Understandably Irritable: Combating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

In order to be able to take the first step toward combating IBS, you must start off by asking…

What is IBS?

IBS is a gastrointestinal issue which is commonly characterized by mild to severe abdominal pain or discomfort, which becomes ultimately synonymous with recurrent diarrhea (IBS-D) and/or constipation (IBS-C).

Approximately 25-45 million people in the United States suffer from mild to severe IBS symptoms, affecting the female population more commonly (2/3 of those suffering are female).

Onsets of IBS occur more commonly in people under the age of 50.

The exact cause of IBS is still unknown. Though this is the case, much information has been obtained on how to help manage your IBS through proper nutrition.

What are the indicators and symptoms?

Recurrent diarrhea (IBS-D); may include increased urgency and loose stools

Recurrent constipation (IBS-C); may include increased abdominal pains, decreased frequency, followed by straining due to hard stools

Nausea

Stools with a great deal of mucous present

Lack of appetite

What can I do?

Though, presently, there is no cure for IBS, there are ways to help combat it through appropriate lifestyle choices.

The first thing you will need to do is identify which you relate to presently, IBS-C or IBS-D.

If you are suffering from IBS-C, you will want to avoid or consume in moderation:

  • Breads and cereals made with refined (not whole) grains
  • Processed foods
  • Coffee, carbonated drinks, and alcohol
  • Diets high in protein
  • Dairy products

If you are suffering from IBS-D, you will want to avoid:

  • Too much insoluble fiber
  • Food and drinks with chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, fructose, or sorbitol
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Large meals
  • Fried and fatty foods
  • Dairy products
  • If gluten intolerant, wheat products

Low-FODMAP Diet

To better help make your decisions, there is what is known as the Low-FODMAP Diet. This is a diet crafted for those suffering from gastrointestinal inflammatory responses to many and more of the foods listed above. Though the diet can and will be beneficial to those suffering from IBS, the Low-FODMAP Diet is more or less guidelines for things to consider and implement/exclude in your daily nutrition. Common foods on the Low-FODMAP Diet include, but are not solely limited to:

 

(Veggies)                                                    

Bamboo shoots
Bean sprouts
Broccoli
Cabbage, common and red
Carrots
Celery (less than 5cm stalk)
Chick peas (1/4 cup max)
Corn (1/2 cob max)
Courgette
Cucumber
Eggplant
Green beans
Green pepper
Kale
Lettuce e.g. Butter, iceberg, rocket
Parsnip
Potato
Pumpkin
Red peppers
Scallions / spring onions (green part)
Squash
Sweet potato
Tomatoes
Turnip

(Fruits)

Bananas, unripe
Blueberries
Cantaloupe
Cranberry
Clementine
Grapes
Melons e.g. Honeydew, Galia
Kiwifruit
Lemon
Orange
Pineapple
Raspberry
Rhubarb
Strawberry

(Breads, Grains, Pastas)

Oats
Quinoa
Gluten free foods e.g. breads, pasta
Savory biscuits
Buckwheat
Chips / crisps (plain)
Cornflour
Oatmeal (1/2 cup max)
Popcorn
Pretzels
Rice e.g. Basmata, brown, white
Tortilla chips

(Nuts)

Almonds (max of 15)
Chestnuts
Hazelnuts
Macademia nuts
Peanuts
Pecans (max of 15)
Poppy seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
Walnuts

(Dairy)

Almond milk
Coconut milk
Hemp milk
Lactose free milk
Oat milk
Rice milk
Soya milk made with soy protein
Cow milk
Goat milk
Sheep’s milk
Soy milk made with soy beans
Butter

Quick Video with some Helpful IBS Info:

https://youtu.be/Z_1Hzl9o5ic

Video Published by: Central Clinical School, Monash University (December 14, 2015)