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Foods to Avoid When You Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Foods to Avoid When You Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an extremely uncomfortable disorder that affects many people, and while there are treatments for it, it is currently incurable. Symptoms range from gastric problems to bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and irregular bowel movements. Some people suffer so severely that it impedes on their day-to-day lifestyle.

While incurable, there are ways to ease the effects – one of the easiest ways is to simply watch what you eat. Below are 5 common foods or food ingredients that are common problem areas for people experiencing IBS. At minimum you should try to greatly reduce your intake of these foods, but it’s best to avoid them entirely to make your life easier.

1 – Caffeine

Caffeine is a diuretic, and ingesting caffeine from any source can increase irritability for those suffering from IBS. Caffeine is found in coffee (even decaf varieties), soda, chocolate, and tea. If you’re used to caffeine for an energy boost, there are other natural alternatives that won’t result in the same harmful side-effects.

2 – Dairy Products

Many people who experience IBS are simultaneously lactose intolerant, so this is a key reduction area. Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant, the fat within most dairy products is enough to disturb your IBS. Try looking for low-fat or non-dairy alternatives – there has been a large surge of products in these markets in recent years, so it should be easy to find an alternative you prefer.

3 – Gluten

Unfortunately, gluten seems to be a common problem area for those suffering from IBS. It’s a very common ingredient in most American diets since it’s found in bread, pasta, cereals, and many packaged/processed foods. Fortunately, the food industry has been working hard to find alternatives that taste just as good while greatly reducing or eliminating gluten in your favorite foods.

4 – Insoluble fiber

While fiber intake is important for easing symptoms of IBS, it’s important to know the difference between soluble and insoluble fibers. There are some people with IBS who can handle insoluble fibers just fine, but for others it may be a blind spot if they’re not aware that there is a difference. It could be the difference between feeling better and feeling great.

5 – Processed foods

While many health advocates are already pushing for people to avoid processed foods, avoidance has increased benefits for those with IBS. The preservatives are a common trigger for IBS symptoms, so eliminating processed foods will have great benefits for your health overall.
If you have any more questions about treating IBS, contact the Colon & Rectal Disease Center today to speak with an expert.

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