Diet in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Diet in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

By Neena Luthra  on: 21 July 2016
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Meals may seem to trigger symptoms. It may be the process of eating and not a certain food that sets off your symptoms. Eating stimulates the digestive tract, which can over-respond because of IBS.
%u2022Try eating smaller meals, more often, spread throughout your day. Instead of 3 meals, try 5 or 6 regularly scheduled small meals.
%u2022Slow down; don't rush through meals.
%u2022Avoid meals that over-stimulate everyone's gut, like large meals or high fat foods.
%u2022If you are constipated, try to make sure you have breakfast, as this is the meal that is most likely to stimulate the colon and give you a bowel movement.
The foods most likely to cause problems are:
%u2022Insoluble (cereal) fiber
%u2022Coffee/caffeine
%u2022Chocolate
%u2022Nuts
%u2022Meals those are too large or high in fat
%u2022Fried foods
%u2022Coffee
%u2022Caffeine
%u2022Alcohol
Eating too much of some types of sugar that are poorly absorbed by the bowel can also cause cramping or diarrhea. Examples include%u2026
%u2022Sorbitol %u2013 commonly used as a sweetener in many dietetic foods, candies, and gums
%u2022Fructose %u2013 also used as a sweetener and found naturally in honey as well as some fruits
Some foods are gas producing. Eating too much may cause increased gaseousness. This is especially true since irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be associated with retention of gas and bloating. Examples include%u2026
%u2022Beans
%u2022Cabbage
%u2022Legumes (like peas, peanuts, soybeans)
%u2022Cauliflower
%u2022Broccoli
%u2022Lentils
%u2022Brussels sprouts
%u2022Raisins
%u2022Onions
%u2022Bagels
As an added benefit, consuming generous amounts of fiber in your everyday diet potentially can improve overall health. Fruits and vegetables appear to exert a strong healthy effect.
Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
Dietary fiber can be classified as either soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, becomes a soft gel, and is readily fermented. These include pectin, guar gum, and other gums. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve or gel in water and is poorly fermented. Cellulose (found in legumes, seeds, root vegetables, and vegetables in the cabbage family), wheat bran, and corn bran are examples of insoluble fiber.
High fiber substances containing both soluble and insoluble fibers have the properties of both. They include oat bran, psyllium, and soy fiber. Methylcellulose is a semi-synthetic fiber. It is soluble and gel forming, but not fermentable.
Types of fiber differ in the speed and extent to which they are digested in the GI tract, and in the process of fermentation. There may be both good and bad aspects to fermentation, but there are certainly metabolic products produced by fermentation which contribute to colonic health. The solubility and fermentation of a particular fiber affects how it is handled in the GI tract.

The effect of identical fibers varies from person to person. Individual response may vary and we encourage individuals try different types of fiber.
IBS Symptoms Fiber Treatment
Lower abdominal pain Methylcellulose/Psyllium
Upper abdominal pain Oatmeal/Oat bran/Psyllium
Constipation Methylcellulose/Psyllium
Incomplete evacuation Methylcellulose/Psyllium
Diarrhea Psyllium/Oligofructose
Excessive gas Methylcellulose/Polycarbophil
Tips for Adding Fiber to Your Diet
Making small, gradual changes can add up to a big difference in the nutritional value of your diet. Experiment with fresh foods and don%u2019t be afraid to try new foods and recipes. Here are a few practical tips for adding fiber to your diet.
Vegetables
%u2022Cook in microwave to save time and nutrients
%u2022Cook only until tender-crisp to retain taste and nutrients
Beans
%u2022Replace the meat in salads and main dishes with presoaked dried beans and peas
%u2022Presoaking reduces the gas-producing potential of beans if you discard the soaking water and cook using fresh water
%u2022Use a slow cooker for bean soups and stews
Fruit
%u2022Snack on fruit anytime, anywhere
%u2022Experiment with unusual fruits such as kiwi, pineapple, and mangos
%u2022Leave peelings on fruit whenever possible
%u2022Use fresh and dried fruit in muffins, pancakes, quick breads, and on top of frozen yogurt

Grains
%u2022Choose whole-grain varieties of breads, muffins, bagels, and English muffins
%u2022Try fresh pasta instead of dried
%u2022Mix barely cooked vegetables with pasta for a quick pasta salad


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Eating healthy can help you lose weight and have more energy. It can also improve your mood and reduce your risk of disease. Yet despite all these benefits, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can be difficult. Here are some of the ways to stick to a healthy diet: # Start with realistic expectations: Eating a nutritious diet has many benefits, including potential weight loss. However, it’s important to set realistic expectations. For example, if you pressure yourself to lose weight too quickly, your plan to achieve better health may backfire. Researchers found that obese people who expected to lose a lot of weight were more likely to drop out of a weight loss program within 6–12 months. On the other hand, setting a more realistic and achievable goal can keep you from getting discouraged and may even lead to greater weight loss. # Keep unhealthy foods out of the house. It’s really tough to eat healthy if you’re always surrounded by junk foods. If other family members want to keep these foods around, at least keep them hidden, rather than on counter tops. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” definitely applies here. Having food on display in various areas of the house has been linked to obesity and an increased consumption of unhealthy foods # Carry healthy snacks. Sticking to a healthy diet can be tough when you’re away from home for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, when you get too hungry, you may end up grabbing whatever is available. This is often processed food, which doesn’t really satisfy hunger and isn’t good for you in the long run. Having healthy high-protein snacks on hand can help keep your appetite in check until you’re able to have a full meal. Some examples of good, portable snacks are almonds, peanuts and roasted channa. # Practice mindful eating. Take time to enjoy your food, and appreciate its ability to nourish you. This increases your chances of making successful, lasting behavioral changes. Overweight and obese women who practiced mindful eating had significant improvements in their relationship with food over a 4-month period. # Start the day with high protein breakfast. If your first meal is well balanced and contains adequate protein, you’re more likely to maintain stable blood sugar levels and not overeat for the rest of the day.
How often should you go to the toilet?
21 July 2016
Again, it%u2019s about what%u2019s normal for you. As a rule of thumb, three bowel movements per day to three per week are considered normal. There are many things that can temporarily influence the frequency of your bowel movements and are not a cause for concern. Diet, travel, medications, hormonal fluctuations, sleep patterns, exercise, illness, surgery, childbirth, stress, are just some of the factors that can set you back. You also need to observe the strain you need to push your poop out %u2013 defecating should be as easy as urinating or passing gas. Excessive effort can signal that something isn%u2019t right. Some Things You Can Do To Help You Move Your Bowels %u2022Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure you get enough fresh fruits and vegetables, which are the best sources of fiber. To boost your fiber intake, you can also add psyllium and freshly ground organic flax seed to your diet. %u2022Avoid processed foods, and foods that contain a lot of sugar (especially artificial sweeteners) and chemical additives. %u2022Keep a balanced gut flora by enjoying probiotic products, such as sauerkrauts, pickles.  Be especially careful to replenish your beneficial gut bacteria after a course of antibiotics. If probiotic food doesn%u2019t do it for you, get a good probiotic supplement. %u2022Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. %u2022Exercise daily  
Neena Luthra

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