Food Diary and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Keeping a Food Diary Can Help Maintain IBS

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you might find it hard to track food that makes your symptoms worse. It’s hard to avoid gas causing food if you’re not aware what components cause it. Becoming more aware of what constitutes this will also hep you avoid diarrhea causing food, because the two are connected.

Even if you are not lactose intolerant, dairy food triggers IBS symptoms. Common dairy foods like milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream should be avoided. Along with lactose, dairy foods contain fat, whey, casein and protein. It’s foods with these components that can cause digestion problems and worsen IBS symptoms. Even yogurt, which has lower lactose levels due to the fermentation process, contains whey and casein.

Dairy Replacements

Replace dairy in your diet with foods that have similar tastes and textures as the dairy foods you once loved to eat. There are plenty of creative replacements available to replace dairy products.

  • Almond milk has changed the way lactose intolerant people cope with missing out on the foods they love.
  • Soy milk is another option, but be wary of the kind you buy. Some people find that soy products can aggravate their IBS symptoms.
  • Buy dairy replacement foods that are organic or all-natural, because these will have little to no additives that can irritate your bowels.
  • Carageenan is a food additive that is commonly found in soy milk, ice cream and other processed foods. It has been shown to cause intestinal ulcer in lab animals and it will probably exacerbate your IBS symptoms.
Restaurants & Social Events

If you eat at restaurants regularly, be aware of dairy-based ingredients. Prepared foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and soups like cream of broccoli and cream of chicken soup are good examples. You might have to track food you eat for a while to judge which ones inflame your IBS symptoms and arrange your eating habits around what you discover.

Eating foods that are being served at social events might present a problem if you don’t handle these kinds of situations carefully. Get to know what kinds of foods will be served beforehand to save yourself any discomfort later. Let whoever is planning the event know of your diet issues; you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out how most people will go out of their way to accommodate your needs.

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