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
%u2022Meals those are too large or high in fat
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
%u2022Legumes (like peas, peanuts, soybeans)
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
Incomplete evacuation Methylcellulose/Psyllium
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.
%u2022Cook in microwave to save time and nutrients
%u2022Cook only until tender-crisp to retain taste and nutrients
%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
%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
%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