Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder with no known cause and several unpleasant symptoms. Many individuals who live with IBS experience abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating. Other symptoms include gassiness and abnormal bowel movements, such as periods of diarrhea and constipation. IBS tends to come in and go in waves. Although there is no known cure for the condition, there are several dietary and lifestyle changes that an individual can adopt to better manage the symptoms.
IBS Foods to Avoid
Many doctors recommend that their patients keep a food diary or food log, in order to determine which foods trigger their symptoms of IBS. This condition can impact everyone uniquely, so it is important for a person afflicted with IBS to listen to the cues of their own body to decrease the frequency and severity of symptoms.
Health professionals recommend limiting foods containing ingredients that tend to stimulate the intestines and cause diarrhea. These foods include but are not limited to dairy products, fatty foods, and foods high in sugar. Although it is common knowledge that vegetables are an important food group, cruciferous vegetables – or vegetables relating to the cabbage family – can actually worsen bloating and gassiness. Some cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, radishes, brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli. Legumes tend to have a similar effect on the gastrointestinal tract, including black peans, chickpeas, edamame, and red kidney beans.
Dietary restrictions can be daunting, but luckily, there are plenty of delicious food options that don’t exacerbate IBS. Many people living with IBS find relief with a gluten-free diet, and grocery stores and restaurants alike are providing more gluten-free options than ever before. IBS-friendly fruits include bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, and cranberries, to name a few. Additionally, some IBS-friendly vegetable options include carrots, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes. Low fat meals such as pasta, rice, and whole-grain breads may help as well.
When it comes to managing symptoms of IBS, other non-dietary lifestyle choices can make a noticeable difference. Maintaining proper physical fitness is crucial to improving bowel function, which is why people living with IBS should make it a habit to incorporate regular exercise into their routine. Common vices such as caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol can worsen IBS symptoms, so they should be avoided as much as possible. Stress can take a toll on one’s mental and physical health, so it’s no surprise that it can also negatively impact IBS. To mitigate stress, adopt relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.
Join a Clinical Research Trial with Preferred Research Partners
Medical professionals are continuing to research the cause or IBS and develop treatment options to help those living with this condition. If you or a loved one is living with IBS-D (irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea), consider a clinical trial with Preferred Research Partners in Little Rock, Arkansas. You may be eligible to receive care at no cost to you and contribute to the advancement of medical research!