Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common chronic condition where there is no specific
cause and no cure. In the USA, Irritable Bowel Syndrome accounts for over 20% of
the population and considered among the top ten common chronic medical conditions.
In general to gain control of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel syndrome, two
important factors must be addressed. Stress is a very important trigger and learning
how to control stress will help in your control. Food is also an important trigger and
staying on the diet that is right for you will be very helpful.
The problem, however, is that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a highly individualised
syndrome and a diet that works extremely well for me sufferer may be ineffective or
even worsen symptoms for others. In addition due to the nature of IBS, the correct
IBS diet can change with time.
There are certain foods that are considered G.I. stimulants or irritants. These foods
when consumed cause abnormally strong gastro-colic reflex. This is a normal
contraction of the smooth muscles of the large gut in response to food ingestion.
We know that certain categories of food will stimulate strong gastro-colic reflex.
Foods that are high in fats, insoluble fibre, caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks
cause strong contractions of the large gut and can cause diarrhoea, constipation,
abdominal pain and bloating. In Irritable Bowel Syndrome the gut is oversensitive and
the reaction is exaggerated.
Some IBS sufferers are convinced that only certain foods trigger their IBS symptoms
but the facts remains that any food in that particular category can trigger symptoms.
When starting a diet to control Irritable bowel Syndrome, consider the five categories
as your starting point then experiment of various specific foods. In addition a large
meal can be a trigger for strong gastro-colic response.
In time you will learn which groups of food to consume and how much you can eat
without any problems. The correct way to approach Irritable Bowel Syndrome is to
develop a day to day strategy while at the same time work on long term control. For
the day to day strategy to be effective, a sensible approach to a diet that works best for
you is very important.
Whatever strategy you adopt make sure IBS diet is an important aspect. Remember
also that if your symptoms go out of control, prescription medication is an invaluable
short term help to ease the burden of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.