Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly referred to as IBS, is a disorder of the large intestine. The disease is fairly common, and has a number of painful symptoms associated with it. IBS could cause unpleasant issues like bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea. There is no known cure for the disease. Therefore, patients must manage IBS mainly through diet with some exercise thrown in.
Most people with IBS have to be careful about what they eat, partly to avoid pain and also to prevent body odour and similar issues in social situations. It can be difficult to come up with a proper meal plan when you suffer from this disease. Here are several medically approved suggestions for how to diet when you have IBS:
Avoid the Triggers
Some food items that normal people find nutritious could inflame IBS for patients. For example, most people are told to eat plenty of fibre-rich foods. For IBS patients, fibre could aggravate constipation. Likewise, what or dairy products may worsen diarrhoea. Other known triggers include beans, citrusy fruits and soft drinks. When you plan your meals, make sure you avoid foods that trigger IBS. These foods may vary from person to person. That’s why it’s important to uniquely tailor the meal plan for yourself.
Follow an Established IBS-Focused Diet
Because IBS has a variety of trigger foods, patients should not follow mainstream diets for losing weight and such. Patients must follow specialised meal plans, such as the Fodmap diet plan intended for those with IBS. Studies have shown that reducing chemicals in food, such as fermentable monosaccharaides, could help relieve certain symptoms associated with the disease. You can seek a specialist nutritionist to adopt such a meal plan. Fodmap is not the only IBS-focused diet out there, but it’s well worth checking out.
Limit the number of snacks per day you allow yourself in your new diet plan. It’s hard to scrutinize the type of snacks we eat. You could end up eating something that worsens your symptoms. Snacking could also result in weight gain, which may make your existing IBS even more unbearable. Therefore, limit the total number of snacks in your daily meal plan. That is not to say that you are not allowed any. But keep the overall limit to under 3 per day.
Eliminate Coffee and Chocolate
It’s smart to eliminate coffee, chocolate, and similar foods entirely from your meals, regardless of the type of diet plan you follow. Coffee acts as a diuretic so it could worsen some of the common symptoms associated with IBS. The chemicals in chocolate may do the same. Chocolate is often consumed with a hefty amount of sugar and milk, so IBS patients are better off without either.
Don’t Stress It Over
Stress is another major trigger of IBS not related to food. When you make your meal plans, it should not be a huge stressor for you. Do eat things that make you feel full and happy. The mental boost you get from food is just as important for relieving IBS.
Overall, ensure that your diet is rich in nutrients and is well balanced to prevent triggering common IBS symptoms. Plan your meals properly with only about two or three snacks a day. You would feel much better following the advice given above.