Irritable Bowel Syndrome: What Foods to Avoid

Imagine that you’re in a party and food and drinks are everywhere. You want to practice your God-given free will but the moment you put food in your mouth, you worry about a lot of things. Irritable bowel syndrome is a disease affecting a huge population. Some even live with it without even knowing that they have this syndrome.

A syndrome is a group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a medical condition that is characterized by a set of associated symptoms. These symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is just a big hassle and you will really hate it when the symptoms comes out.

The IBS Symptoms

"Can't you just flush the symptoms out?"

IBS is also called functional bowel syndrome. The symptoms occur when the food moves too quickly or too slowly in the intestines. The most common symptom of irritable bowel syndrome is abdominal pain or discomfort often described as cramping, diarrhea, gas, bloatedness, or constipation. An episode can be a mix of the many symptoms or can be alone but excruciating as well. In some people, it can be a diarrhea that alternates with constipation. Sometimes, diarrhea symptoms occur very early in the morning, especially when you wake up. Some people report symptoms that they still feel the need to defecate even right after they have moved their bowels. The abdominal pain and cramping may go away right after you defecate. Symptoms trigger especially when you are stressed, nervous or when you are afraid of something. It is often triggered at the weirdest times; sometimes even at very important occasions or when you attend social events. The symptoms may generate embarrassment or a big hassle to the schedule. Some women experience episodes of IBS during menstrual period, often mistaken as diarrhea during menstruation. Other people call them ‘butterflies in the stomach.’

Controlling the Symptoms with IBS Diet

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic or long term problem with the large intestine. Food is a foreign body to the gastrointestinal tract and since this chronic problem is affecting the GI tract, food can help a lot in controlling the symptoms. Aside from functional bowel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome is also known as spastic colon or irritable colon. So the key to control the symptoms is to know what foods cause the spasm and irritation. Keeping a diary of the foods that you ate which triggered the symptoms will help a lot in identifying what foods you should avoid. Many people have gain control of the information available from books and the Internet about irritable bowel syndrome. A lot of people have benefited in practicing self-awareness to be able to fight the vicious cycle of exhibiting the symptoms. A lot of online forums and websites provide a good amount of information that is readily available to the people.

IBS Foods to Avoid

Knowing simple facts about irritable bowel syndrome diet will help you in gaining your self-confidence in taking good care of yourself. Avoid sinning to your bowels. Do take care of them with IBS diet. Practice your free will in choosing the right foods for your intestines. Here is a list of foods that needs to be avoided in order to prevent the symptoms of recurring.

  • Caffeine – Coffee, tea or cola soda have caffeine derivatives that are stimulants and can only aggravate the problem. Even decaffeinated coffee can be powerful to trigger the symptoms. Even it is decaf, the coffee beans itself can trigger the unpleasant diarrhea like symptoms.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol is a strong gastrointestinal tract irritant as well. It is also carcinogenic. It can raise your risk for colon cancer as well.
  • Smoking – Some people make it a habit to smoke while defecating. This is because smoking helps stimulate peristalsis in the intestines. A cigarette stick can trigger IBS symptoms because it is a GI irritant.
  • Spicy foods – Some people love it spicy but chili foods can trigger violent reactions to your GI tract.
  • Fatty foods – High fat in food can cause violent, rapid colon spasms and may cause diarrhea-like symptoms. Try to avoid and say goodbye to pizza, french fries, corn dogs, sausages, hash browns, anything battered and deep fried, salad dressings, mayonnaise, oils, fats, spreads, margarine, coconut milk, nuts, peanut butter, and etc. Greasy foods will only trigger strong intestinal contractions and spasms.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables of course are good for their nutritional content but can be a big No with IBS if they can not be digested and can cause constipation problems. Some vegetables can also be gas forming and may produce other symptoms such as colic pain and cramping.
  • Milk products – Avoid foods with milk products at all costs, most especially if you’re lactose intolerant.
  • Carbonated Drinks – The symptoms of flatulence and feelings of bloatedness can be prevented by avoiding gas forming beverages.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate is high in fat and has milk in it.

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