Patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) suffer from abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort without any observable cause. There can be a number of causes for IBS. It is found that once it starts, symptoms are relieved only after a bowel movement. The patients may either suffer from diarrhea or constipation which is started after an infection or it can be caused by stress or some medical condition. To prevent IBS a diet rich in fiber should be taken but non soluble fiber should not be taken. Whole grain bread and cereals can be taken, and kidney beans and lima beans should be taken frequently. The fiber intake should be increased gradually as too much fiber can cause gas and bloating.
Drinking a good amount of water is suggested to avoid dehydration which can be caused by diarrhea and smaller meals should be taken instead of heavy meals at one time. Small meals prevent bloating. Food intake should not be fast. One should take food slowly to avoid swallowing air. Along with a good diet IBS also requires stress management, exercising, taking anti depressants and anti spasmodic medications. A balanced eating habit should be maintained and some of the food products which should be taken to control IBS are
1. Eat fibrous food which is soluble in water. The safest food which is easy to digest is rice, oatmeal, rice cereals, soy, pasta and noodles. It can be taken in every meal. Soluble fibers are found in most of the food products which are considered to have excess amount of starch. Soluble fibers dissolves in water and it helps in absorption of excess liquid in colon. It prevents diarrhea as it forms a kind of thick gel, which helps the muscles to easily make the peristaltic contraction. Soluble fibers are present in rice, pasta, barley, soy, corn meal, potatoes, carrots, turnips, mushrooms, avocadoes, mangoes, yams and papayas.
2. Reduce intake of fat by 25% and take only mono-saturated oils for cooking.
3. Avoid food products such as fried food, red meat, coffee, alcohol and soda pop as it can cause IBS syndrome. The food products which should be avoided include wheat based products, red meat etc.
4. Food products which contain gluten which is found in wheat, rye and barley should be avoided.
5. Low fat diet without animal meat and dairy products should be taken.
6. Do not take egg if it causes the symptoms of bloating and cramping, and in non vegetarian one can take chicken breasts and seafood instead of red meat.
7. Increase use of herbs in food and one can use baking extracts and mild spices to get the desired flavor.
8. Do not go for deep fried food, oils, fat spreads, coconut milk, solid chocolates, nuts and potato chips.
9. Do not take alcohol and caffeine as it can trigger the pain if taken empty stomach.
10. Carbonated drinks such as soda pop should not be taken to reduce bloating. Artificial fats called Olestra can cause diarrhea in people who do not suffer from IBS.
11. Artificial sweeteners and artificial fat can raise the problems of bloating and diarrhea.