Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet

Irritable bowel syndrome is the disorder of the intestines that results in discomfort and pain. The pain occurs alone or with diarrhoea or constipation with other symptoms like mucus in stools and bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome diet is something that eliminates or limits the intake of those foods that triggers the symptoms.
You can also change your diet depending on the symptom that you suffer from very frequently. Psychological stress is another factor that causes this syndrome. Either you may suffer from constipation or diarrhoea when you have an irritable bowel syndrome. So, the main emphasis is to treat these symptoms by following the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet. You can also keep a check on foods that trigger the symptoms and prevent stress.

Diet to Relieve Constipation

Follow these steps to relieve constipation:

  • Add fiber to your diet
  • Fiber adds bulk to the large intestines by absorbing water. This results in frequent and easier bowel movements.
  • Eat a high fiber diet like fresh fruits and vegetables like raspberries, apples, pears, brussels, peas and wheat grain breads and cereals.
  • Slowly increase the fiber intake in your food to avoid excessive gas.
  • Drink plenty of water because fiber absorbs water and keeps the stool soft.
  • Regular exercise like walking, swimming, or cycling can help in the maintenance of bowel regularity.
  • Check with your doctor before making changes in your diet and you can add fiber slowly in your diet for the body to get adjusted to the change.

Diet to Reduce Diarrhea

You can stop diarrhea, if you reduce or eliminate certain foods like:

  • Foods that are high in fats like sausage, bacon, oils, butter and deeply fried foods.
  • Dairy products that has lactose like milk, cheese, ice cream, milk sugar and sour cream.
  • Nicotine from chewing or smoking tobacco.
  • Alcohol.
  • Caffeine that is found in tea, coffee, chocolate and cola drinks.
  • Gas producing foods like broccoli, cabbage, beans and apples.
  • Drinks ansd foods that are high in sugar like soda, candy, fruit juices and other packaged sweets.
  • Xylitol and sorbitol that are some of the artificial sweeteners found in sugarless chewing gums and candies.
  • Keep a food dairy or journal to keep a track of what you eat and to find if any of these foods trigger irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
  • Stress is another factor that could lead to this syndrome.
  • Maintain a pleasant environment during the meal times, which can reduce the stress.
  • Take plenty of time to chew food rather than eating in a hurry.

Sample Meal Plan for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet

  • The above meal plan gives you 25-30 grams of fibre and 30 – 35 grams of fat depending on the amount of margarine, fat and oil content added.
  • Breakfast:

    A bowl of cereal that has high fibre like muesli, porridge or weetbix with tinned fruit and low fat milk or soy milk that is fortified with calcium or grain toast or wholemeal with minimal honey, margarine.

  • Lunch:

    You can eat sandwiches made of wholemeal bread with lean beef, cheese that is low in fat, salad and tinned fish. Fresh or tinned fruits with yoghurt that has less fat. You can also have water or diluted juice.

  • Main Meal:

    For main meal you can eat grilled and lean chicken with pepper and lemon juice. This can be served with boiled potatoes, salad and wholemeal bread.

  • Snacks throughout the day:

    Low fat yoghurt, fresh fruit, cheesy crackers or wholemeal crumpets with honey. Water or diluted juice can be taken.

Apart from the above diet plan, you could also consult a registered dietitian before you eliminate the above listed foods. A dietitian can help you in planning a diet, which helps in minimizing symptoms while you maintain proper nutrition.

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