Okay so you know you have IBS. Maybe you even have an idea of how and when it all started.
You know you have to look at your diet, maybe change your lifestyle and would love to come off any medications you are taking for IBS.
IBS is almost never due to just one factor. but
The food you eat can be largely responsible for this issue.
For me, it was dairy.
I had no idea that this was the cause until I stopped consuming it.
For many a food journal is the starting point.
Recording what you eat and how you feel everyday for a few weeks can be an eye opening experience.
Always remember some of your responses to food may take a day or two to appear.
Once you have created a journal and can clearly see what the connections are, you should begin an elimination diet.
Start with one thing and see how you react after not eating this item for a week.
If you are dramatically better then you may have hit on your number one issue.
If not take out suspect number two.
Continue doing this until you find the foods that are irritating your digestive tract.
Studies have found that when an elimination diet has been followed for a year it gets rid of bloating and distention 88% of the time,
pain 90% of the time, diarrhea reduced by 85 %, and constipation 54%.
75% of the people that had other symptoms like hay fever, asthma, eczema and hives saw those issues improve also.
43% of those with IBS eliminated the symptoms by removing dairy from their diet and another 41% saw incredible improvements.
Many of those with IBS have sugar processing issues.
Look for mannitol, sucrose, fructose in the foods that you eat.
A high percentage of IBS suffers cannot tolerate these sugars; citrus fruit being the biggest offender.
Avoid all sugar and fruit for 10 days and see how you feel.
When looking at processed food remember that sugar can also go by these names: maltose, corn syrup, fructose, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses and lactose.
Sugar also can be an issue for another reason.
For many, IBS is a result of an over abundance of bad bacteria in the gut.
This bacterium grows yeast which will create a hunger for sugar and processed foods which in turn will really aggravate the intestinal tract.
By cutting off the supply of sugar, you stop the growth and the damage from taking place.
To counter this overgrowth you should take probiotics.
It replenishes the good bacteria that will then grow and equalize the playing field.
Eat a diet that is low fat and high fiber.
For those of you with IBS and diarrhea – choose foods that are high in soluble fiber.
It absorbs the water in your intestines, bulks your stool and slows transit time.
It also calms the intestinal tract thus eliminating cramps and spasms.
If you have IBS with constipation then the added insoluble fiber acts as a broom and sweeps out the intestines and helps you to become regular.
When you are in the throes of a flare up, eat small meals and chew your food well.
The digestive tract can become irritated by a large quantity of food hitting all at once.
Those with IBS have a sensitive digestion and need to be mindful of the stress that this puts on their body.
Avoid alcohol it is an irritant, causes inflammation and puts strain on your liver.
Coffee, beans and cruciferous vegetables should be avoided as they are hard to digest.
These foods put too much of a strain on the body.
In our next issue we will discuss herbs as well as lifestyle changes that can be made that will also greatly improve your IBS symptoms.
If you wish to learn more and get on the path to healing, check out our IBS workshop starting in February.
Have a great week and remember.......
You Deserve to be Healthy!