Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects women more than men. Every one in every five individuals suffers from this condition at some point in their life. According to gastroenterologists, IBS is the most diagnosed disease among their patients. However, with COVID-19, many people had to suffer through this ailment silently. But with the internet, one can now book appointments with an online doctor and discuss their IBS symptoms. Letâ€™s get to know about IBS and discuss helpful diet tips to manage the condition.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
It is a disorder that mainly affects your intestines. The onset of the disease can be predicted by changes in bowel movement, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Till now, the accurate cause of the disease is not known to doctors. However, a lot of factors contribute to aggravating the condition. For instance, people with acute depression or anxiety are found to be more susceptible to IBS. However, it is not likely that every person with anxiety or depression will have IBS. According to the best gastroenterologist in Ahmedabad, IBS is a condition with many unknown causes. People with a stomach infection or food poisoning can also develop IBS post-recovery. Hence, all in all, the root cause of the condition can not be pinpointed.
What are the Common Symptoms Of IBS?
The most significant symptom of the disease are changes in bowel movement and abdominal pain. The former can show up in the form of diarrhea, constipation, and even both. And the latter include stomach cramps, bloating, and gas. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. Many patients with IBS find it hard to travel or work at places without proper facilities of washrooms. Apart from physical symptoms, IBS can also affect a person psychologically. You may feel under confident and insecure about your health. The majority of patients are unable to open up about IBS to their colleagues and friends to avoid any embarrassment. The restriction on dialogue around the condition further makes it difficult to deal with.
Is IBS Treatable? What Are Some IBS Diet Tips?
As of now, there is no cure for IBS in modern science. The condition is not entirely treatable, but a patient can manage it with the right lifestyle and dietary choices. Hence, one must consult a doctor at the earliest for making the necessary adjustments and maintain the quality of their life. Here are some dietary tips that help manage IBS symptoms.
Include Fibre In Your Diet
We all are guilty of eating junk after a long day at work. However, such diets are low in fiber and are laced with potent chemicals that can harm your gut microbe. If you suffer from IBS, include more fiber in your diet. Fibrous foods help in softening your stool which in result eases your constipation. As per gastroenterologists, an adult must have 22 to 34 grams of fiber in a day. But it is important to include more soluble fiber in your diet as that helps more in IBS. Add fiber to your diet gradually as sudden intake may aggravate gas and bloating.
Steer Away From Gluten
One thing that doctors advise patients with IBS strictly is to avoid gluten in their diet. Gluten is a type of protein that is found in barley, rye, and wheat. This can increase the symptoms of IBS. Hence, stop eating foods with gluten and see if your condition improves or not. Avoiding gluten may be difficult but is not impossible. Foods such as pasta, grains, and cereals have gluten in them. Although patients with IBS do not have celiac disease, consumption of gluten is not favorable for them. You can eat rice, soy, potato, beans, etc., as an alternative to foods that contain gluten.
Have Low FODMAP Diet
The Low FODMAP diet is a special diet recommended by doctors for managing the symptoms of IBS. It focuses on reducing the consumption of foods high in carbohydrates, known as FODMAP, as it is hard to digest. You can consult a nutritionist and get your own FODMAP diet made. Some of the examples of foods that contain FODMAP are apples, wheat, rye, onions, mango, honey, etc. Hence, you will need to have foods that are low in carbohydrates to avoid constipation and bloating.
IBS is a common disease, but it can be quite embarrassing. Moreover, there is no definite cure for it. Hence, one should follow lifestyle changes and dietary habits religiously to manage the condition.