Foods to Eat to Manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Control Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms With These Foods

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract in which a number of different symptoms occur that can cause discomfort and can even limit everyday activities. Diarrhea, constipation, gas, cramping and mucus in stools. Although a great of attention is generally focused on foods to avoid if you have IBS, there are many recommended foods to eat to manage irritable bowel syndrome on a proactive basis:

The Low-FODMAP Diet

A study determined that certain types of food drew water into the digestive tracts of some people, increasing their likelihood of experiencing irritable bowel syndrome. These foods include honey, high fructose corn syrup, dairy products, onions, garlic, wheat, beans, lentils, soybeans, and a number of fruits, such as cherries, apples, peaches, plums and avocados. These foods were given the name FODMAP, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Although avoiding these foods will not help all patients with irritable bowel syndrome, the study found that three out of four people with IBS had reduced symptoms. Finding other types of foods to substitute for these items is important to maintaining good nutrition in IBS patients. These foods, called low-FOMAP items, can be helpful for individuals dealing with chronic IBS symptoms.

Low-FODMAP Foods

Concentrating on low-FODMAP foods can help individuals manage their irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, such as:

  • Dairy Substitutes – Because lactose intolerance can also produce many of the same symptoms as IBS, medical experts recommend using lactose-free milk, ice cream and yogurt. Milk made from nuts and other sources, such as rice, can also be substituted. Hard cheeses are also permitted.
  • Meats & Other Protein Sources – Chicken, turkey, lamb, beef and pork are all low-FODMAP foods. Eggs, fish and shellfish are also allowed.
  • Fruits – Some fruits are more likely to ferment in the GI tract, and some are not. Blueberries, cranberries, cantaloupe, oranges, pineapple, strawberries, tangerines and dried fruits are all low-FODMAP foods.
  • Grains – Wheat is generally not recommended when trying to resolve gastrointestinal problems from IBS. However, gluten-free and whole grains of oats, potato, quinoa, rice and corn are allowed. Flaxseed can be helpful in relieving constipation-dominant IBS symptoms.
  • Vegetables – A wide range of vegetables is considered low-FODMAP in character and are good foods to eat to manage irritable bowel syndrome, including bell peppers, green beans, cucumbers, lettuce, kale, squash, tomatoes, zucchini and turnips.

You can talk to your doctor about other foods to eat to manage irritable bowel syndrome. After your symptoms have decreased, you may be able to add other foods, one by one, to your diet.

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