People who suffer from the singularly frustrating malady call IBS have long asked themselves “What is the best treatment for IBS?” Sometimes it seems that nothing works with this disorder.
Doctors still don’t know what causes IBS and they still don’t have a definitive cure. IBS is called a functional disorder because when the patient’s examined there’s no sign of a disease going on in the gastrointestinal tract. Despite the pain and discomfort that IBS causes, it doesn’t lead to any more serious disease.
But some things do work and they largely have to do with the sufferer’s diet. Here are a few things a person who has IBS can do to modify their diet and try and make their symptoms either more bearable or nonexistent.
• Find Out If You’re Lactose Intolerant
Sometimes the cramps, spasms and diarrhea that feel like IBS are actually lactose intolerance, which is the inability to digest the sugar in dairy products. If you are lactose intolerant, all you have to do is cut out the dairy or use diary products made for lactose intolerant people.
• Discover Which Foods Cause the Worst Symptoms
Other foods that can cause flare ups of IBS are alcohol, foods that are high in fat, beans, cabbage, onions, processed foods, coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages. Some people are sensitive to foods that have sorbitol or fructose. You can stop eating these foods for about a week, reintroduce them, then see if your IBS symptoms act up. If they do, you know which foods to avoid.
• Increase Fiber In the Diet
Barring high fiber foods you might be sensitive to, like beans, you should increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber is easy to get, cheap and can be bought at any local grocery store. Fibers are both soluble and insoluble and some foods contain both kinds. Insoluble fibers can’t be digested by humans and are known to ease digestive complaints.
They can be found in wheat bran and whole grains and on the skins of legumes, fruits and seeds. Foods high in soluble fibers include fruits, vegetables, brown rice, barley, oats, oat bran and rice bran. Some people believe that fiber works because it always keeps the bowel a little full, which keeps it from spasming.
Ironically, you might find that their gas and bloating increase when you increase the fiber in your diet. However, these symptoms should go away when the body gets used to the increased fiber.
• Try Probiotics
Some people with IBS find some relief eating yogurt with probiotic bacteria like acidophilus. Once again, you should make sure that you are not lactose intolerant before you start eating the yogurt and you should make sure that the yogurt has live cultures. If you are lactose intolerant or otherwise sensitive to dairy, you can take the probiotics in pill form.
• Eat Smaller Meals
Large meals might also cause some IBS sufferers to experience cramps ad diarrhea. So, you might want to eat smaller meals more frequently through the day or eat smaller portions of food at mealtimes. These foods should be low in fat and high in carbohydrates and should include fruits and vegetables, pastas, rice, bread and cereals.
• Eat The Foods Combined Right
Very often this simple change in diet can make all the difference. Because our stomach secrets different enzymes when digesting food, you should never combine protein with carbohydrates or eat fruit with either of those two. If you eat your food combined right, your body can digest the food a lot better.