IBS, the good foods

Having to deal with an especially bad episode of Irritable Bowel Syndrome on Friday evening, highlighted a flaw in my less than perfect diet.

IBS is at best uncomfortable and at worse extremely painful, but can be managed if you understand and know the signs well enough. Some of the foods may be helpful to those of us who live and deal with the condition.

Carbohydrates

Come in the form of whole grains and include oats, rice, barley, millet, buckwheat and quinoa and are all considered safe foods. Vegetables are fine, but must be introduced into the diet very slowly. Stews, soups and stewed fruits consumed in small amounts are all good choices.

Fats

Include pumpkin, sunflower seeds and sesame, oily fish including mackerel, salmon, pilchards and tuna supply essential fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties and cold pressed oils. It is generally accepted that red meats are to be avoided, as they are a major IBS trigger.

Protein

Such as organic chicken, fish and turkey are all considered good forms of protein that contribute to wellness for those who have IBS. Include live yoghurt in the diet, but make sure if you are okay with live yoghurt that it comes with no added sugar, as sugar can be a trigger for IBS sufferers. Live yoghurt helps encourage a healthy gut flora, which helps with IBS.

Fibre

Helps encourage normal bowel movement, particularly if constipation appears to be part of the problem, which for many can be very debilitating. Fibre helps restore digestive balance. Foods include lentils, pulses and vegetables. For those who struggle with fibre, it may be a good idea to reduce the amount of fibre you consume.

Fluids

Need to be consumed in order for complete digestion to happen and should be taken in the form of water, herbal teas or diluted fruit juices which are all considered to be good choices, but must be sipped periodically so as to avoid stress on the kidneys. Between 6 to 8 glasses is a good daily amount.

It’s not always easy, given our busy lifestyles to follow a perfect diet that incorporates problems around IBS, but the consequences of not getting the balance right, far outweigh the time and effort it takes to at least try.


8 Aug, 2010

8 thoughts on “IBS, the good foods

  1. Very good post Ilana. Good suggestions. On the fluid I have learned that you shouldn’t consume fluids while you’re eating meals as it can dilute the food to much and you miss out on the nutrients. You should consume fluids pre-meal and post-meal. This post is good for all of us even if we don’t suffer with IBS.

  2. Lisa it’s normally either half an hour before a meal or an hour after meals. If one does drink straight after a meal, the fluid dilutes the stomach acid that helps with digestion. If you already have a low stomach acid it will reduce it even more. Hope this helps.

  3. Excellent suggestions for a healthy diet for anyone, in my book. You’re just a wealth of information and it’s greatly appreciated.

  4. I love how you compile information and make plans to deal with the issues you are facing. I think it makes so much more sense than feeling helpless and/or waiting for your MD to give you all the answers.

    1. Thanks Scott, you are absolutely right. Although with CP there are very little answers to find, especially as we age with the condition!

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