatments For Irritable Bowels

In this fast paced lifestyle Irritable Bowel syndrome can be a life changing disturbance. Though it’s not life threatening, the potential incurability makes a person’s life miserable. The stress of not feeling in control, of not being able to do anything about it, can lead to worsening of symptoms. So, it can become a never ending miserable cycle.

Sometimes people try mainstream medicine to get relief from the symptoms of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This may or may not work, but it definitely does not get at the root of the problem. Failing symptom reduction in this manner, some prefer to go for alternate medicines or remedies and use only natural organic ways or Chinese traditional methods of treatment to try to find the elusive cure. The problem is that many “Alternative” remedies are a sham and do not help. So, where to go and what to do?

Some integrative natural remedies for consideration:

1) Acupuncture – This therapy is based on the life force and is known as Qi (comes from chi of Chinese). It is believed that the imbalance in a person’s Qi can result in various symptoms and diseases. Acupuncturists try to remove this imbalance with the help of thin needles especially used for this purpose. The needles will stimulate the pressure points of the body, thereby energizing life force and thus Qi become more balanced. Whether or not you believe in life forces, we know that acupuncture works for many conditions including pain and nausea and this has been documented even in mainstream peer reviewed medical journals.

Acupuncture also aid to relieve stress and relax yourself and reduce pain, and the procedure itself is quite painless. The needles used for acupuncture are too small and never cause any pain. Acupressure was developed as a related technique for those scared of needles. In addition you can learn some of the basic moves and pressure points and do some of this at home whenever symptoms strike.

2) Ayurvedic/Herbal Remedy

Certain kinds of herbs are very useful in recovering from the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The two main kind of medicinal herb delivery systems used for treatment are:

1) Teas -all the medicinal herbs can be immersed in hot water to create a drinkable extract essence. The process by which the herbs get immersed in the hot water delivers certain enzymes and also ingredients which are nutritious and that are needed to improve the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Thus whenever a patient drinks tea they can be sure that the essence of the extracts is going into their stomach and through the intestine. Different types of herbs are used in the formation of the tea which could also give the desired results and can be used as a flavor also. Mostly they exert a calmative effect on the intestine. Remember to avoid caffeine which is present in basic green, white and black teas.

b) Medicinal Supplements/Capsules – Essential ingredients of medicine or herbs can be encapsulated for another way to deliver them through the intestine.

Types of herbs to consider for IBS symptom alleviation include: Peppermint and Ginger.

3) Hypnotism & Biofeedback-The mental state is VERY much connected and affects your intestine. Therefore, stress is a major factor in IBS. Since most of us cannot wish stress away, one can control its effects. Hypnotism is one way that you can do this. Biofeedback is another. This is a very complex topic and requires more in-depth background and technique to be effective.