Simple Changes in Our Diet and Lifestyle Can Significantly Diminish Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Simple Changes in Our Diet and Lifestyle Can Significantly Diminish Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome


The health condition of the people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not seriously affected by their disease, but they can often feel boring or irritated by its long-term symptoms. Even though the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disease, it rarely causes any severe consequences. IBS can be treated with medication, but many people have experienced significant improvement in changing their diet and a lifestyle. The common symptoms include cramps, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, and mucus in the stool. Among people with IBS, we can distinguish those with diarrhea, people with constipation, and those with the both symptoms, giving way to each other. People, who have often experienced a diarrhea as one of the symptoms, can make a huge change by simply modifying their diet. For other sufferers of IBS, symptoms can be neutralized or diminished with changes in their lifestyles and maybe include some medication. But, what are these simple changes in our diet or lifestyle that we can apply? The article “Lifestyle and Home Remedies” offers some suggestions on what changes in our diet and lifestyle we can apply and diminish the symptoms of IBS.

Simple Changes in Our Diet and Lifestyle Can Significantly Diminish Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

• Experiment with fiber. When you have irritable bowel syndrome, fiber can be a mixed blessing. Although it helps reduce constipation, it can also make gas and cramping worse. The best approach is to slowly increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of weeks. Examples of foods that contain fiber are whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. If your signs and symptoms remain the same or worse, tell your doctor. You may also want to talk to a dietitian.

• Avoid problem foods. If certain foods make your signs and symptoms worse, don’t eat them. These may include alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and sodas, medications that contain caffeine, dairy products, and sugar-free sweeteners such as sorbitol or mannitol.
If gas is a problem for you, foods that might make symptoms worse include beans, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Fatty foods also may be a problem for some people. Chewing gum or drinking through a straw can lead to swallowing air, causing more gas.

• Eat at regular times. Don’t skip meals, and try to eat about the same time each day to help regulate bowel function. If you have diarrhea, you may find that eating small, frequent meals makes you feel better. But if you’re constipated, eating larger amounts of high-fiber foods may help move food through your intestines.

• Take care with dairy products. If you’re lactose intolerant, try substituting yogurt for milk. Or use an enzyme product to help break down lactose. Consuming small amounts of milk products or combining them with other foods also may help. In some cases, though, you may need to stop eating dairy foods completely. If so, be sure to get enough protein, calcium and B vitamins from other sources.

• Drink plenty of liquids. Try to drink plenty of fluids every day. Water is best. Alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine stimulate your intestines and can make diarrhea worse, and carbonated drinks can produce gas.

• Exercise regularly. Exercise helps relieve depression and stress, stimulates normal contractions of your intestines, and can help you feel better about yourself. If you’ve been inactive, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you exercise. If you have other medical problems, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Changes in our diet can be very difficult to define because every person with IBS will react differently to certain food. We could only take care of certain types of food we have to avoid; but, when it comes to determining which food to include in our diet and which not, the things become more complex. A good suggestion can be to write a diary about our dietary habits, which should trace our food choices, regularity of meals, their quantities, and our bodily reactions. Nutritionists advise us to follow our diet habits regularly and if we want to find out which kind of food suits us, and which not, it is wise to remove this single sort of food for twelve weeks and follow our reactions. We can do similarly with the changes in our lifestyle, too. But the most important thing is to bear in mind that we can always switch statistics and increase a number of people who have neutralized IBS symptoms without medication.

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