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Foods to Avoid with an Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Foods to Avoid with an Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. Foods that should be avoided with an IBS are dairy products, fatty foods, caffeine, soda, alcohol, red meat, artificial sweetener, and different fruits and vegetables.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) encompasses a group of gastrointestinal disorders, such as bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, and irregular bowel movement. Unlike other severe intestinal disorders, this syndrome does not cause any long-term health problems and/or damage the gastrointestinal tract. Many people suffer from this uncomfortable condition at some point in their life. As per statistics, one out of every five American adults suffer from IBS.
There are no specific causes of IBS. According to medical studies, it was revealed that a majority of the patients with this bowel disorder have a sensitive or an overactive intestinal tract. The diagnosis of IBS is done based on the physical examination and medical history of the patient. In order to rule out other medical conditions, the physician may consider performing blood tests and stool test. The symptoms of IBS can be controlled effectively by managing stress, diet, and lifestyle changes.
Food Products to Avoid if you Have IBS
The best long-term treatment option for IBS is to follow a healthy diet and avoid foods that trigger the symptoms of IBS. Since people respond differently to different diets, there are no specific foods prescribed for this syndrome. On the contrary, there are certain food items that exacerbate and/or worsen the symptoms. Mentioned below are a few food items that are not recommended for people suffering from IBS.
Dairy Products
IBS is most common among people with lactose intolerance. In such a condition, one should avoid milk and other dairy products. Such food items can be replaced with yogurt or other probiotic drinks.
Fatty Foods
Fatty foods are strictly not recommended for IBS. Fats are difficult to digest, and thus, cause intestinal spasms and aggravate the discomfort symptoms. Considering this, deep-fried food should be strictly avoided.
Poultry and Red Meat
In a majority of people with IBS, poultry and red meat are the main triggering foods. Hence, one should limit the intake of these foods to prevent the onset of symptoms. Instead, the patient can include skinless white meat and seafood in the diet.
Vegetables
If bloating is the main problem, then one should avoid vegetables that trigger gas formation, such as cabbage, broccoli, onion, garlic, and beans. Limiting the intake of these vegetables helps in managing the symptoms.
Fruits
For people with fructose intolerance, the symptoms of IBS can be reduced to some extent by avoiding fruits, like apple and grapes. Instead, opt for fruits like bananas and raisins.
Caffeine
Caffeinated foods like coffee and other soda drinks should be avoided, as caffeine worsens the condition. In addition, one should limit the intake of soda or carbonated drinks to prevent bloating.
Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweetener, particularly sorbitol, is commonly used in sugar-free candies and chewing gums. It causes diarrhea and other bowel problems. Hence, an individual with IBS should avoid consuming artificial sweeteners.
Alcohol
Alcohol is a gastric stimulant that may cause strong reactions in the gastrointestinal tract. Excessive consumption of alcohol worsens the symptoms of IBS.
To conclude, remember that the diet should include adequate amounts of fiber-rich food. Both types of fiber, either soluble or insoluble, help in improving bowel movement by maintaining the intestinal health. While including fiber-rich food, ensure that the amount is increased gradually, otherwise fiber taken in large amounts at a time can lead to other bowel problems.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.