Diet Plans for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients

Posted on 28. Aug, 2012 by in General Health Concerns

Irritable bowel syndrome is an idiopathic (unknown relative cause) disease characterized by bloating, pain and discomfort in abdominal area and altering bowel habits. Its onset is commonly cause by maturity, stress and infection.

There is no cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Treatments like lifestyle changes and diet can be done to decrease the severity and frequency of the disease. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet differs depending on classification; either as IBS-PI (post-infection), IBS-D (Diarrhea-dominant), IBS-C (Constipation-dominant), or as IBS-A (Altering diarrhea and constipation-dominant).

Irritable Bowel Syndrome-D

Diarrhea is dominant in this type; therefore foods which contain ingredients that can stimulate the gastric and intestinal activity should be limited. Here is the list of foods that should be avoided:

  • Caffeinated foods and drinks tend to stimulate gastrointestinal tracts and its diuretic compounds might aggravate symptoms of dehydration after diarrhea.
  • Indian and Mexican cuisines are discouraged to the patients with IBS-D. Spicy foods contain capsaicin which is a trigger component for diarrhea.
  • Acidic foods like citrus fruits and vinegar are limited because acidity can cause stress on the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Garlic, onions, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage have high amounts of insoluble fiber which are not suitable for IBS-D patients since it helps on passing away of stools
  • Olestra and other fat substitutes can cause anal leakage.
  • Sugar substitutes like sorbitol and mannitol (mostly found in sugar-free gums and sodas) causes gas and bloating.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome-C

Constipation occurs pre-dominantly in IBS-C. Irritable bowel syndrome diet applicable to this type includes high liquid intake and food intakes which contain ingredients with high fiber content and natural laxatives. Here are some of the recommended food intakes for IBS-C patients:

  • Garlic, onions, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage have high amounts of insoluble fiber which are suitable for IBS-C patients since it helps on passing away of stools
  • Cereals with high fiber content
  • Liquid-rich fruits like watermelon, melons and apples aids in digestion
  • Leafy vegetable and seed sprouts contains lots of fiber
  • Oolong and Green teas are great natural laxatives

Irritable Bowel Syndrome-PI

IBS-PI patients should avoid sugar substitutes like mannitol and sorbitol. These sweeteners are not digested well in the intestines. Bacteria present in the intestines eat the sugar substitutes thus, creating a field for living bacteria which causes infection.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome-A

With altering bowel movements, diet should be reliant on the consistency and frequency of bowel movements.

In onsets of diarrhea, protein rich foods are encouraged. Protein is the slowest and hardest nutrients to digest.

In onsets of constipation, raw fruit and leafy vegetables are encouraged. Raw fruits, vegetables and nuts can act as a stimulant in the digestive tract.

On either onset, fluid intake should be taken into consideration, to prevent dehydration or over-drinking.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet should not only encompass alteration on food choice but also lifestyle changes. Avoid cigarette smoking and drinking since it promotes unhealthy colon. Maintain a stress-free life because stress adds severity and frequency of bowel movements. People should only resort to medications if diet or lifestyle changes are not working.


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