The reason for IBS is still unknown and can happen suddenly.
Abdominal cramps are really so painful and this problem should be solved immediately because it disrupts daily living activities.
For all IBS sufferers, diet modification will surely reduce those symptoms a lot! But you need to be aware of all the foods you are eating to see which items are causing extra discomfort…
One note to remember!
The symptoms are very personal and unique to the individual, and one symptom can affect one person, and not the other one!
Poor eating habits such as skipping meals, low fibre and water intake, excessive fatty food intake, sensitivity to milk and other dairy products, excessive caffeine and alcohol intake need to be modified as a first step to relieve symptoms in IBS.
The most common dietary treatment is a high fibre diet, especially for those who suffer from constipation. But some patients won’t benefit from an increase in dietary fibre which may worsen the symptoms. That’s why the increase in fibre should be gradual, involving a variety of fibres and an adequate water intake of at least 1.5 litres per day.
IBS symptoms tend to increase after large meals, particularly if the meal is high in fat, or if the meal is eaten quickly. That’s why you should split your meal into 5 small and healthy ones. Avoid
eating quickly and try to relax after a meal.
As I mentioned before, flatulence is a major symptom for IBS. Some food items should be excluded completely from the diet then reintroduced once the problem is solved. The items include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green pepper, capsicum, beans, foul, hommus, burghul, lentil or couscous. Carbonated soft drinks should also be excluded.
Some individuals with IBS may eliminate any source of lactose from their diets, due to lactose intolerance. Lactose is found mainly in dairy products such as milk and ice creams. Remember that these foods give us important nutrients, and reduced consumption can affect calcium intakes, so why not taking a daily calcium supplement in that case!?
Some people can feel extremely bloated with a strong stomach pain right after eating onion or garlic! If this is the case, these 2 items should be excluded as well!
My personal advice!
– Keep a food, fluid and symptoms diary that will help you in observing the role of diet and other factors such as stress.
– Start with the basics of 3 low fat, high fibre meals with 2 to 3 light snacks per day. Drink 2 litres of water daily and avoid excessive intake of soft drinks and caffeine. Eat slowly and make meal times as relaxing as possible.
– Once symptoms have settled, reintroduce the foods excluded but gradually.
– Consider consulting a dietitian for individual advice regarding your diet and any modifications.