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The top diet for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an intestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain and discomfort caused by the disruption of the intestine’s normal function. One of the contributory factors is certain food, and this is why a diet for IBS is so critical to achieve IBS symptom relief.

These are the tips I found helpful for getting rid of my IBS. I do believe that everyone has different dietary requirements, but these are the tips I personally found very helpful.

The diet tips that worked for me to help with IBS were:

1. Avoid foods that are high in fat: Foods that are high in fat, insoluble fiber, caffeine, carbonated drinks, alcohol and certain milk products could cause IBS. Overeating or irregular eating habits may also lead to IBS.

2. Overeating: Overeating or eating snacks between meals should be avoided. Smaller meals at regular intervals of time instead of large ones spaced out are recommended.

3. Avoid sugar: Avoid sugar as much as possible. This is the number one thing that had helped me to not have as many stomach problems. My family also has a lot less colds, sinus infections, bronchitis, etc. when we don't have much sugar in our diets. Evidently, pathogenic yeast and bacteria thrive on pure sugar.

4. Avoid corn, grains and rice: Corns, grains and rice may trigger IBS symptoms for some people. If you have noticed more symptoms after you have eaten these foods, it's best that you avoid these as well.

5. Avoid eating too much yeast: Yeast can cause your IBS to flair up. Some foods that contain yeast include: breads, rolls, donuts, and coffee cakes.

6. Cut back on dairy products: Cut back on dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, and cream.

7. Cut back on spicy foods: This is a big part of the IBS diet. Spicy foods can really trigger symptoms of IBS, and should be avoided. This includes foods like: hot sauce, jalapenos, spicy dips, cayenne pepper, and Cajun foods.

8. Avoid raw vegetables and fruit unless eaten with an acidic dressing: I noticed that IBS symptoms would get worse whenever I ate raw fruits and vegetables. At one time I had athlete's foot fungus on my feet, and whenever I ate raw produce I could literally feel my feet itch more. I think this is because uncooked produce naturally comes with a lot of bacteria and fungus. It's probably not a problem for most people, but if your body has an overload of unhealthy bacteria and yeast to begin with it can become problematic.

9. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sodas: Tips for the IBS proper diet recommend excluding caffeine, alcohol and sodas. These products can increase diarrhea, but they can also slow down the digestive system causing bloating and constipation.

10. Stress: Stress has been linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); reducing stress will help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms.

11. Solid chocolate: Solid chocolate should be avoided if you have lactose intolenrance.

12. Starchy foods: Starchy foods such as potatoes, pumpkin, pasta, rice and noodle may cause IBS for some people.

13. Adding fiber to a diet: Adding fiber to a diet helps regulate bowel movements, especially since soluble fiber helps soften the texture of your stool, making it easier for the undigested food in your stomach to pass through. However, introducing fiber into your diet should be done gradually in order to help your body adjust to the change.

14. Take probiotics when needed: Some cheese now and then seems to work out okay, and it seems better if the cheese is in something cooked like a casserole or taco. But low fat dairy products, especially cold dairy products like low fat milk really seem to cause digestive upsets for me. I grew up drinking low fat milk with Carnation instant breakfast mix every morning.

15. Drink plenty of water: Water is crucial in an Irritable Bowel Syndrome diet. Not only does it help you to keep from overeating, but also it helps with constipation and diarrhea.

16. Chamomile and Catnip tea: Chamomile and Catnip tea are wonderful for helping with spasms and pain associated with IBS. This is because they both produce calming effects on the intestinal tract. They are also really great when you add a tablespoon of honey.

17. Eat a lot of cooked soup: Soup has turned out to be a sort of a miracle food for me lately. It's easy to digest and filled with nutrients.

18. Habit to read food labels: Preservatives, MSG, artificial flavoring and sweeteners. Make a habit to read food labels.

19. Tofu: Tofu is a great source of protein which is very easy to digest and highly versatile in cooking.

20. Try just one new food at a time: Once your digestive system has stabilized - that is, once your symptoms have calmed down - you can start gradually adding back other foods. Try just one new food at a time, for a day or two. If your digestive system seems to accept it with no major reactions, you can keep the new food in your diet and try another one. This method can be painstaking and is necessarily based on trial and error at first. It requires a lot of patience and persistence but this will help you determine your personal IBS trigger food and save yourself a lot of unnessary pain and discomfort.
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First Helper xyla_phony

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replied February 4th, 2008
Experienced User
For how long have you been diagnosed with IBS?
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replied February 6th, 2008
Experienced User
did you get a discomfort in middle of your back?and did your stomach feel heavy?
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replied May 10th, 2008
When I read that all I can think is ...what CAN I eat then? I don't know if I have IBS but thought I could change my diet and see if symptoms improve. It would be helpful to find a sample menu of an IBS meal plan.
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replied March 23rd, 2009
Everyone has to find out what food irritates him/her.

It was found out that foods containing certain short-chain carbohydrates (fructose, lactose, sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol and other polyols, fructans (in wheat and onions), and galactans (in legumes) often causes diarrhea and bloating in sensitive people.
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replied April 24th, 2010
IBS Diet
Yes those foods are FODMAPs and you can follow a Fructose Malabsorption or Low FODMAP diet to help IBS. Honey is out. Hard cheese is ok, but not milk, if you are lactose intolerant, as the lactose is removed in processing. Lactose is a FODMAP too.
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replied May 20th, 2013
IBS sufferer
I think what causes my IBS is spicy foods! Bye bye jalapeos...
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replied September 22nd, 2016
EVERYTHING seems to bother me, but, oddly I felt almost normal after ingesting foods with cayenne pepper 2 days in a row. I did not have any yesterday and the problem is back. Is this even possible or more likely a coincidence?
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