Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an uncomfortable digestive condition that affects about 15 percent of the population. It can cause abdominal pain, bowel problems, diarrhea and chronic constipation. Although there is no simple solution for treating IBS, the following diets have been proven to help people with the digestive disorder:
For people that struggle with chronic constipation caused by IBS, a high-fiber diet might be a good choice. Fiber helps bulk up stools to aid in normal bowel movements. The average adult should eat about 20-35 grams a day. If you’re trying a high-fiber diet, it’s important to aim for 30-35 grams. Fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help you reach your fiber goal and reduce constipation. Keep in mind that it’s important to increase fiber intake slowly to avoid worsening constipation and discomfort.
2. Low-Fiber Diet
Patients with diarrhea and gas caused by IBS are usually told to try a low-fiber diet. Decreasing the amount of insoluble fiber and increasing intake of soluble fiber will be helpful in adding extra bulk to stools. The best sources of soluble fiber include apples, berries, carrots and oatmeal.
3. Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten-free diets are required for people who suffer from Celiac Disease and they can also be beneficial for people with severe IBS symptoms. Eliminate gluten from your diet to see if your symptoms improve. If you see no improvement, you are most likely not sensitive to gluten.
4. Elimination Diet
Eliminating common culprits that increase IBS symptoms, such as coffee, chocolate, insoluble fiber and nuts for 12 weeks at a time can help detect what is causing your IBS. If there are any other foods that you are suspect to, try eliminating those one at a time to see if it improves symptoms.
5. Low-FODMAP Diet
The Low-FODMAP Diet refers to Fermentable Oligo, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols. Researchers have found that these short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols are poorly absorbed by the small intestine, therefore causing digestive issues. In order to properly follow the Low-FODMAP diet, do proper research into what foods are eliminated on the diet and work with a nutritionist to come up with a plan that works for you.