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The Relationship Between Foods and IBS
photo of a family eating a Thanksgiving meal

With a little preparation Thanksgiving and other holiday meals can be enjoyed by most people that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

IBS, which is short for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, causes thousands of Americans discomfort when using the bathroom. Since it is a gastrointestinal condition, your diet and eating habits play a huge role in either causing or preventing IBS flare-ups.

Your Diet and IBS

No one likes to have their diet restricted. If you suffer from IBS, then unfortunately you don’t have much of a choice. There are certain types of food that will irritate your condition, and you should work on eliminating them completely. Here are a few examples.

1. Gluten

Gluten is a type of protein found in grains. It was always know that celiac disease was an allergy to gluten, but scientists have only recently began to understand the widespread prevalence of gluten sensitivity among the American public.

Luckily, the food market has responded in kind with a plethora of gluten-free alternatives to popular products.

2. Fruit and vegetable skins

Now don’t stop eating your fruits and veggies, but you may want to peel them if you suffer from IBS. The insoluble fiber in the skins of fruits and vegetables can cause mayhem in the digestive tract.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it makes you go to the bathroom. If going to the bathroom is causing you discomfort, then it’s only logical to cut back on everything that makes you go to the bathroom.

4. Spicy and Fried Foods

The reason you have to give up spicy and fried foods is the same reason you have to give up caffeine: they make you go to the bathroom. Try to keep the fried and spicy foods to a special occasion rather than a daily or weekly occurrence.

5. Dairy

IBS is similar to lactose intolerance in that dairy of all kinds acts as a trigger. When it comes to milk, there are plenty of alternatives. Almond milk and soy milk are two choices that taste great and give you plenty of nutrients.

Eating Habits and IBS

When it comes to IBS flare-ups, how you eat can matter just as much as what you eat. Here are a couple of eating habits you can use to minimize flare-ups.

1. Don’t eat right before bed

Eating before bed causes your digestive system to be active while you’re horizontal and sedentary. This works against how the system is designed to work, which is simply asking for discomfort in the middle of the night.

2. Plan your meals ahead of time

Take time every Sunday to plan your meals for the week. Often times, the fried food we eat comes from a fast-food restaurant on the days we don’t feel like preparing a meal. Having a plan will keep you from giving into these impulses and will keep your digestive system in check.

Are you located in the Cumming, GA area and suffering from IBS? Schedule an appointment at GI North with Dr. Cofrancesco or Dr. Quijano to discuss treatment options. They service patients in Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, and Suwanee, and Dr. Quijano is fluent in Spanish. By going to GI North you will get on a track that will calm your bowels and give you the comfort you deserve.

© 2015 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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