It is normal to have an upset stomach after eating really spicy food or because of eating bad takeaway food. But if you have abdonimal pain and discomfort with diarrhea, cramping, and gas all the time then you could be suffering from Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS). It is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that at least 25 to 40 million Americans are affected with and most of them are women.
So what are the symptoms of IBS?
The following symptoms are associated with Irritable Bowel syndrome.
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea
- Painful cramps that increase with food intake and decrease after a bowel movement
- Gas accompanied with bloating
- Protruding belly
What foods should I eat?
Most of the foods that are suggested for IBS may not help in treating the disorder. However, they can alleviate the symptoms, avoid embarrassing situations and help with leading a normal life. The following are recommended for those suffering from IBS.
- High-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Meat, chicken, and fish
- Drink at least three to four glasses of water every day
- Probiotics such as yogurt and those that are available as drinks, powders, and capsules
What food should I avoid?
- Caffeine –Caffeine not only acts as a nerve stimulant but also increases colon activity thereby increasing the symptoms of IBS. Limit your intake to two to three cups daily.
- Alcohol and soda –Both of these will worsen the symptoms of diarrhea and hence are best avoided.
- Gluten found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye
- Avoid eating a lot of cheese and dairy products
- Foods containing resistant starch such as processed foods, breakfast cereals, crisps, instant meals etc.
- Fatty food