Foods to Avoid to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS Distress After Eating Trigger Foods
Women love their chocolate fixes. While it sure tastes good going down, and can be a mood enhancer, for those who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), it’s one of many foods to avoid that can aggravate the disorder. More women than men get diagnosed with IBS.
In the United States, approximately 10 to 15 percent of the people suffer with IBS. It can manifest itself with various symptoms including constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping. It’s been shown that certain foods can set off one or more of those symptoms, depending on each individual’s sensitivity after eating them.
Some foods are known to be a cause of constipation, even in individuals who don’t have IBS. For those who have the disorder, it can be worse. Included in this group of trigger foods are:
- Dairy products
- Alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee
- Refined foods such as bread, cereals or cookies
On the other side of the coin are foods that can worsen diarrhea that’s associated with IBS. One of the biggest culprits is fatty food. That’s because the digestive tract is stimulated more by fatty foods than by other types of food. When anything is eaten, it goes into the stomach, which causes the gastrocolic reflex that signals the beginning of the digestive process. This, in turn, causes the colon to start contracting. People with IBS have colons that spasm irregularly. After eating fried food, especially, their guts contract so fast and hard that the matter rushes through the colon. This causes a lot of pain from both the cramping and the resulting diarrhea. Other triggers that can cause diarrhea are:
- Food or drinks with chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, or fructose
- Too much fiber, specifically from the skin of fruits and vegetables
- Large meals
- Foods with wheat if there’s a sensitivity to gluten
- Dairy products for those who are also lactose intolerant
While it may be difficult, it’s best to stay away from those refined or fatty foods that can cause the debilitating symptoms of IBS. Being free of the worry and pain that comes with IBS, and feeling good, makes it more than worth it.