Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon) and causes generally happy people to question the reasons for their existence on earth.
IBS commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation and ends up as a social life killer. IBS is a chronic condition that you will need to manage for the long term.
Thankfully, Only a small number of people with irritable bowel syndrome have severe signs and symptoms. The lucky(sensible) ones can control their symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle and stress. The rest need medication and counseling (and the merciful lord’s blessings!).
IBS is classified as –
IBS D – where diarrhea is the predominant symptom
IBS C – with constipation
IBS A – alternating diarrhea and constipation
While there’s still a lot that’s not known about this gastrointestinal disorder, what we do know is that the accompanying gas, cramps, constipation and diarrhea can often be worsened ‘ or relieved ‘ depending on how and what you eat.
Well, we don’t claim to be playing god or his agents, we have some suggestion to control IBS by tailoring your eating habits.
Try these tips for feeling more in control :
Eat as per a regular schedule
Breakfast inside your tummy within the first hour of your day, and make sure you’re having a meal or snack every three or four hours after that. Don’t skip meals!
Long gaps of hunger makes it easy for the digestive system to fill up with extra air, and get rewarded with some more cramping and bloating.’
Eat a well-balanced diet
Of course, this is sage advice for us since the third grade, but the simple truth is that good nutrition is an important factor in allowing your digestive system to function
Grabbing potato chips on the go may sound good when the bosses are watching, rather than sitting down for a healthy sandwich. However be warned that it is extra stress for your system and some extra pilgrimages to the pot!
Eat modest portions
Ha, overindulge with a mammoth-sized meal (jumbo burgers!), digestive distress is part of the package…more cramping and diarrhea. Smaller portions, more frequently is the secret behind the sauce!
Don’t wolf down the chow!
Grand mamma always said ‘If you eat more slowly, you’re going to chew your food well, which will digest more easily and you’re not going to gulp in some air.
Moreover, it’s important to remember that stress is a common IBS symptom trigger. So it will help if you take time to relax while you eat and not rush to feed your face between back-to-back meetings.
Include soluble fibre in your diet
Try soothing your system with fibre your body can digest, like fruits , vegetables , peas , nuts & seeds. Although research is mixed, some studies do suggest that soluble fibre may ease IBS symptoms. Moreover vegetables & fruits are alkaline in nature and so help the gut environment benefit.
Soluble fiber in isolation is useless without fluids or liquids. So, the next most important food group is liquids to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Lime water, juices, coconut water, soups, buttermilk (plenty of it) , Electrolyte replenishment drinks alleviate some of the misery. A good thumb rule is 30 cc of liquids per kg of your body weight.
Sugar as an osmotically active compound attracts water, so if the glucose load is increased by the presence of sweets, bakery items, chocolates, colas, alcohol etc. then this can lead to osmotic diarrhea and if ignored, leads to other serious complications.
The crux of IBS management is to kill stress. The oxidative stress generated in the body system can be handled well with foods that absorb active radicals. Such foods can be broadly termed as antioxidants. This group includes all red and yellow fruits and vegetables like oranges, sweet lime, strawberries, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin etc. These are major sources of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Fish oil can also be a good source of antioxidant in the form of omega 3 fatty acids. Green tea that is enriched with natural antioxidants like catechins can be a good bet too.
In view of the malabsorption of nutrients, IBS patients are suckers for vitamin deficiencies.
It is recommended to take appropriate multivitamin dosage. This will help to compensate for nutritional losses and related deficiency complications.
Other specific restrictions on food depend on individualized food intolerance, allergies etc.
Boil 1 tbsp of Flaxseeds in one cup of water and drink it down once a day .
A small bowl of yoghurt twice a day works too
Aloe Vera gel twice a day also helps the cause