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IBS and your Diet – Learn How to Reduce Your Symptoms

IBS About 20 % of the U.S. population suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and if you’re one of them, you understand how frustrating even a normal daily schedule can be. The persistent abdominal pain, cramping, spasm, bloating and gas production, combined with constipation, diarrhea or both, can have a great impact on your quality of life.

While there’s no cure yet for IBS, there are proven links between your diet and symptoms of IBS. Knowing what foods trigger your symptoms and what foods can ease the discomfort should keep your gastrointestinal problems minimized.

Each Person is Different

IBS sufferers fall into one of the following groups:

There are 3 types of IBS patients. They are divided into the following groups:

  • IBS-D – IBS patients/diarrhea predominant
  • IBS-C – IBS patients/constipation predominant
  • IBS-A – IBS patients/constipation alternating with diarrhea

Because each person is different, the types of foods that influence symptoms are different as well. That’s why it’s important to keep a food journal. Keeping record of what you eat and how it and other outside factors affect your symptoms can guide you on what you can and shouldn’t eat in order to minimize symptoms.

Foods that have been identified that may cause the most intense symptoms of IBS have been divided into the following categories:

For patients with gas and bloating:

  • Vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, peas and onions
  • Beans and nuts such as soybeans, peanuts, lentils, black and red beans, and garbanzo beans
  • Certain fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, figs and raisins

For patients with cramping and diarrhea:

  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese and ice cream
  • Greasy foods, fried foods, or meals that are too high in fat
  • Certain beverages such as coffee, caffeine, alcohol, diet and regular sodas
  • Insoluble fiber found in certain whole grains such as wheat, barley or rye
  • Artificial sweeteners, especially sorbitol and fructose, as these are poorly absorbed by the bowel

For patients with constipation symptoms the key is to actually consume more of the following:

  • More whole grains and cereals
  • More dried beans, nuts, peas, and seeds as tolerated
  • More fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Increased fluid intake, especially 6-8 glasses of water daily

By tweaking your diet and minimizing those “trigger foods,” you may be able to keep your IBS Symptoms under control, and experience a less stressful quality of life.

© 2012 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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