Is Soluble Fiber Good For IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common digestive disorder. If you have experienced symptoms such as gas, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain, you could be one of the millions of people who suffer from this condition. Although it is mild compared to other intestinal diseases, IBS can still cause painful or embarrassing side effects. A combination approach of eating soluble fiber and using food combining can relieve your symptoms and even help cure you.

IBS is a disease that affects the large intestine (the colon). Despite the discomforting side effects, it does not cause any permanent damage to the intestine or increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Though the exact cause of the disorder is unknown, scientists believe that it can be triggered by eating certain foods, such as dairy products, alcohol, or caffeine. Other possible causes include high levels of stress and, in women, hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle.

A diet high in soluble fiber is one of the best ways to combat the symptoms of IBS. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber will partially dissolve in water, while insoluble fiber will not. You can find soluble fiber, also known as viscous fiber, in a lot of different grains, fruits, legumes and vegetables. Some examples of foods high in soluble fiber are oatmeal, carrots, bananas, and garbanzo beans.

Soluble fiber is good for you, and good for IBS, for several reasons. Once soluble fiber is in your digestive tract, it helps stool to form properly by absorbing excess fluids in your colon. These excess fluids are what cause the diarrhea that many IBS sufferers experience. It also adds bulk to the stool, slowing the transit time for the stool to pass through the colon. This helps prevent diarrhea as well.

Not only does soluble fiber help make stool bulkier and less fluid, it also forms a thick gel that fills the colon. This gel prevents the colon from having to contract around hard, dry stools and allows the stool to travel through the bowel more easily. This decreases the chances of straining and pain. It also promotes healthy pH levels in the intestine and keeps the “good” bacteria in the digestive tract healthy. All of these things contribute to better bowel movements and a decrease in IBS symptoms.

If you have heard of food combining but aren’t sure if it could help with your IBS, you are in for some great news. Food combining, the practice of eating certain foods together while avoiding other ones, helps to cure a lot of digestive disorders, including IBS. When you eat the right combination of natural foods, your body won’t experience symptoms like gas, bloating, pain and diarrhea that occur when you eat processed foods high in sugar and fat. Food combining is ideal even if you are already eating a high fiber diet because it allows you to have healthy, natural digestion.

Don’t keep suffering from IBS. The simple changes in your diet of adding soluble fiber and practicing food combining will help you get back on the road to good digestive health.

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Further Reading:

Practical Nutrition: Coping with irritable bowel syndrome
Gradually increasing fiber daily might help control constipation. Select whole grains and high-fiber foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Increasing soluble fiber found in applesauce and oatmeal, along with bulking agents, such as psyllium …

Dietary Soluble Fiber
By Marie Spano, MS, RD, Contributing Editor The most famous soluble fiber is the beta-glucan in oatmeal, but other soluble fibers offer health benefits, as well. Research shows soluble fiber aids digestion, increases satiety, helps control blood sugar …

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