Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the stomach and intestines, also called the gastrointestinal tract. The main symptoms of IBS are
- Stomach pain or cramps usually get worse after eating and better after doing a poo.
- Bloating – Tummy may feel uncomfortably full and swollen.
- Diarrhea – Watery stools
Anything that makes your IBS symptoms flare up is called the trigger. Modifying diet can help to avoid problems with constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and belly pain. Here are some common problems and ways to deal with them.
Triggers for IBS constipation
- Refined food products, and bread
- Processed foods
- Coffee and carbonated drinks
- High protein diets
- Dairy products
Recommended diet choices
Increase your fiber intake by consuming whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
Consuming a moderate amount of sugar-substitute products
Drinking sufficient water
Triggers for IBS diarrhea
- Excessive intake of insoluble fibers
- Food and drinks containing chocolate, caffeine, sorbitol, and fructose
- Carbonated drinks
- Large meals
- Fried food items
- Dairy products especially for lactose-intolerant people
- Gluten-rich food product
Recommended diet choices
- Consuming a moderate amount of soluble fibers like oats, barley, whole grain bread, and wheat grain pasta.
- Avoid consuming hot and cold food simultaneously.
- Control portion size.
- Drink water half an hour after the meal and not with the meal or soon after completing the meal.
- Refrain from eating broccoli, onion, and cabbage as they might cause gas.
Triggers for IBS stress and anxiety
- The feeling of losing control of things
- Personal problems
- Financial problems
- Work-related stress
- Choose a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating, and regular exercise
- Keep your mind relaxed by listening to music or carrying out your hobby.
- Communicate your problems to your family members
Menstrual triggers for IBS
Women having IBS experience extremely worse symptoms during their menstrual cycle. Here are some ways through which you can ease pain and discomfort. Drugs along with some bed rest can ease PMS.
Other triggers of IBS
- Binge eating
- Eating too quickly
- Chewing gum
- Unhealthy eating and not doing physical exercises
- Do mindful eating. Don’t watch TV or phones while you have your food. Cut all the distractions.
- Doing physical exercise for 30 minutes every day will prevent constipation and ease stress.
(Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other health professionals for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.)