Spastic colon or an irritable bowel syndrome is a bowel disorder that results in diarrhea, constipation, bloating, lower abdominal pain, and general discomfort. This is accompanied by painful spasms while defecating, and an increasing urge to defecate. From reducing stress to having certain types of medication, there are many ways of relieving irritable bowel syndrome. However, it is the alteration in diet, which is believed to be the most dependable and healthy way of controlling this disorder.
Foods to Eat
Increase Fiber Intake
The diet should ideally contain an increased amount of fiber. A high fiber diet improves the intestine function and helps ease the painful bowel movements associated with irritable bowel syndrome. There are two forms of fiber, which includes soluble and insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber is the one which dissolves in water to form gel like substances; insoluble fiber controls constipation by adding bulk to the stool. Soluble fiber sources include citrus fruits, beans, and apples, while insoluble fiber is present in wheat bran, whole grain breads, and vegetables. (A word of caution though, for people suffering from diarrhea, the excess fiber may only worsen the symptoms of diarrhea). Also, to avoid looking bloated and constipated, supplement your daily fiber intake with adequate amounts of water.
Foods rich in this vitamin, such as carrots, beans, and peas, reduce the severity of the spastic colon symptoms and aid in digestion.
Whole wheat breads, cereals, and other foods enriched with folic acid help in maintaining a healthy colon.
Leafy vegetables which are a rich source of magnesium, are important for boosting the health of the colon and aiding the digestive mechanism.
Drink Plenty of Water
A daily intake of at least five glasses of water a day provides bulk to the intestines and helps in the swelling of the soluble fibers, thus, regularizing the effective functioning of the digestive system.
Foods to Avoid
There are certain foods which can significantly aggravate the condition. These include foods rich in fats and spicy food products. Other foods to avoid with an irritable bowel syndrome include:
- Dairy products (excluding probiotic yogurt)
- Intestinal irritants such as caffeine, spicy food, and carbonated soft drinks
- Vegetables and fruits containing skin and pips. These include tomatoes, figs, raisins, brinjals, nuts, and corn
- Processed/Canned food
- Wheat products, especially for those suffering from wheat sensitivity
- Gas forming foods such as onions, garlic, lentils, and cabbage
A natural sugar extracted from fruits, fructose is often used as cane sugar replacement. People suffering from spastic colon and fructose intolerance should avoid eating fructose rich fruits and juices.
A high fat or spicy meal has been known to aggravate the symptoms. Avoid deep-fried junk food, creamy sauces, and fatty meat, if you are suffering from a spastic colon.
In addition to rigorously sticking to the diet, people suffering from this problem are also advised to consume small, frequent meals. Regular exercises and yoga can help you de-stress and relieve the painful symptoms, as can certain antispasmodics, antidiarrheals, and laxatives. Apart from medication and diet, there is no other spastic colon treatment available, and is thus, something that one has to bear and try to overcome with the help of diet, exercise, and medications.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.