Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a disorder of the bowel system which is accompanied by pain in the stomach, abdominal cramps, chronic constipation, difficulty in passing stool, gas and bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome can be treated with a proper diet.
A high fibre diet is necessary as it helps in normal bowel movements. Soluble fibre helps to get rid of constipation. Foods rich in soluble fibre include oats, barley, flaxseed, oranges, carrots, apples, nuts, dried beans, psyllium, beet, sweet potatoes, peas, barley, plums, apples, soybeans, peaches, cranberries, Brussels sprouts and lentils. Insoluble fibre can also be taken as it helps in regular bowel movement and thus helps to get relief from irritable bowel syndrome.
Insoluble fibre sources include rice bran, wholegrain foods, celery, beans and legumes. However one should take insoluble fibre in moderation. Other high fibre foods include apricots, broccoli, spinach, kidney beans, corn, brown rice, chick peas, lima beans, green leafy vegetables, almonds, avocado, mangoes and dates.
Some food items aggravate IBS and therefore they should be avoided. These include carbonated drinks like soda, cold drinks, processed foods, oily and spicy food items, cabbage, onions, garlic, cauliflower, pepper and coffee. One should also discard dairy products like milk, ice cream, cheese, cream, yogurt, etc. as they help to worsen the condition.
Other food items that have to be avoided include red meat, chocolates, egg yolk and foods rich in fat like coconut milk, mayonnaise, olives, burgers, pastries, margarine and other deep fried foods.
An IBS patient should also refrain from eating citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, etc. as they contain acids which help to aggravate the syndrome. A person suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome should also stay away from alcohol. Artificially sweetened foods and processed food products should also be discarded.
Keeping the stomach empty for long hours is detrimental for IBS patients. This helps in gas formation. One should eat several small meals in a day.
Keeping the body hydrated is also very important. When the body becomes dry it leads to hardening of the stool. As a result it becomes difficult to have easy bowel movements which lead to IBS. Therefore drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water daily is mandatory.