Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that unfortunately plagues all too many of us.
When you have a sensitive stomach, you are in constant fear of making yourself sick if you indulge even the tiniest bit.
Social function and comfort can be dramatically cut in half if you are always hampered by the likes of abdominal pain and bloating.
Needless to say, it can be a frustrating and embarrassing condition. In this article, we will be sharing some of the best foods those with IBS can comfortably eat without the worry of discomfort.
There are of course different kinds of IBS. One form of it may leave you dealing with constant diarrhea (IBS-D), another will cause frequent constipation (IBS-C), and some IBS can actually alternate between the two (IBS-A.)
It stands to reason that you will need a different diet depending on which form of IBS you have. Let’s tackle them in order.
For those with diarrhetic IBS, you may first want to consider eating foods that are primarily low in fiber.
This does not mean that fiber has to be removed from your diet entirely however.
Perhaps you have heard how some carbs are “bad” and some are “good” – a similar code can be applied to fiber.
There are certain fibers that are soluble, meaning water in your body can more easily dissolve them.
Soluble fiber can be found in produce like apples and berries, vegetables such as carrots, and plain oatmeal.
You should be able to safely eat any of those without simply fueling the fire of constipation even further.
Before moving on, remember to consider that some fiber sources are definitely not for you if you have frequent diarrhea.
Some of the foods you will want to avoid are along the lines of cabbage, broccoli, raisins, nuts, whole grains, and tomatoes.
Look further into insoluble fibers for more details. Oh, and remember to take it easy on dairy and carbonated beverages!
Alternatively, if your IBS leaves you experiencing constipation, you may actually want to consider adding fiber.
Some studies claim that adults should be getting up to 30 grams of fiber per day on average. Most of us have less than half of that.
If you want to add more fiber, you can start with a variety of fruits (raspberries, bananas, raisins, pears), grains and pasta (whole wheat bread, popcorn, oatmeal, bran muffins, spaghetti), whole grain cereals, and vegetables (broccoli, tomatoes, peas, turnips.)
There are many others as well, and you can find them if you read all of your labels carefully when shopping.
A word of warning: the high fiber approach above has been known to cause bloating for some.
If you find that is the case for you, refer back to the paragraph above dealing with low fiber diets for a short list of foods with soluble fiber. A focus on those should leave you much more comfortable overall.
Finally, we come to IBS-A, where those effected may experience either diarrhea or constipation in an alternating fashion.
Given the broad degree of symptoms, there are a variety of ways to approach dealing with them from a dietary standpoint. First of all, those with IBS-A may want to consider a gluten free diet.
Talk of gluten has become much more common as of late. Gluten is essentially a mix of proteins that are wheat based.
They are typically found in a lot of pre packaged and processed foods, and they are common in grains the likes of pasta and bread.
Staying away from gluten has proved to have a positive effect on those suffering from IBS.
Wheat, barley, and rye are just a few of the breads you will want to stay away from when avoiding gluten.
Again, a bit of label reading in the grocery store can go a long way, as you can easy find gluten-free alternatives to all of your favorite foods if you look long enough.
Next, taking on a diet full of foods low in fat may be a good way to go for those with IBS-A.
Not only will it benefit the health of your heart and weight, it can ease up both constipation and diarrhea. Focus your meat intake on lean meats and be careful with dairy!
The final approach is for those interested in experimentation. With an elimination diet, where you simply stop eating certain types of food for a while, you can monitor how your body responds and gain an understanding of what exact foods have been agitating your IBS the most.
If you get particularly sick after eating any certain type of food, try to avoid it for the next few months.
If you find yourself feeling better, you can safely bet that you have found one of the primary culprits of your IBS and can then safely remove it from your diet altogether.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be difficult to deal with, but it is far from impossible.
Narrow down which type of IBS you personally suffer from and attack it accordingly.
With the right diet, you just may find yourself far more comfortable and finally able to truly enjoy your life.