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.


By DrSteve

Author, professor, integrative health ninja truth seeker.

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