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Colon or irritable bowel syndrome diet

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

The syndrome irritable bowel or irritable bowel is a condition that causes pain abdominal , cramps , changes in bowel habits , gas , among other symptoms. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and therefore diet can play an important role.

Next, we are going to explain what this problem consists of and how your diet can help to remit the symptoms of this uncomfortable disease that affects a large part of the population. The syndrome Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) , is also known as mucous colitis or spastic colon .

It is a disease of intestinal origin that causes changes in traffic, alternating periods of diarrhea with others of constipation, as well as abdominal pain. This disease has different causes depending on where it occurs, since in industrialized countries stress is assumed as the main motivating cause of this disease, which is why it has a psychosomatic origin. As we already know, our body and mind are perfectly connected and related, so the state of mind can alter the functioning of the digestive system, as well as the central nervous system. Therefore, we are going to explain how and in what way you can act to improve the symptoms of this disease.

How does irritable bowel affect and what are its symptoms?

Irritable bowel, although it can sometimes appear momentarily, is a chronic disease. It produces abdominal pain and changes in intestinal transit such as diarrhea , or on the contrary constipation , in addition to abdominal distention, cramps, bloating, gas, etc.

Its diagnosis is sometimes not easy, but they are usually based on the fact that you must have abdominal pain at least 3 times a month during the last three months and that it improves after evacuation, changes in the frequency and shape of the stool. But it is basically based on the clinical symptoms of the patient.

Irritable bowel diet

It should be noted that there is not a diet applicable to all people who suffer from this disorder, but it is advisable to try certain changes in the diet that could benefit us.

The diet must be personalized in each case, but we can take into account a series of generic guidelines that usually improve the symptoms of patients

To try to improve this condition, we recommend modifying certain habits in our diet:

  • Eat a low-fat, high-protein diet.
  • Increase the consumption of foods rich in fiber (whole wheat bread, fruits with skin, vegetables).
  • Avoid carbonated drinks and flatulent foods like; cabbage, cauliflower, chickpeas, beans …, as well as chewing gum.
  • Avoid the use of laxatives and dietary sweeteners, especially sorbitol.
  • Increase your water intake to 2 liters per day.
  • Avoid situations that cause stress or nervousness. To combat stress, regular exercise such as walking or swimming is recommended …

In addition to all these recommendations, it is also very useful, at least for a few weeks, to monitor what we eat and the amount and later write it down, to try to find out if there is any suspicious food that may influence or trigger these symptoms.

What foods to avoid to improve?

The foods that tend to harm more frequently are: soft drinks, alcohol, spices, dairy products, pastries, cocoa, coffee, tea.

We recommend that citrus fruits (especially orange) as well as spinach be restricted as they tend to produce a laxative effect and greater bile secretion. Excess bile secretion is one of the factors that worsen the symptoms of this disease because it irritates the intestine, so we must bear in mind that stress also produces an increase in bile secretions and that we must control it as much as possible . In this link we leave you more information on how to control stress levels and what we can do to improve them.

We must also control the consumption of fructose and sugars, therefore we recommend that you consume fruit with a low glycemic index and rich in pectins. You can check the glycemic index of fruits at the following link: Table of foods and their GI . Remember that you should not consume juices or nectars.

Patients who suffer from this disease usually have intolerances caused by it, therefore the consumption of certain foods that most frequently produce intolerance is usually controlled, such as:

  • Citrus fruits, eggs, gluten, caffeine, tea, chocolate, and alcohol, among others.

Should we eliminate gluten from the diet?

Although there is no scientific consensus, gluten is eliminated in order to see if there are benefits or not in its withdrawal, first of all tests for celiac disease should be done to rule out that it is this because the symptoms are similar.

If the test is not positive, there is no justification for removing gluten, but it should be noted that since wheat, barley and rye are rich in Fodmaps, they may be potentiating irritable bowel symptoms; For this reason, a test to remove gluten is recommended to see if it improves or not the patient’s symptoms.

You can find more information about the gluten-free diet here.

Recommended diet for irritable bowel

  • Vegetable broths or soup, without fat.
  • Pasta or baked potatoes or rice.
  • Lean meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, all baked or grilled.
  • Fish of all kinds (baked or grilled).
  • Lettuce, tomato salads, etc.
  • Pan integral.

The FODMAP diet and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

The Fodmap diet , which we talk about in this post about gas where you can find more information, is the new alternative that has shown improvement in patients with irritable bowel. This diet is a diet developed by a group of researchers from an Australian university, whose initials in Spanish correspond to fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides and monosaccharides and polyols (short chain carbohydrates). This diet raises a low consumption in fructose, lactose, galactans, polyols and fructans present mainly in the following foods:

  • Onion, garlic, asparagus, apple, pear, peas, soybeans, lentils, wheat, rye, barley, nuts, dairy (derivatives), and sweeteners such as mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, etc.

It has been shown that there is an improvement in the symptoms of irritable bowel with the application of this diet since the oligosaccharides, disaccharides and monosaccharides are not properly asbsorbed in the intestine and serve as food for the bacteria that lodge in the large intestine producing a ferment that causes irritable bowel symptoms.

You can find a list of high and low FODMAP foods by clicking on the link.

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